Overview
John Wirtshafter
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EMAIL jwirtshafter@mcdonaldhopkins.com

PHONE 216.348.5833

WATCH: Meet John Wirtshafter

Experience

John has extensive experience assisting mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies with employee benefits and executive compensation issues and opportunities, including benefits issues arising in mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and bankruptcies, and the design and implementation of qualified and non-qualified retirement and benefits programs including ESOPs, defined benefit and defined contribution plans, cash balance programs, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, stock option and other equity participation programs, VEBAs and SERPs. John regularly consults with employers contributing to multiemployer pension and welfare plans with issues relating to transactions, bankruptcies, controlled group liability, and strategic planning for reducing and combating claims made for withdrawal liability for partial or complete withdrawals.

For the past four years, John was the national President of one of the largest U.S. employee benefits professional organizations, the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network.  John frequently speaks on various employee benefits topics and has been quoted and interviewed in numerous magazines and newspapers regionally and nationally.

John earned his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1984. He received a B.S., cum laude, from Indiana University in 1981.

Credentials

Admissions - State

  • Ohio

Education

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Indiana University

Honors and Awards

  • Named one of the Best Lawyers in America (2015 - 2018)
  • Named in Ohio Super Lawyers four times 
  • Recipient of the Norman J. Danzig Memorial Award for Leadership

Professional Membership

  • WEB – The Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (Immediate Past National President, Former President of the Cleveland Chapter)
  • Metropolitan Bar Association (Past Chairman of the Business and Tax Committee)
  • Advisory Board, Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute (2010-2011)
  • Cleveland Society of Human Resource Management (Cleveland SHRM)
    • Co-Chairman, Cleveland Total Rewards Association (Founding Member and Steering Committee)

Public Service and Volunteerism

  • YWCA of Cleveland (Secretary, Board of Directors)
  • The Old Stone Education Center (Former Board of Directors and Executive Committee)
  • Jewish Family Service Association (Vice Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee)
  • American Technion Society (Former Board Member, Cleveland Chapter)
  • Detroit Mercy Law School (Former Dean's Advisory Committee)
  • Jewish Federation of Cleveland (Former Retirement Committee and Chairman of the 403(b) Committee)
  • The Gathering Place (Board of Directors)
Insights

External Publications

  • "Don't forget the human side of human capital," Crain’s Cleveland Business, Vol 36, No. 3, January 19-25, 2015
  • "What Is 'Investment Plus'? Understanding a Private Equity Fund's Liability for a Portfolio Company's Pension Shortfall," Willamette Management Associates Insights, Winter 2014
  • "Healthcare Flexible Savings Accounts: 'Use-It-Or-Lose-It' Rule Modified," RBMA Monthly Legal Update Digest December 2013
  • "You Better Get Your Assets Moving: Are Participant Contributions Being Contributed to Your Plan on a Timely Basis?" RBMA Monthly Legal Update Digest July 2012
  • "Update on being a Fiduciary" Cleveland Chapter of SHRM May 2012
  • "Four lessons private companies can learn from public companies about compensating their executives," Smart Business Magazine, March 2012
  • "Are defined benefit plans going the way of the dinosaurs or simply evolving?" RBMA Monthly Legal Update Digest February 2012
  • "Beware of Potential Liabilities of Multiemployer Pension Plans," International Lawyers Network Today, January 2012
  • "Tough Economy Creates Tough Decisions for Pension Plans," RBMA Monthly Legal Update Digest December 2011
  • "How Health Care Reform will impact Employees" Cleveland Smart Business Magazine, September 2010
Events

Speaking engagements

  • "Preparing for 2016 Proxy Season and Beyond," Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals meeting, December 3, 2015
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