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Former in-house counsel brings experience and fresh perspective

Experience as in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 company, a master's degree in business, and roles in human resources and international law have provided Shannon Goff Kukulka special insight into complex employee benefits issues. Clients appreciate Shannon's in-depth legal knowledge, broad experience, and ability to develop creative, practical and cost-effective solutions to problems that may otherwise lead to penalties or litigation.

Companies across various industries value Shannon's assistance with:

  • Retirement plans, including pension, 401(k), profit-sharing and nonqualified plans
  • Health and welfare plans, continuation coverage issues and Affordable Care Act Compliance
  • Executive compensation arrangements, change in control and "golden parachute" tax issues, and section 409A compliance
  • Equity-based compensation arrangements, including stock options, restricted stock, and phantom stock
  • Benefit issues in corporate transactions, including M&A, divestitures, financings and restructurings, and 280G analyses
  • Benefit matters arising under securities laws
  • Collectively bargained plans
  • International benefits issues
  • ERISA litigation strategy and government audits

Shannon has spoken and provided training on various topics, including:

  • Healthcare reform laws and compliance/Affordable Care Act
  • Equity incentives/executive compensation
  • Corporate governance practices related to benefits and compensation
  • Fiduciary obligations and audits
  • Electronic compliance/e-strategies
  • Best practices in IRS, DOL and PBGC audits
  • Benefits due diligence and integration considerations in M&A
  • Wellness program compliance, including under HIPAA, the ACA, GINA and ADA
  • International benefits issues

Shannon has also authored several articles on healthcare reform, e-strategies, and wellness programs for publications such as Workspan Magazine, Employee Benefit News, ADVANCE for Long-Term Care Management, and Benefits Magazine. 

Related Experience

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News & Insights

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  • Related Services
  • Education
    • LL.M., New York University, 2003
    • J.D., cum laude, University of South Carolina, 2002
      • Editor-in-Chief - ABA Real Property, Probate & Trust Journal
      • Order of the Wig & Robe
      • Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity
      • John Belton O'Neall American Inn of Court
    • International M.B.A, magna cum laude, University of South Carolina, 2002
    • Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Mexico, International Business Courses, 2001
    • M.A., cum laude, University of Georgia, 1998
    • B.A., magna cum laude, University of South Carolina-Coastal, 1994
  • Bar Admissions
    • Tennessee
    • Illinois
  • Court Admissions
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Tax Court
  • Recognitions
    • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings)
      • Corporate Governance Law, 2023
      • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2013-2023
      • Employment Law - Management, 2023
    • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings), 2023
      • Lawyer of the Year, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
  • Professional Involvement
    • Alumna, Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law
    • Member, Nashville, Tennessee, Illinois and American Bar Associations
    • Member, Society for Human Resource Management
    • Member, Middle Tennessee Employee Benefits Council
    • Member, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
    • Member, Lawyers' Association for Women
    • Past Member, Tennessee Bar Association's Glass Ceiling Initiative
    • Member, Waller Diversity Committee
    • Member and Past Chair, Waller Women's Initiative Committee
  • Community Involvement
    • Past Member, Book'em Board of Directors
    • Past Member, First Steps Board of Directors and Executive Committee
    • Past Member, The Children's House of Nashville Board of Directors
    • Volunteer, Pro Bono; Nashville Adult Literacy Council; Habitat for Humanity; Hands on Nashville; United Way

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