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Lynne Shore Wakefield

Fax +1.704.353.3278
Ms. Wakefield is a partner in the Charlotte office and focuses her practice on employee benefits. She regularly assists clients with issues relating to health and welfare benefit plans, including ACA, ERISA, COBRA and HIPAA compliance; the design, implementation and administration of group health plans, cafeteria plans, health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and private exchange coverage; the negotiation of vendor contracts and services agreements and other aspects of consumer-driven healthcare. She also advises clients on the design, implementation and administration of tax-qualified retirement plans such as 401(k), profit sharing, traditional pension and cash balance plans, and employee benefit plan governance, including committee structures and charters, fiduciary training and best practices.

Ms. Wakefield provides clients with advice in other benefits areas as well, including nonqualified deferred compensation plans; equity plans; compliance with reporting and disclosure requirements; correction of qualified plan defects and related submissions under the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor voluntary correction programs; and assists with benefits issues in mergers and acquisitions.

Professional Background

Partner with K&L Gates since 2009 and associate from 2005 to 2009. Prior to joining K&L Gates, Ms. Wakefield was an employee benefits associate in a regional law firm.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Update on Health Care Reform: What Business Needs to Know,” North Carolina Chamber’s HealthCare Conference, October 2015, Cary, NC
  • “Legal Issues/Clarifications,” Senior Human Resources Forum, Spring 2015 Session, April 2015, Huntersville, NC
  • “Understanding When and How the Employer Coverage Requirements Affect Your Business,” Wilson Chamber of Commerce, February 2014, Wilson, NC
  • “Employer Mandate Requirements,” K&L Gates 2nd Annual “Under the Wire” CLE Seminar, February 2014, Research Triangle Park, NC
  • “Health Care Reform for Employers: News You Can Use to Navigate Through Uncertain Times,” NACDS Total Store Expo, August 2013, Las Vegas, NV
  • “Health Care Reform for Employers: News You Can Use to Navigate Through Uncertain Times,” South Carolina Bar Association, May 2013, Columbia, SC
  • “Are You Prepared for the Affordable Care Act? Mandates, Exchanges and Options as You Approach 2014,” Health Care Reform Symposium, April 2013, Charlotte, NC
  • “Health Care Reform: Critical Issues for North Carolina Employers,” North Carolina Chamber, March 2013, Greensboro, NC
  • “Let’s Talk Health Care Reform - What Should Employers Be Doing? Part I - The Individual Mandate and The Employer Mandate,” Webcast, March 2013, Charlotte, NC
  • “Health Care Reform: An Employer’s Practical Guide to Implementation of The Affordable Care Act,” K&L Gates LLP, February 2013, Charlotte, NC
  • “Health Care Reform: News You Can Use To Navigate Through Uncertain Times - Part I: How Do Employers Decide Whether To Pay or Play?; Part II: Additional Impacts of Health Care Reform,” New Jersey Hospital Association, November 2012, Charlotte, NC
  • “Life After The Supreme Court Ruling – Tax Implications and a Timeline For Implementation,” North Carolina Chamber Health Care Conference, October 2012, Raleigh, NC
  • “Health Care Reform: What Does the Supreme Court’s Decision Mean for Employer-Provided Health Plans,” Employers Association, September 2012, Charlotte, NC
  • “Health Care Reform: What Does the Supreme Court’s Decision Mean for Employer-Provided Health Plans,” K&L Gates, July 2012, Charlotte, NC
  • “2012 Readiness for Employee Benefits: 2012 Health Care Reform Compliance Requirements,” CLE Presentation, October 2011, Dallas, TX and Charlotte, NC
  • “Health Care Reform, What’s Next and What Can You Do?,” Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, October 2010, Winston-Salem, NC
  • “Benefits Best Practices for 2010,” CLE Presentation, Association of Corporate Counsel, April 2010, Charlotte, NC
  • Advised regarding use of private exchange for providing medical coverage to eligible retirees, including negotiation of related services agreement, preparation of plan documentation and related participant communications.
  • Assisted with the establishment of new employee benefit plans and related committees following a company spin-off.
  • Redesigned a 401(k) plan to reflect changes in benefit structures, including drafting of new plan documentation and preparation of participant communications.
  • Assisted client with request for proposals relating to all welfare benefit plans, negotiated vendor contracts and prepared new plan documents and summary plan descriptions for all welfare benefit plans.
  • Identified and assisted in correction of plan administration errors and prepared related application under the Internal Revenue Service voluntary correction program for tax-qualified plans (Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System).
  • Directed the correction of 401(k) plan contribution and filing errors under the Department of Labor's Voluntary Fiduciary Correction and Delinquent Filer Voluntary Correction Programs.
  • Assisted client with HIPAA privacy and security compliance, including development of HIPAA privacy and security policies and procedures, plan amendments and negotiation of business associate agreements with third party administrators and other service providers.
  • Assisted in defense of participants’ long-term disability, life and accidental death and dismemberment claims.
  • Counseled client regarding the applicability of the deferred compensation requirements under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (Code Section 409A) as to various retention agreements, employment agreements, equity plans and severance arrangements.