Amy Pocino Kelly is the deputy practice leader for the employee benefits and executive compensation practice. Amy’s practice focuses on providing strategic, day-to-day guidance on employee benefits plan matters to plan sponsors, including public and private companies, tax-exempt organizations, and governmental employers. She counsels these clients on the design, governance, operation, and compliance of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, equity and executive compensation arrangements, and welfare benefit plans. Amy also represents plan sponsors in audit and correction matters before the US Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Amy provides critical benefits and executive compensation counseling to assist clients in integrating, changing, or terminating benefits plans. During and after mergers and acquisitions, she oversees due diligence reviews of benefit plans and handles executive compensation for key management. She also supervises the design and implementation of retention agreements and analysis of the application of Sections 280G and 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. Collaborating with management, in-house counsel, consultants, and board compensation committees, she helps develop equity compensation and executive plans and agreements. She also represents senior management teams in leveraged buyouts.
In addition, Amy counsels clients on plan governance and fiduciary obligations, including investment issues and prohibited transactions. To keep clients in compliance with US federal rules, she helps them identify and correct administration or document failures in accordance with the IRS Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System. She also guides them in analyzing and fixing fiduciary failures under the DOL’s voluntary correction program.
Often when other firms represent their clients in transactions, they call in Amy as a consultant on the employee benefits, employment, and labor issues that arise in those deals. Amy led the firm’s representation in a merger of two national landscape management companies. She and her team advised on employee benefits, labor and employment, immigration, and government contracts matters. That advice included diligence and negotiation of the merger agreement with respect to multiemployer pension plan withdrawal liability issues. The deal closed, and the combined company has more than 20,000 employees, approximately $2 billion in annual revenues, and 140 years of industry experience.
Amy regularly speaks on employee benefits topics at external and co-hosted events and presentations, and in Morgan Lewis–hosted webinars, roundtables, and events. To help organizations committed to education, human rights, the arts, athletics, and low income and homeless people, Amy provides pro bono employee benefits advice and counseling. She also serves as vice chair of the board for Women Against Abuse.
Boston University, 1996, B.A.
Rutgers University School of Law, 1999, J.D.
District of Columbia
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Chambers USA (2019)
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Employee Benefits (ERISA Law), US News/Best Lawyers – Best Law Firms (2019)
Best of the Bar, Tax/ERISA, Philadelphia Business Journal (2018)