Bruce B. Barth

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Bruce Barth, chair of the firm's Labor, Employment, Benefits, Immigration + Tax Group, focuses his practice on the representation of employers with respect to retirement and welfare benefits, executive compensation, and benefits issues in corporate transactions.

    Mr. Barth advises clients on the implications of tax, securities, labor, and other laws, including ERISA and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Drawing from over 30 years of employee benefits experience, Mr. Barth partners with clients to develop benefit plan design and compliance strategies that meet both their business objectives and the legal requirements applicable to their employee benefits plans. He counsels clients with regard to the full spectrum of employee benefits matters, including qualified defined benefit and defined contribution plans, defined benefit plan funding, nonqualified programs and executive compensation arrangements, plan compliance and correction, health and welfare programs, participation in multiemployer plans, withdrawal liability, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Barth has spent significant time understanding and speaking on health care reform issues. He is also a contributor to the firm's Health Law Diagnosis blog.

    Mr. Barth is co-chair of the Subcommittee on Exempt Organization and Governmental Plans, part of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Section of Taxation. He is also a member of the Taxation and Business Law Sections of the ABA as well as the Taxation Section's Employee Benefits Committee. He is past president of the Hartford Chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network and a past member of its national board of directors. Mr. Barth is currently a member of the board of the Connecticut Public Pension Forum, a nonprofit organization focusing on providing education and advice to governmental plan fiduciaries.

    Mr. Barth has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law since 1995. He has also been selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list since 2006.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Provided benefits counsel for a tax-exempt hospital that sold all of the operating assets of one of its significant divisions to a publicly traded corporation.
      • Designed and created a deferred compensation program for the members of a Native American tribe.
      • Represented a multinational corporation with respect to the design, drafting, and funding implementation of deferred compensation programs for its executives.
      • Represented health care organization with respect to the implementation of a defined benefit plan for its employees and the conversion of such plan to a cash balance plan.
      • Represented a multinational employer with respect to all of the employee benefits it offers to its employees.
      • Represented an executive of a telecommunications company with respect to his employment agreement, nonqualified stock options, incentive stock options, and other compensation arrangements.
      • Represented an executive with respect to the negotiation and drafting of his employment agreement, stock awards, and option agreements.
      • Challenged the IRS in its assertion that our client, an employer of over 10,000 employees, was ineligible to sponsor a 401(k) plan for its employees.
      • Represented privately-held technology company with respect to the design, implementation, and administration of its stock, stock option, and stock equivalent programs.
      • Provided advice to a unionized corporation that participated in a multiemployer plan on a mechanism to reduce or avoid withdrawal liability while it was reducing its workforce.
      • Representation of company in connection with sale of a subsidiary which had employees covered by seven different multiemployer plans.
      • Representation of a quasi-state agency as bond counsel and special projects counsel.
      • Representation of an aerospace and defense manufacturer in acquisition through reverse triangular merger of a company in the laboratory services industry.
      • Representation of Symphony Marketing Solutions, Inc., a company providing analytics and data management services in the retail, pharmaceutical, and consumer packaged goods industries, concerning acquisition by Genpact International, Inc., a business processes management company.

      • Representation of an aerospace and defense company concerning acquisition of substantially all the assets of the defense and aerospace business of Special Devices Inc. Client provides diversified systems for missiles, space launch vehicles, the soldier, and ground vehicles. Client is prime contractor to U.S. and foreign military customers and subcontractor to many U.S. prime contractors. Special Devices’ Defense & Aerospace Group provide many critical components complementary to client's core product lines.
      • Representation of an aerospace and defense company concerning its acquisition of NEA Electronics, Inc., in a stock purchase transaction. NEA designs, develops, and manufactures highly reliable nonexplosive separation mechanisms, battery cell bypass switches, electrical interconnect devices, and nonpyrotechnic valves for critical space and defense applications.
      • Advised plan sponsor regarding consolidation of sponsor's multiple welfare benefit plans and cafeteria plan into a single "wrap plan" and drafted document for new plan.
      • Performed HIPAA analysis for plan sponsor's group health plans, including drafting of policies and procedures and negotiation of business associate agreements.
      • Assisted large Connecticut-based hospital with complex RFP process involving a search for a retirement plan service provider and negotiation of a favorable administrative agreement.
      • Counseled a large hospital in employee benefits matters regarding its acquisition of another hospital in an integrated transaction.
      • Served as outside employee benefits counsel to a tax-exempt community hospital, providing advice on its employee benefit plans, including its health and welfare arrangements and retirement programs.
      • Assisted a health care organization in reviewing its defined contribution plans for compliance with statutory requirements, developed correction strategies, and obtained approval of corrections through governmental correction programs.
      • Assisted large hospital and health care system with respect to the design, drafting, and implementation of defined contribution plans, including the addition of a 403(b) plan.
      • Served as outside employee benefits counsel to a large health care organization and assisted with executive compensation matters, including the design, drafting, and implementation of nonqualified deferred compensation programs for its executives.
      • Representation of a foundation supporting a public university regarding all legal issues related to its defined contribution and health and welfare plans.
      • Representation of a private college in Connecticut regarding compliance issues for its defined contribution plan.
      • Transactional and Development

      • Representation of a construction materials company concerning the sale of its asphalt paving and construction contracting business in Michigan and Indiana; representation of aggregate company in addressing environmental conditions and transactions in New York and Louisiana.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Hartford Chapter
      Former National Board Member
      Past Chapter President
      Member since 1991

      Connecticut Public Pension Forum
      Board Member, currently serving as Secretary (1999 - present)

      American Bar Association
      Section of Taxation, Employee Benefits Committee (1984 - present)
      Section of Taxation, Co-chair of Subcommittee on Exempt Organization and Governmental Plans

      Employee Stock Ownership Plan Association (1998 - present)

      National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (2007 - present)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list from 2006 to 2017.

      AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell™ in the areas of Employee Benefits, Labor and Employment, and Taxation Law (Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings is a trademark. AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc.)

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in the area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law for 2016 and 2013

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law since 1995

      Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the state of Connecticut in the area of Labor & Employment since 2014

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Hartford Symphony Orchestra
      Board of Directors (2013 - present)
  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "401(k) Plans in Challenging Economic Times: Reducing or Eliminating Employer Contributions Midyear," published in The Journal of Retirement Planning, co-authored with Virginia E. McGarrity and Cynthia R. Christie (May/June 2009)

      "Enron: What Will Happen to 401(k) Plans Now?" co-authored with Cynthia Christie (Winter 2002)

      "Know your obligations under COBRA: First employee notification due at time group coverage begins," published in CBIA News, co-authored with Kerri Willis (6/2002)

      CBIA's Complete COBRA Guide

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "An Education Forum for Pension Professionals," at a National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA) event in Hartford, Connecticut (9/20/2017)
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      "Keeping Your Defined Contribution Plan Afloat in a Sea of Litigation," panel member at the Fiduciary Investment Advisors (FIA) 2017 Client Conference in Newport, Rhode Island (6/23/2017)
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      "2017 WEB Regulatory and Legislative Benefit Update," at the WEB Network (Worldwide Employee Benefits) in Hartford (4/27/2017)

      "403(b) plans under attack: Fiduciary breach class actions brought against multiple plans," co-presented with Virginia E. McGarrity, at the AICUM Spring Symposium 2017 in Worcester, Massachusetts (3/23/2017)
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      "Everybody Makes Mistakes: Retirement Plan Correction Options under EPCRS," co-presented with Cynthia R. Christie, presented at Employee Benefit Plans Conference, sponsored by the Connecticut Society of CPAs (CTCPA) in Rocky Hill, Connecticut (5/20/2014)

      "Perspective on the Affordable Care Act," co-presented with Virginia E. McGarrity and Thomas McGuire, senior deputy general counsel at UnitedHealthcare, at the Connecticut Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel's (CONNACCA) In-House Paralegal Conference (3/27/2014)

      "Affordable Care Act: Developing Your Health Care Reform Strategy," published in ConnectiCare Inc.’s Annual Breakfast Meeting for Employers, co-presented with Virginia E. McGarrity (6/12/2013)

      "Affordable Care Act: Developing Your Health Care Reform Strategy," published in ConnectiCare Inc.’s Annual Breakfast Meeting for Insurance Brokers, co-presented with Virginia E. McGarrity (6/5/2013)

      "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Employer-Shared Responsibility," at Connecticut Health Council (3/22/2013)

      "Annual Legislative & Regulatory Update," at Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Hartford Chapter (1/17/13)

      "PPACA: Developing Your Health Care Reform Strategy," Connecticut Business & Industry Association webinar (8/29/2012)

      "Defining Your Health Care Priorities: Plan Auditing," at Society for Human Resource Management Tri-State Conference, Panelist (3/26/2012)

      "Employee Benefits: The Game Changers," at Society for Human Resource Management Tri-State Conference, Panelist (3/25/2012)

      "Annual Legislative & Regulatory Update," at Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Hartford Chapter (1/19/12)

      "Success as a Summer Associate in a Big Law Firm," published in Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity, co-presented with Virginia E. McGarrity (4/28/2011)

      "Health Care Reform: A Practical Look from the HR Perspective," at Human Resource Association of Central Connecticut (4/26/2011)

      "Annual Legislative & Regulatory Update," at Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (12/9/2010)

      "Health Care Reform: What HR Needs to Know," at Society for Human Resource Management, Panelist (11/3/2010)

      "Health Care Reform: Preparing Employers and Health Plans for 2011 and Beyond," co-presented with Virginia E. McGarrity and Melanie J. Hancock, webinar (10/12/2010)

      Moderated webinar “Health Care Reform: Preparing Employers and Health Plans for 2011 and Beyond” co-presented by Melanie J. Hancock and Virginia McGarrity (10/12/2010)

      "Trustee Fiduciary & Legal Responsibilities," panelist, at the first annual Statewide Public Pension Organization Network (SPPON) Trustee Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts (October 2008)

      "The Future of Health Care," at Connecticut Business & Industry Association Symposium (Summer 2006)

      "Civil Unions in Connecticut and the Impact on Governmental Employers," at Connecticut Public Pension Forum (10/26/2005)

      "Counseling the Small Business Client in Connecticut: Employee Benefits," (11/2003)

      "Risk: Do You Know How Much You Are Taking," (6/2003 and 10/2003)
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      "Nuts and Bolts of 401(k) Plans," co-presented with Cynthia Christie and Lorman Education Services (9/2002)

      Panelist at Defined Contribution Roundtable at the Fiduciary Investment Advisors Annual Client Conference (6/15/2011)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • October 2, 2017

        Bruce Barth Presents to Pension Professionals at NIPA Forum

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      • June 28, 2017

        Bruce Barth Speaks at FIA Annual Client Conference

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      • May 17, 2017

        Bruce Barth Speaks on Regulatory and Legislative Benefits

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      • April 3, 2017

        Employee Benefits Lawyers Speak at AICUM Spring Symposium 2017

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      • October 3, 2016

        Bruce Barth Speaks at ABA Fall CLE Meeting

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      • June 9, 2014

        Hartford Lawyers Present at CTCPA Conference

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      • June 2, 2014

        Bruce Barth Appointed Co-Chair of ABA Subcommittee

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      • May 6, 2014

        Hartford Lawyers Speak at CONNACCA Conference

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      • December 6, 2013

        Hartford Lawyers Hold Workshop on Affordable Care Act

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      • June 24, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Lawyers Answer Health Care Reform Questions

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      • June 18, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Lawyers Support The Stowe Center

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      • May 9, 2013

        Bruce Barth Speaks on Issues of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

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      • January 24, 2013

        Bruce Barth Presents Annual Benefits Legislative Update to WEB

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      • September 13, 2012

        Bruce Barth Delivers Webinar on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

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      • May 21, 2012

        Employee Benefits and Compensation Partner on Two Panels at Society for Human Resource Management Conference

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      • April 18, 2012

        Employee Benefits Partner Offers Career Advice to University of Connecticut Students

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      • February 1, 2012

        Bruce Barth Presents Annual Benefits Legislative Update to WEB

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      • June 28, 2011

        Bruce Barth Discusses Defined Contribution Plans at FIA Conference

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      • June 16, 2011

        Bruce Barth Weighs-in on Pension Plan Ruling in CT Law Tribune

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      • May 6, 2011

        Bruce Barth Presents on New Health Care Reform Laws

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      • April 5, 2011

        Benefits Attorneys Present at CBIA’s 2011 Compensation & Benefits Conference

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      • January 18, 2011

        Bruce Barth Provides Annual Legislative and Regulatory Update for WEB

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      • January 10, 2011

        Bruce Barth Panelist on “Health Care Reform: What HR Needs to Know”

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      • September 23, 2010

        Hospital Honors Corporate Sponsors

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      • June 14, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Partner Quoted in Hartford Business Journal on Health Care Reform Impact to Local Businesses

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      • November 13, 2008

        Robinson & Cole Partner Speaks at First Annual SPPON Trustee Symposium

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      R+C News Releases

      • October 17, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 15, 2017

        Fifty-Nine Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

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      • May 26, 2017

        Chambers USA Recognizes Robinson+Cole Lawyers and Practice Groups

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      • October 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 15, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

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      • May 27, 2016

        Chambers USA Recognizes Robinson+Cole Lawyers and Practice Groups

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      • October 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 18, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016

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      • May 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Earns Six Practice Area Rankings in Chambers USA 2015

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      • October 17, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers

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      • August 19, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • July 2, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Wins ACG New York Champion’s Award

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      • June 5, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Finalist for the 4th Annual ACG New York Champion’s Award

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      • May 29, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Earns Rankings in Chambers USA 2014 in all Connecticut Practice Areas

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      • November 15, 2013

        Hartford Symphony Orchestra Elects Bruce B. Barth to Board of Directors

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      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • May 23, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Expands Rapidly Growing Private Equity/M&A Practice

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      • October 22, 2012

        Super Lawyers® Names 49 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2012 List and Recognizes 26 as Rising Stars

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      • September 14, 2012

        Ten Robinson & Cole Attorneys Selected as “Lawyers of the Year”

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      • August 28, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • September 12, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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