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Edmund Emerson III

Edmund Emerson III

Phone: 404.504.7677
Fax: 404.365.9532
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Edmund (Ed) Emerson III serves as Chair of the firm’s Employment and Employee Benefits Practice Groups and practices primarily in the area of employee benefits and executive compensation. Ed also serves on the firm's Executive and Management Committees. Ed provides strategic guidance to employers to help them manage their most pressing employee benefits and executive compensation challenges, including issues arising in connection with corporate mergers and acquisitions, plan mergers, and plan terminations. Clients frequently turn to Ed to help them correct plan document failures, operational errors, and other administrative issues under applicable self-correction and voluntary correction programs. Ed also assists clients with their fiduciary obligations under ERISA and frequently provides fiduciary training programs.

Ed frequently represents governmental employers and committees overseeing governmental plans and has extensive experience addressing the specialized needs of governmental plans, including compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.  Ed also represents college savings and ABLE plans formed pursuant to Sections 529 and 529A of the Internal Revenue Code, regularly advising such plans on regulatory compliance issues, including compliance with municipal securities laws.

Representative Experience

  • Conduct substantive plan document and operational compliance reviews for large pension plans and 401(k) plans
  • Advise public and private companies on "pension de-risking" transactions
  • Represented public and private companies on spinoffs and terminations of pension plans, including the accompanying group annuity purchases
  • Advise large employers on fiduciary governance for their benefit plans, including restructuring the fiduciary committees that oversee their benefit plans to ensure compliance and reduce risk
  • Advise clients regarding benefit and tax issues related to non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements, equity-based compensation plans, and separation arrangements
  • Negotiate compensation packages and employment agreements for senior executive officers
  • Advise employers on compliance with Affordable Care Act, including negotiations with the IRS on reporting penalties
  • Advise large employers on restructuring of retiree medical benefits to reduce costs and liabilities
  • Assist public and private companies with employee benefit matters related to mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions, including diligence, negotiation and integration


  • Selected, Best Lawyers, Employee Benefits (ERISA), 2024
  • Selected, Chambers USA, Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation, 2020 - 2024


  • Member, Georgia Association of Pension Plan Trustees (GAPPT)
  • Member, American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)
  • Member, National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA)
  • Member, Southeast Benefits Education Network (SBEN)
  • Member, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB)

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