John J. D'Amato is a partner and co-founder of the firm. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and has been providing independent counsel in the area of benefits for more than ten years. John provides advice on the design, implementation and administration of welfare benefit plans, fringe benefit plans and qualified and nonqualified pension plans, including defined benefit, profit sharing and 401(k) plans.

As part of that work, John assists employers with maintaining the compliance of benefit plans with applicable federal and state laws, including the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA, HIPAA, FLMA, COBRA, ADEA, and Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act and Family Leave Law. John also litigates benefit claims and breach of fiduciary duty claims, and gives advice to plan fiduciaries on their duties under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

John has special expertise in the area of business transactions. He has served as benefits counsel for buyers and sellers in transactions ranging from $10 million to more than $150 million and involving complex qualified, non-qualified, welfare, and fringe benefit plan issues. Examples of such issues include coordinating continuity of benefits after closing, plan spinoffs, mergers and terminations, and negotiating adjustments to the purchase price in deals on the basis of benefits issues.

Areas of Practice:
• All employee benefits matters
• Tax Code, ERISA, FMLA, COBRA
• HIPAA and the Privacy Rule
• Benefit plan design and compliance
• Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act & Family Leave Law
• Benefits mediation and arbitration

Admitted to Practice:
• Hawaii – 1991
• United States Tax Court
• U.S. District Court, Hawaii District
• All Hawaii State Courts

Affiliations:
• Hawaii State Bar Association
• Rotary Club of Honolulu

Awards and Recognition:
• Best Lawyers in America, 2006

Education:
• Michigan State University
• University of Hawaii, Ph.D. Anthropology
• East-West Center
• Yale Law School

To contact John: jdamato@benefitslawyers.com