CHICAGO – Barnes & Thornburg LLP announced today that Bonita L. Hatchett has joined the firm’s Chicago office as a partner in the Corporate Department. Hatchett was previously a partner in the Chicago office of K&L Gates LLP.
Hatchett brings more than 15 years of experience counseling publicly traded, privately held, collectively bargained, government and tax-exempt employers on a number of employee benefit matters.
Her experience covers all aspects of compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as well as the tax qualification and other requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, applicable to qualified plans, nonqualified plans, health and welfare agreements, executive compensation and other compensatory arrangements.
Hatchett regularly designs and drafts qualified plans, nonqualified plans, health and welfare arrangements, executive compensation, other compensatory arrangements, as well as service provider agreements. She also provides advice to employers on regulatory changes and amends employee benefit plans as required to comply with current law.
At Barnes & Thornburg, Hatchett will play a key role in helping employers understand the many implementation requirements for complying with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) both in the short-term and long-term.
“In light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers must be mindful of the changes that have already gone into effect, and how to prepare for the future,” said Barnes & Thornburg Managing Partner Alan A. Levin. “Bonita will be essential in helping our clients keep up with the large volume of guidance being issued by implementing agencies, and helping them tailor their operations with an eye toward future compliance.”
“As we continue to grow the presence of our Corporate Department in Chicago, we are pleased to add an attorney of Bonita’s caliber to the firm,” added Mark Rust, managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg’s Chicago office. “We welcome her to the firm and look forward to her contributions.”
With more than 200 legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg’s Corporate Department has the depth and breadth of resources to assist clients in handling transactions ranging from simple to complex. The firm’s Corporate Department is complemented by dedicated industry service teams focused on industries such as life sciences, information technology, e-commerce, healthcare, telecommunications, financial institutions, construction, energy, transportation, global logistics, associations and foundations, aviation, media and utilities.
About Bonita Hatchett
Hatchett’s practice also encompasses preparing regulatory submissions to the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. She negotiates with the regulatory agencies on behalf of employers and multiemployer plans to prevent the assessment of penalties and excise taxes, and to prevent the disqualification of plans. In addition, she assists employers in correcting plan operational failures under regulatory amnesty programs.
Hatchett has served as employee benefits counsel to the employer trustees of multiemployer plans and public pension plans, and has also represented employers in connection with withdrawal liability and other disputes arising under multiemployer plans. She has negotiated service provider agreements, including investment management agreements, subscription agreements, and represented employers and investment advisors in connection with regulatory examinations. She also represents employers in the employee benefits aspects of corporate transactions, conducts employee benefits due diligence and provides advice on benefits integration issues.
In addition to her legal experience, Hatchett serves as an adjunct professor at the Washington School of Law Institute for Graduate Studies, where she teaches benefits law. She is also a frequent author of articles on employee benefit matters and regularly speaks on employee benefit issues at bar association, continuing legal education seminars and other events.
She is a member of the Lawyers Club of Chicago and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. She also serves as the Qualified Plans Vice Chair of the American Bar Association of Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law.
She was named to the Illinois Rising Stars for 2010 by Chicago Magazine (Employee Benefits/ERISA Law), named as one of “Chicago’s Top 40 Game Changers” by the Urban Business Roundtable, an Illinois Supers Lawyer for 2008 and 2009 (Employee Benefits/ERISA) and a Leading Lawyer in Employee Benefits Law.
She is admitted to practice in Illinois, New Jersey, and United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Hatchett earned a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law at Camden, an L.L.M from Georgetown University Law School, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
With more than 550 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg LLP is one of the 100 largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from its offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Los Angeles, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. Visit us online at www.btlaw.com.