Mr Jake Downing > Seyfarth Shaw LLP > Chicago, United States > Lawyer Profile

Seyfarth Shaw LLP
SUITE 8000
CHICAGO, IL 60606 - 6448
United States
Jake Downing photo

Work Department

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation; International Employee Benefits; Defined Contribution Plans


Co-Chair, Defined Contribution Plans Practice Group


Mr. Downing advises employers on a broad range of employee benefit matters. Mr. Downing has experience counseling clients on qualified and nonqualified retirement and welfare plan matters regarding plan design and administration, fiduciary responsibility, claims procedures, disclosure requirements, and general ERISA compliance.

He has assisted clients in drafting benefit plans and amendments including defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans, executive employment agreements, equity incentive plans, directors compensation plans, and health and welfare plans. He has also reviewed administrative service agreements with third-party providers to determine whether such agreements adequately represent the client’s best interests.

He has conducted compliance audits on behalf of clients in order to proactively assess any potential liabilities, and he has experience representing clients before the IRS and U.S. Department of Labor. Such experience includes working with these agencies to correct: (1) tax qualification errors, (2) Code Section 409A errors, (3) the improper withholding and remittance of FICA taxes on non-qualified deferred compensation, and (4) breaches of fiduciary duty.

In addition, Mr. Downing has particular expertise in advising clients on the international tax and benefits issues arising from a mobile and multinational workforce.


American Bar Association; Loyola University Chicago School of Law Alumni Association; University of Minnesota Alumni Association (Chicago Chapter)


J.D., Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, magna cum laude (2006); Tax Certificate, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law (2006); B.A., University of Minnesota (2001)

Lawyer Rankings

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

(Next Generation Partners)

Jake DowningSeyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s benefits practice has a sizeable portfolio of healthcare clients – including non-profit entities – for which New York-based defined contribution expert Richard Schwartz advises on 403(b) retirement plan integrations and restructurings, plan governance, fiduciary rule guidance, and IRS or DOL audits. Private and publicly-listed companies across the breadth of sectors approach practice head Diane Dygert, New York-based Howard Pianko, senior counsel Joy Sellstrom, and associates Chelsea McCue and Benjamin Conley for health and welfare plan design, Affordable Care Act or HIPAA compliance, 401(k) plan administration, fiduciary risk training and plan terminations. Jon Karelitz brings experience on large-scale pension de-risking projects, while Jake Downing leads on executive compensation issues, non-qualified retirement plans and ESOP negotiations. Unless otherwise stated, the team is based in Chicago.