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Education
  • West Virginia University College of Law, J.D., 1983, with honors, class rank 9/154; Order of the Coif; Phi Kappa Phi; West Virginia Law Review; Moot Court Best Brief Award
  • Marshall University, B.B.A. in Accounting, 1980; Delta Kappa; Omicron Delta Epsilon; President, Intercollegiate Debate Team
Bar Admissions
  • Louisiana, 1983
  • West Virginia, 1983
professionalsBio
Susan Chambers
Partner
201 St. Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70170-5100
504.582.8394 tel
504.589.8394 fax

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Susan Chambers is a partner in the Tax & Estates Practice Group and is based in the firm's New Orleans office. She concentrates her practice on the regulatory, legal and business issues that arise in the drafting, implementation and administration of qualified retirement plans, executive compensation, and employee health and welfare plans. Ms. Chambers has been practicing tax law for more than 20 years and is certified as a Tax Specialist by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization.

In the area of qualified retirement plans and executive compensation, Ms. Chambers works with clients to address tax and fiduciary issues involved in cash balance plans, profit-sharing plans, money purchase plans, employee stock ownership plans ("ESOPs") and pension plans, as well as executive deferred compensation plans subject to IRS Code Section 409A. She has in-depth knowledge of Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") fiduciary responsibilities, plan operations and administrative issues, plan audits, IRS program for correcting plan qualification defects, and Department of Labor ("DOL") voluntary fiduciary correction program. She has extensive experience in the drafting of plans, summary plan descriptions, associated resolutions and consents, and other required notices and disclosures to employees.

Ms. Chambers advises clients on flexible benefit (cafeteria) plans, health plans, health savings accounts ("HSAs"), multiemployer welfare arrangements ("MEWAs"), and the tax aspects of life, disability and health insurance.

Ms. Chambers has direct experience with the many federal and state laws that affect health plans, including the impact of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA" or "ACA") healthcare reform on employer-sponsored group health plans. She counsels clients on related tax issues, such as the health insurance premium tax credit, the health insurance provider fee, as well as matters involving self-compliance audits, claims administration, employer responsibility rules, information reporting requirements, minimum value and affordability rules, essential health benefits and medical loss rebates. She regularly reviews health plan summaries of benefits and coverage, conducts meetings with and prepares memos for group health plan administration committees, helping them remain informed about emerging issues and evolving timelines.

Ms. Chambers counsels employers and providers on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") coverage and privacy compliance, negotiates business associate agreements, and provides training to human resources staff and supervisors regarding the confidentiality of employee health information, privacy notices and exceptions to HIPAA.

Ms. Chambers also advises executives and HR staff on Medicare/Medigap issues, helping them respond to employee questions on enrollment and supplemental coverage, and providing information to senior executives. She counsels clients on the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act ("COBRA") and other welfare plan-related issues, and reviews annual Form 5500 and other tax filings.

On behalf of buyers, sellers and other parties to corporate transactions, Ms. Chambers conducts due diligence reviews of benefit and retirement plans, negotiates benefit issues, and drafts a variety of representations and covenants.

Noteworthy

  • Mentioned in The American Lawyer's "Big Deals" section in February 2007 as part of Jones Walker's team that represented Freeport-McMoRan Inc. in its $25.9-billion acquisition of Phelps Dodge Corporation.
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018 (Copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc.) in the area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law and Tax Law (listed annually since 2009)
  • Named the Best Lawyers'® 2014 New Orleans Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recipient of the Louisiana Chapter of the International Association, Personnel in Employment Society's Group Citation Award (2000)
  • Listed in the 2017 edition of Louisiana Super Lawyers in the area of Employee Benefits (listed annually since 2016) 

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Presentations

  • "Department of Labor Project on Defined Contribution Plan Fees", June 9, 2008
  • "Changes in Qualified Defined Contributions Plans Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006", April 2, 2007
  • "Current Developments in Deferred Cooperation", April 24, 2006
  • "Congress Changes the Rules on Deferred Compensation", December 13, 2004
  • "Final COBRA Regulations", September 21, 2004
  • "Taking the Mystery Out of the HIPAA Medical Privacy Rules for Employers and Group Health Plans", July 11, 2003, HIPAA Seminar, Sponsored by Jones Walker and The Sellers Group, LLC

Memberships

  • American Bar Association (Member, Sections of Employee Benefits and Taxation)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 
  • Association of Employee Benefit Planners of Louisiana (Board Member, Secretary, 2003–2006)
  • Board-Certified Tax Specialist as Certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization
  • Louisiana State Bar Association (Member, Section of Taxation)
  • Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Certified Public Accountant (inactive status)