Richard Schwartz > Seyfarth Shaw LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

Seyfarth Shaw LLP
NEW YORK, NY 10018-1405
United States

Work Department

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation




Richard works with clients to manage and maintain their benefit and compensation programs to reach the most elegant solutions possible—ones which are practical, efficient, and consistent with the clients’ corporate culture.

Having more than three decades of experience in the employee benefits and executive compensation areas gives Richard a perspective that only time can provide. He has worked with clients in a broad spectrum of industries, including financial, insurance, retail clothing and high-end jewelry, manufacturing, shipping, beer and spirits manufacturing, and distribution and hospitality. A particular area of focus for Richard is tax-exempt organizations, such as large hospital and medical systems, and higher education. In the past two decades, there has been a significant consolidation of the hospital industry. This requires experience determining the benefit implication of an acquisition or merger, identifying areas of exposure or risk, integrating benefit programs of the parties to the merger or other transaction, executive retention and separation, and eliminating redundancies among the parties’ benefit programs.

Having a great amount of experience over such a broad range of industries gives Richard the ability to understand not only the matters being discussed, but also the context of the clients’ particular industries and business. This provides a value to his clients beyond a mere knowledge of the legal concepts in play. Richard collaborates with clients as if he’s part of their in-house human resources or legal teams, getting to know them both professionally and personally. He understands their business capabilities and limitations, and provides practical, pragmatic advice they can feasibly implement.


  • American Bar Association
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Employee Benefits Committee
  • New York State Bar Association


  • LLM, New York University School of Law
  • JD, Boston University School of Law
  • BA, Queens College, City University of New York

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design

Commended for its ‘great knowledge’ in a broad range of employee benefits and executive compensation matters, Seyfarth Shaw LLP acts for clients across the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, insurance and financial services sectors. In the firm’s Chicago office, practice leader Diane Dygert has extensive experience advising on health and welfare plans, while Jonathan Karelitz ‘gives fantastic and practical advice’ to clients on pension de-risking matters. Also in Chicago, Jennifer Kraft focuses on qualified retirement and welfare plans, and Seattle-based Liz Deckman handles all aspects of tax-qualified retirement plans and trusts, including section 401(k), profit sharing and defined benefit plans. In New York, Richard Schwartz advises healthcare-sector clients on deferred and executive compensation arrangements, corrections under the IRS and DOL programs, as well as fiduciary issues, while Howard Pianko focuses on ERISA plan governance matters.

United States > Tax > Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations)

The tax-exempt practice at Seyfarth Shaw LLP is housed in Los Angeles and has extensive transactional tax expertise and experience in regulatory compliance for higher education and healthcare sector clients. Jointly managed by Ofer Lion and experienced practitioner Douglas Mancino, the team handles non-profit formation, international operations and lobbying and political activity for large public charities. It can also leverage its firm wide litigation offering to handle tax-related disputes. Senior counsel Christian Canas advises on exempt status formation and operational matters whilst Richard Schwartz in New York is the contact for hospitals on employee benefits, having over three decades of experience in this area. Lisa Schaures joined the team in Seattle from Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt in September 2021 and advises non-profits on corporate tax issues.