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Shaylor R. Steele Photo

Shaylor R. Steele

Partner
  • T:216.363.4495
  • F:216.363.4588
+ Assistant Contact

"His counsel extends beyond the law and also considers the business impact and implications of potential actions. He is very skillful at negotiating with opposing counsel with both directness and finesse." - Benesch client, Chambers USA 2018 

Shaylor Steele is a nationally recognized expert in qualified retirement plans.  He represents public and private clients with respect to all aspects of their retirement plans.  His approach uniquely blends a traditional ERISA compliance practice with a comprehensive ERISA dispute resolution practice.  His broad dispute resolution experience enables him to differentiate between actual and theoretical risk when he advises clients on their day-to-day compliance issues.  This results in more practical, cost-effective solutions that dovetail with his clients’ business needs.  Conversely, his technical acumen in traditional ERISA compliance allows him to develop robust dispute resolution strategies that lead to better outcomes for his clients.

As a result of his two-pronged approach, Shaylor has a reputation as a pragmatic counselor who solves his clients’ problems quickly, efficiently, and with minimal disruption to their businesses.

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

Fiduciary Counseling

  • Represents dozens of Investment Committees and Administrative Committees on complying with their fiduciary responsibilities under ERISA.
  • Has successfully led clients through hundreds of corrections under amnesty programs maintained by the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Has successfully defended dozens of DOL and IRS investigations of clients’ 401(k) plans, ESOPs, health and welfare plans, and wellness programs on hundreds of unique issues related to alleged fiduciary breaches and prohibited transactions.
  • Counsels clients on running internal claims review processes for medical plans, disability plans, 401(k) plans, pension plans and severance plans.

ERISA Litigation

  • Represents Fortune 500 company with respect to ERISA “denial of benefits” litigations.
  • Successfully represented public company in an ERISA “stock drop” case on a motion to dismiss.
  • Successfully argued, before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, issues related to clawback withdrawal liability following a mass withdrawal.
  • Successfully resolved alleged breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by U.S. Department of Labor against an ESOP-owned company related to the valuation of employer securities – featured in The ESOP Report, published by The ESOP Association.
  • Represented numerous companies in claims brought by multiemployer pension funds for delinquent contributions and withdrawal liability.
  • Successfully represented company in bankruptcy court against claims made by participants for alleged unpaid employer contributions.

ESOP Experience

  • Represented dozens of companies in their transition to becoming partially or wholly owned by an employee stock ownership plan.
  • Represented several ESOP-owned companies in selling stock to private equity funds and terminating the ESOP.
  • Represented lenders in credit facilities for ESOP-owned companies.
  • Represented company that sold a majority stake in its ESOP-owned business to private equity – M&A Advisor 2018 Deal of the Year, Ohio Employee Ownership Center 2018 ESOP Impact Award.
  • Successfully represented ESOP-owned companies in several DOL investigations.
  • Successfully resolved alleged breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by U.S. Department of Labor against an ESOP-owned company related to the valuation of employer securities – featured in The ESOP Report, published by The ESOP Association.
  • Represented several trustees in acquiring stock through employee stock ownership plans.

Withdrawal Liability Experience

  • Represented numerous companies in developing strategies to mitigate withdrawal liability impact.
  • Successfully argued, before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, issues related to clawback withdrawal liability following a mass withdrawal.Mitigated millions of dollars of withdrawal liability through mediation and arbitration proceedings against multiemployer pension funds.
  • Negotiated Section 4204 agreements to avoid withdrawal liability assessments in asset purchases.
  • Counseled clients on controlled group, alter-ego, and successor liability with respect to withdrawal liability.

  • EDUCATION

    • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 2006, J.D.
    • Trinity College, 2002, B.S., Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics
  • BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS, LICENSES, CERTIFICATES

    • Ohio
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
    • Supreme Court of Ohio
  • MEMBERSHIPS, ASSOCIATIONS, OTHER ACTIVITIES

    • American Bar Association
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Association
    • Board Member, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Northern Ohio Chapter
    • Member, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Cleveland Chapter
    • Leadership Circle, United Way of Greater Cleveland
    • Cabinet Member, GeneratioNext (2006-2009)