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In-House Legal Counsel

IPAT Industry Pension Fund

in Hanover MD

IPAT Industry Pension Fund logo

The International Painters and Allied Trades Industry Pension Plan is a defined benefit pension fund. We are seeking an attorney with a minimum of 6+ years' experience to serve as the plan's in-house counsel. 

Qualified applicants will have a strong working knowledge of the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA as it pertains to employee benefit plans and programs, and DOL laws and regulations. Experience working on matters of organizational governance, particularly trust governance, and with a Board of Trustees is essential. Strong Communication and negotiation skills are required.


The in-house counsel will be responsible for leading strategic and tactical legal initiatives and providing senior management and trustees with effective advice and support in all aspects of governance, compliance, and administration of a Taft Hartley multi-employer defined benefit pension fund. The in-house counsel will play an active role in the review of statements of work and negotiation of commercial services agreements. The in-house counsel will work together with the Fund’s Administrator and support personnel, and manage and oversee outside counsel. The in-house counsel will also manage employment issues and benefits litigation. The position calls for high energy and enthusiastic attorney with prior experience in the area of defined benefit pension funds who is interested in working on routine and challenging matters. Qualified candidates should appreciate and like diversity in their daily work and be comfortable working on a variety of projects and issues. Qualified candidates should also be comfortable in a sometimes fast-paced, demanding environment.


  • Participates in the definition and development of policies, procedures and programs and provides continuing counsel and guidance on legal matters and on legal implications of all matters
  • Judges the merits of court cases filed against the fund, works with the Trustees, Administrator and key management staff to define a strategic defense and recommends settlements of disputes where warranted and managing outside counsel for cases in litigation.
  • In partnership with the Administrator, assumes responsibility for ensuring that the Fund is administered in compliance with applicable IRS, DOL, et al. laws and regulations.
  • Structures and manages the fund’s internal legal functions and staff.
  • Oversees the selection, retention, management and evaluation of all outside counsel.
  • Provides counsel in the design and implementation of plan features.
  • Provides counsel with the application of and compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act as pertains to retirement and other employee benefit plans, programs and arrangements.
  • Responsible for the drafting, amending, updating, and maintaining of all governing documents including the Plan Document, Trust Document, Summary Plan Description, Summary of Material Modifications, etc.
  • Negotiates commercial agreements relating to fund administration.
  • Manages responses to agency (e.g., IRS, DOL) inquiries regarding plan operations and interfaces with agencies to assist in resolution of conflicts regarding plan operation.
  • Reviews and revises QDRO procedures, assists in administration of procedures and evaluation of proposed DROs submitted for qualification.
  • Provides advice and handles other HR and labor related matters, as needed.
  • Maintains and supports a culture of legal compliance.
  • Participates in industry advocacy groups and legislative efforts as requested by the Trustees or the Administrator.
  • In partnership with senior management, monitors fund professionals and manages vendor contracts and relationship including investment professionals.
  • In partnership with the Administrator, monitors and proposes changes as necessary to cost sharing arrangements among all International Painters and Allied Trades Benefit Funds.


  • Strong working knowledge of the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA as pertains to employee benefit plans and programs.
  • Working knowledge of US labor and employment laws and benefit plan litigation process.
  • Initiative, integrity, resilience, and ability to manage multiple projects at the same time.
  • Strong communication and negotiation skills.
  • Ability to present information to Senior Management and Trustees timely, clearly and concisely.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Superior organizational ability and time management skills.
  • Ability to work independently and in a cross-functional team environment.
  • Collaborative with strong ability to build relationships.
  • Experience working on matters of organizational governance, particularly trust governance, and with a Board of Trustees.
  • Ability to be discrete and maintain confidentiality.
  • Familiarity with insurance applications and maintenance of insurance coverages.
  • Working knowledge of federal and state tax compliance.
  • Experience with investment management and tracking of passive and actively managed investments, including real estate, hedge funds, and other alternative investments.


  • Governance and compliance focus
  • Collaboration Skills
  • Communication Proficiency
  • Leadership
  • Problem Solving/Analysis


  • Law degree from an accredited law school
  • Admitted to the bar in Maryland or eligible to waive in
  • Minimum of six years' experience as an ERISA attorney.
  • Experience working in a defined benefit pension fund office is highly desired.
  • Experience managing other attorneys and supervising support staff with cost-effective management of outside legal resources.

COMPENSATION LEVEL:  Competitive salary and benefits package provided.      

NOTE:  This job description indicates the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position.  It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all tasks, duties, and qualifications of the employee assigned to this position. The employee may perform other related duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time to meet the ongoing needs of the organization. 

How to Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a letter of interest and resume to lhand@iupat.org

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