Celebrating 125 Years

James R. Griffin


ERISA; Employee benefits and executive compensation


James R. Griffin concentrates his practice in the area of employee benefits and executive compensation, advising clients on issues arising under the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA and other laws. He works with issues affecting 401(k) and pension plans, executive compensation plans, stock option plans, and other group benefit plans. Mr. Griffin represents clients in controversy matters, including Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) audits, investigations, examinations and voluntary compliance proceedings.

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Representative Matters

  • Mr. Griffin has represented clients in the following matters:

  • Represented an S&P 500 company in a broad range of employee benefits and executive compensation issues, including IRS compliance issues for a multi-billion dollar 401(k) plan, Section 409A compliance and interpretation, and advice regarding securities aspects of employee benefit plans.

  • Represented regional tax-exempt hospitals in compliance issues with respect to Section 403(b) and Section 401(a) qualified plans, including advice on COBRA, cafeteria plans, and wellness issues.

  • Advised client on transitional issues in larger public company merger involving employee benefit plans holding employer securities, including pass-through voting procedures.

  • Represented prominent national charitable organization in securing IRS and PBGC approval of the termination of its defined benefit pension plan.

  • Represented employers in connection with the design and implementation of long-term incentive plans, incentive stock options and nonstatutory stock options, including drafting and review of equity compensation documents and agreements and advice related to Federal tax issues affecting plan administration.

  • Represented clients in the preparation of IRS voluntary compliance procedure (VCP) filings and self-correction actions for qualified plans.

  • Advised clients regarding Form 5500 filing obligations, including preparation of past-due filings under the Department of Labor (DOL) delinquent filer voluntary compliance (DFVC) program.

  • Represented clients in handling issues related to third-party administrator and other vendor changes for 401(k) plans, including Sarbanes blackout notice procedures, and review of administrative services agreements for group health plans, COBRA, cafeteria plans, long term disability plans and prescription drug plans.

  • Represented clients in connection with IRS determination letters, including advice regarding need for a determination letter and preparation of determination letter filing materials and obtaining determination letters, including review of volume submitter and prototype plan documents.

  • Represented clients in connection with DOL employee benefit investigations involving late deposits and fiduciary issues and advised clients regarding fiduciary duty issues and plan governance including preparation of administrative committee charters, investment policy statements and other fiduciary considerations.

More about James R. Griffin: Biography | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Organization Membership

Mr. Griffin is a member of the following organizations:

  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation: Employee Benefits Committee
  • Dallas Bar Association; Secretary and Treasurer, Employee Benefits Committee
  • Southwest Benefits Association

Community Involvement

  • Texas Rangers Season Ticket Advisory Board
  • Gulf Coast Area Tax Exempt/Government Entities Council
  • Leadership Dallas, Class of 2003, Dallas Regional Chamber
  • Leadership Dallas Alumni Board, Dallas Regional Chamber (2005-2010)
  • Board of Directors, McKinney Avenue Transit Authority
  • Chair, Vice-Chair and Development Committee Chairman, Dallas Wind Symphony
  • Member, Southwestern Medical Foundation's Estate Planning Council

More about James R. Griffin: Biography | Experience | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Peer Recognition

Mr. Griffin is included in the 2004-2014 editions of The Best Lawyers in America under Employee Benefits Law. He was named a "Super Lawyer" (2003-2013) by Thomson Reuters and was named as one of the "Best Lawyers in Dallas" by D Magazine for 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. He is also included in the Employee Benefits chapter of Who's Who Legal: Texas (2007-2008).

More about James R. Griffin: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Speeches / Publications | News

Speeches / Publications

Mr. Griffin has spoken on tax-related and employee benefits issues, as well as other legal matters, to the following audiences:

  • Nationwide Financial
  • The Institute of Management & Administration (IOMA)
  • Southwest Benefits Association
  • Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Texas Tech Tax Institute
  • International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists - Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Dallas Certified Public Accountants Society
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • The Financial Planning Association, DFW Chapter
  • SMU School of Law – guest lecturer, 1988-2008

Recent papers presented by Mr. Griffin include:

Links to Publications

More about James R. Griffin: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Recognition | News

Latest News

More about James R. Griffin: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications |

  • James R. Griffin
Dallas Office
T: 214.953.5827

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Practice Areas

B.B.A., summa cum laude, Texas Tech University

J.D., cum laude, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
  • Order of the Coif
  • Editor, SMU Law Review
Bar Admissions

  • 1986, Texas
Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Tax Court
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
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