Leslie A. Klein

Leslie A. Klein: Attorney with Greenberg Traurig, LLP AV stamp icon
  • Shareholder; Co-Chair, Global Benefits & Compensation Practice at Greenberg Traurig, LLP (2024 Attorneys)
  • 2375 East Camelback Road, Suite 700, Phoenix, AZ 85016
    View Leslie A. Klein's other office locations
  • Peer Reviews

    5.0/5.0
  • Profile Visibility [ i ]
Attorney Awards

Biography

Leslie A. Klein is Co-Chair of the Global Benefits & Compensation Practice and has more than 30 years of experience advising publicly held companies, privately held companies, not-for-profit corporations, fiduciaries and executives in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation. He is recognized as a fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel for his contributions to the advancement of the field of employee benefits.

Les regularly counsels clients in connection with pension, profit sharing, cash balance, 401(k), 403(b), 457, employee stock ownership (ESOP), supplemental executive retirement (SERP), deferred compensation and welfare benefit plans and frequently represents plan sponsors and fiduciaries before the Internal Revenue Service, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and U.S. Department of Labor. Les advises companies and senior executives in connection with stock options, phantom stock, stock appreciation rights, annual bonus, long-term incentives, restricted stock, employment agreements, parachute agreements, retention agreements and severance agreements.

Les also advises clients regarding ERISA's fiduciary responsibility rules and the Internal Revenue Code's prohibited transaction excise taxes. From 1980 to 1984, Les was a trial attorney in the Chicago office of the District Counsel of the IRS where he was responsible for several prohibited transaction excise tax cases. Les represented the Commissioner of the IRS before the U.S. Tax Court in a case in which the IRS asserted prohibited transaction excise taxes against the Central Conference of Teamsters as a result of the sale of its airplane to its pension fund. As the attorney in charge of that and other prohibited transaction cases, Les regularly consulted with and advised senior staff of the Department of Labor and the IRS. Les has continued to counsel clients, including sponsors of plans, plan committees, institutional and individual trustees, and investment funds regarding the prohibited transaction excise taxes and ERISA fiduciary rules, DOL and IRS investigations, and employee benefits litigation.

Concentrations

•Design and provide advice on tax, ERISA and securities laws relating to:
•Tax qualified retirement plans
•Nonqualified retirement plans
•Executive compensation arrangements
•Senior executive employment agreements
•Senior executive parachute agreements
•Senior executive retention and severance agreements
•DOL and IRS voluntary compliance programs
•DOL, IRS and PBGC employee plan audits
•ERISA fiduciary and prohibited transaction rules
•ERISA litigation

Recognition & Leadership

Awards & Accolades

•Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2006-2019
•Listed, Leading Lawyers Network, 2007-2019
•Listed, Among the Top 10 Employee Benefits Lawyers in Illinois, 2014
•Listed, Among the Top 250 Business Lawyers in Illinois, 2014
•Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2009-2018
•Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Labor and Employment - Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, 2014-2018
•Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Illinois Lawyers, 2014-2015
•Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Southwest Super Lawyers, 2006 and 2008-2013
•Rated, AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5

American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

•Member, American Bar Association, Taxation Section

•Co-Chair, IRS/ASPPA Great Lakes Benefits Conference, 1996-2007

•Former Chair, Chicago Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee

•Former Member, Board of Directors, American Society of Pension Actuaries (ASPA)

•Former President and Founder, ASPA Benefits Council of Chicago

(Also at Chicago, Illinois Office)

Areas of Practice (4)

  • Benefits & Compensation
  • Tax
  • ERISA & Employee Benefits Litigation
  • Banking & Financial Services

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
602.445.8328  Phone
602.445.8728  Fax
www.gtlaw.com/People/Leslie-A-Klein
University Attended:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S., Accountancy, 1977
Law School Attended:
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, J.D., 1980
Year of First Admission:
1980
Admission:
1980, Illinois; Arizona
Memberships:

Professional & Community Involvement

•Adjunct Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
•fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
•Member, American Bar Association, Taxation Section
•Former Co-Chair, IRS/ASPPA Great Lakes Benefits Conference, 1996-2007
•Former Chair, Chicago Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee
•Former Member, Board of Directors, American Society of Pension Actuaries (ASPA)
•Former President and Founder, ASPA Benefits Council of Chicago

Birth Information:
New York, N.Y., August 2, 1955
Reported Cases:
Experience: Additional Qualifications: Certified Public Accountant
ISLN:
905836957

Peer Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (2)

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

Phoenix, Arizona

Contact Leslie A. Klein

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