Overview

Rich counsels clients on business issues including strategic growth initiatives, merger and acquisition opportunities, and corporate finance prospects. He spends significant time serving on several different boards of directors/advisors.

Rich serves as chair of Porter Wright's Employee Benefits Practice Group, where he regularly advises employers on the full range of their employee benefit plan issues.

In the tax-qualified retirement plan area, Rich has assisted employers in the design and implementation of tax-qualified retirement plans of all types, including defined benefit pension plans, profit sharing plans, 401(k) plans, money purchase pension plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), collectively bargained union plans, and 403(b) tax deferred account plans for tax-exempt organizations. Rich has substantial experience with leveraged ESOP transactions.

In the health and welfare plan area, Rich has assisted employers with the implementation of group health, dental, long term disability, and group term life insurance benefits, including the design of self-insured medical benefits plans, cafeteria plans, tax-exempt VEBA trusts, and third-party administration agreements.

In the nonqualified plan and executive compensation area, Rich has designed comprehensive management incentive programs with stock options, stock appreciation rights, phantom stock and restricted stock. He has prepared nonqualified deferred compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans, excess benefit plans, and individualized deferred compensation arrangements to provide targeted tax deferred compensation to executive management teams.

Of particular significance, Rich has substantial experience in mergers and acquisitions and securities laws as they relate to employee benefit plans. In the securities practice, he has assisted employers in implementing employer stock based plans, including participant-directed employer stock investment funds in profit sharing and 401(k) plans, and employee stock purchase plans while addressing the Form S-8 registration statement and Form 11-K annual report filing requirements.

In 2007, Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao appointed Rich to a three-year term on the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, also known as the ERISA Advisory Council. Among the other honors Rich has received are recognition in The Best Lawyers in America® and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell®. He is also listed in Chambers USA as one of the leading attorneys in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Law.

Education

  • The Ohio State University College of Law  (1989)
  • Oxford University, Oxford, England, Summer Law Program  (1987)
  • Bowling Green State University  (B.S., 1986)
  • Ecole Superior de Commerce, Nantes, France, Summer Economics Program  (1985)

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Professional Associations

  • Columbus Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee, Chair, 1999-2001; Vice-Chair, 1997-1999
  • Certified Employee Benefit Specialist Program
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • National Center for Employee Ownership
  • The ESOP Association
  • U.S. Department of Labor, ERISA Advisory Council, Member 2007-2009 

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers®, Columbus, Ohio Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law Lawyer of the Year, 2016
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law and Litigation-ERISA
  • Chambers USA, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Band One (highest ranking), Ohio
  • Columbus Business First, "Forty Under 40," Class of 2000
  • Martindale-Hubbell®, AV Rating

Community

  • Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, Board of Trustees, Pro Bono Legal Services
  • Leadership Columbus, Class of 2002
  • Northwest Presbyterian Church, Men’s Council, President, 2000-2001; Vice President, 1999-2000
  • Dublin Soccer League, Coach, 1997-2002
  • Salvation Army, Food Truck Volunteer
  • Angel Tree
  • Operation Feed