Karen Kimball Hartford

Karen Kimball Hartford: Attorney with Verrill Dana LLP
  • Partner at Verrill Dana LLP
  • One Portland Square, P.O. Box 586, Portland, ME 04112-0586
    View Karen Kimball Hartford's office location
  • Karen assists clients with all aspects of employee benefit plan design, drafting, implementation, and administration. She advises for-profit and tax-exempt employers on qualified retirement and welfare benefit plan compliance issues and has filed numerous voluntary correction submissions with the IRS and DOL. Karen drafts plan documents, summary plan descriptions, and employee communications; and has experience filing plans with the IRS for determination of their tax-qualified status, terminating pension plans, handling benefit claims disputes, drafting and reviewing qualified domestic relations orders, and negotiating service contracts for employers with investment managers and advisors, third party record keepers, pharmacy benefit managers, and trustees.

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    4.6/5.0 (16)
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Karen partners with employers of all sizes on a broad range of employee benefit plan design, drafting, implementation, and operational matters. A substantial portion of Karen’s practice is devoted to advising clients with respect to their group health benefits, including cafeteria plans, self-insured plans, consumer-directed/HDHPs, HRAs, and HSAs, and providing guidance on HIPAA, COBRA, and ACA compliance. Karen also has significant experience working with defined contribution and defined benefit pension plans, with particular experience de-risking plans, terminating plans, filing voluntary correction submissions with the IRS and DOL, handling benefit claim disputes, and drafting and reviewing QDROs. Karen enjoys working closely with her clients to develop the most effective, practical, and efficient solution to each matter.

Karen serves on the Firm’s Diversity Committee and currently chairs the Firm’s Associate Mentoring and Training Committee.

Prior to joining Verrill Dana in 2001, Karen was associated with another Portland law firm where she practiced primarily in the area of employee benefits law. Karen has been recognized by several attorney ranking organizations as a leader in the area of Employee Benefits.

Karen is a native Mainer and thoroughly enjoys the outdoors through all seasons with her husband and two young boys.


AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America under Employee Benefits
Selected by peers for inclusion in New England Rising Starsunder
Employee Benefits


AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Keep up with changes and trends in benefits and compensation.
Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019.


Implementation of Health Savings Account
We advised a client on implementing a high deductible health plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) feature.


January 18, 2007
Verrill Dana, LLP Names New Partners
Press Releases
Scott D. Anderson, John P. Giffune, Karen K. Hartford, Mary McQuillen


July 18, 2018
New Disability Claims Procedures Affect Retirement Plans and Deferred Compensation Plans Too
Alerts and Newsletters
Eric Altholz, Lisa Boehm, and Suzanne Meeker

August 30, 2013
IRS Guidance on DOMA Decision
Alerts and Newsletters

June 26, 2012
Service Provider Disclosures to Plan Fiduciaries Due by July 1
Alerts and Newsletters
Eric Altholz, Lisa Boehm, Suzanne Meeker, and Misti Munste

Areas of Practice (3)

  • Employee Benefits
  • Executive Compensation

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
University Attended:
Wesleyan University, B.A., 1994
Law School Attended:
University of Maine School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1999
Year of First admission:
1999, Maine

Maine State Bar Association
Maine Employee Benefits Council
New England Employee Benefits Council


Peer Reviews

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Portland, Maine

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