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Kathy A. Lawler


F: (973) 206 6624
Overview Insights News Education and Credentials Recognition and Community


Kathy Lawler helps employers in a wide range of industries and sectors with qualified pension plans and the complex fiduciary issues relating to ERISA plans. Her practice primarily involves the design, submission, implementation, merger, termination, and interpretation of qualified pension plans, as well as the design of nonqualified plans, such as excess benefit plans, SERPs, deferred compensation arrangements, and Rabbi trusts to fund such plans.

Businesses rely on Kathy for counsel regarding benefits issues in corporate transactions and outsourcing arrangements. In addition, she advises them about welfare benefit plans, including the tax and ERISA implications of plan design, amendment, and termination. She also regularly counsels employers on issues arising under the Affordable Care Act, COBRA and HIPAA.

Kathy lectures and has been published widely on employee benefits trends and issues. She holds a leadership position as chair of the firm's Pension and Welfare Committee and is a former member of the firm's Executive Board.


Education and Credentials

New York University, LL.M., 1987
American University Washington College School of Law, J.D., 1983
Kent State University, B.A., cum laude, 1979
Oberlin College, 1975-1976
State of New Jersey, 1983
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 1999
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1983
American Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee, Tax Section
New Jersey State Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee, Tax Section, past chairperson
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, New Jersey Chapter, past chairperson

Recognition and Community


Chosen for inclusion in Chambers USA Legal Directory (Chambers & Partners) as a leading Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation attorney, 2006-2022

Chosen for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, Inc.), Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 1995-2017, 2020-2023

Selected to the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), Employee Benefits, 2005-2020

Chosen in The Newark Area's Best Lawyers (Woodward/White, Inc.) as Employee Benefits Lawyer of the Year, 2011

Recognized as one of the Top 50 female New Jersey Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2006-2008

Recognized as one of New Jersey Monthly's "Top Lawyers" each year since 1997

AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell (LexisNexis)

No aspect of these advertisements has been approved by the highest court of any state. See Awards Methodology.


The Philadelphia Institute, instructor for the institute's Pension Law and Administration Certificate Program at various locations throughout the country, 1992-1995