Brian O’Hare is a member of the American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, Committee on Employee Benefits, where he is past-chair of the Section 401(k) Subcommittee. Further, he headed the task force on the ERISA section 404(c) participant-directed account regulations at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Committee on Employee Benefits. He has published numerous articles in the employee benefits and executive compensation field and speaks frequently on such topics.

Mr. O’Hare has particular experience representing large pension funds in regulatory and fiduciary matters before the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Department of Labor. He is also experienced in addressing compensation matters at both for-profit and tax-exempt entities and has provided extensive advice on plan investment vehicles, including commingled funds and venture capital. In 2002, Mr. O’Hare was elected a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. Mr. O'Hare has received Martindale-Hubbell's highest "AV" rating and has been recognized as a leading lawyer in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Employee Benefits Law and named in Super Lawyers in the area of Employee Benefits/ERISA. Mr. O'Hare was named to the "Irish Legal 100" in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Representative Matters

Manufacturing and Financial Service Companies
Advice regarding the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on various matters including the provision of split-dollar life insurance as an executive compensation vehicle.

Manufacturing Company
Designed a supplemental executive retirement program (or "SERP") as both a retention and compensation vehicle for Company's top-management including analysis of change of control and proxy reporting issues.

Extensive design and implementation of employee and director stock option plans in preparation for an initial public offering, advice with respect to restructuring self-insured medical plan.

Technology Company
Implementation of plan design changes to permit the transferability of options under a company's director and employee stock option plans including review of Section 16(b) changes and financial pricing issues.

Pharmaceutical Company
Advice with respect to revamping fiduciary delegation procedures, including delegation of Board authority and claims review; design and extensive work in the early retirement and severance area, in particular advice with respect to structuring programs under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.

International Corporations
Review and preparation of an illustrative voluntary deferred compensation program for American officers of a Japanese corporation, with particular attention to accounting issues; due diligence review for Swiss corporation with respect to newly acquired U.S. subsidiary, including review of voluntary compliance issues.

Executive compensation advice including extensive structuring of a deferred compensation arrangement to protect CEO against future decreases in the legal limits of qualified plan benefits while remaining within the special Internal Revenue Code restrictions placed on non qualified deferred compensation provided by tax exempt entities.

Venture Capital Fund
Helped design a pharmaceutical venture capital fund to comply with ERISA plan asset rules to attract pension fund investors - intended capitalization of 500 million dollars.

Act as a sole arbitrator upon the designation of two major financial institutions with respect to a multi-million dollar matter involving the transfer of pension business responsibilities and the impact of daily plan valuations between two ongoing concerns.

Company Stock Fund
Advise a publicly traded company with respect to the fiduciary and other regulatory issues pertaining to the establishment of a Section 401(k) company stock fund.


  • New York

Professional Activities

HONORS: Recognized as a leading lawyer in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Employee Benefits Law and Named in Super Lawyers in the area of Employee Benefits/ERISA (2005-present); Named to the "Irish Legal 100" (2013). The Irish Legal 100 is compiled annually by The Irish Voice newspaper, and recognizes the achievements of legal professionals with Irish heritage practicing in the United States.

MEMBERSHIPS: Member, American Bar Association (Tax Section, Committee on Employee Benefits, Subcommittees on Fiduciary Responsibility and Qualified Cash and Deferred Arrangements; Past Vice-Chair, Chair, and Chair Emeritus, Subcommittee on Qualified Cash and Deferred Arrangements, 2001-2010); Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Committee on Employee Benefits; Chair, Subcommittee on ERISA Section 404(c) Regulations, 1992-1995); Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, fellowship based upon demonstrating sustained commitment to promoting public awareness and understanding of employee benefits law; Lecturer, American Bar Association, City Bar Association and Human Resources Association of New York, New York University School of Continuing Education Conference on Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, including a speech on Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits and employee benefit plans under the Internal Revenue Code to the Human Resources Association of New York, August 1998; American Bar Association presentations on Section 401(k) Automatic Enrollments and Internal Revenue Code Automatic Rollovers, October 2000; Los Angeles ABA Fall Benefits Meeting; Chair of Legal Issues Presentation, Church Pensions Conference, Savannah, Georgia, 2000; Speaker on Employee Benefit Requirements Pertaining to Returning Veterans, Pension Conference, Orlando, Florida, December 2001; Presentation on EGTRRA Planning Opportunities, including catch-up contributions at the ABA Committee on Employee Benefits mid-winter conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 2002; Interviewed on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Money/Line" as an employee benefits commentator regarding Fiduciary obligations and "black-out" periods, February 2002; Quoted in an April 23, 2003 Reuters news article "American Airlines Looks to Repair Tarnished Image," regarding executive compensation matters and in a Dow Jones newswire story, "WorldCom Ruling Seen Changing Section 401(k) Plans," regarding employer fiduciary issues and employer stock, June 25, 2003; Speaker at ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits and the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel’s TeleConference, "To Roth or Not: Recent Guidance on Roth 401(k) Arrangements," April 11, 2006; Speaker along with Government representatives on an ABA Tax Section Panel on Emerging Fiduciary and other Title I Issues, Winter Meeting, January 2007; Panel Speaker, “Current Issues in the Design and Operation of Defined Contributions Plans,” ABA Section of Taxation Committee on Employee Benefits, Fall Meeting, San Francisco; Webinar Panelist, Current "Hot" Issues for 403(b) Plans, October 2008