During the first 8 years of practicing law, Bym was an associate at three regional law firms having between 60 and 110 attorneys. While at the third firm, he was responsible for developing an employee benefits practice group where none existed before.
Bym’s practice covers all aspects of employee benefits law, including correcting tax-qualification and defects and fiduciary breaches through IRS and DOL correction programs; advising regarding compliance, operation, amendment, and termination of qualified retirement plans; designing and drafting nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements and compensation arrangements designed to be exempt from Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code; negotiation of employee benefits issues in mergers and acquisitions, including leveraged ESOP transactions and their financing; advising professional employer organizations (PEOs) regarding their employee benefit plans; and litigation of employee benefit issues, including benefit disputes, alleged fiduciary breaches, retirement plans of bankrupt employers, and welfare plan subrogation claims.
He has spoken on various employee benefit topics at seminars sponsored by Lorman Education Services; the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants; Middle Tennessee Employee Benefits Council (Nashville); Middle Tennessee Association of Health Underwriters International Society (Nashville); International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, Greater Nashville Chapter; Tennessee Valley Employee Benefits Council (Knoxville), International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, Knoxville Chapter; and the Highlands Chapter of Certified Public Accountants (Abingdon, Virginia).
Within the 2 years following graduation from law school, acted as lead lenders’ ERISA counsel in over $200 million worth of leveraged ESOP transactions that qualified for partial tax-exempt interest under former section 133 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Established participating provider network for a closely-held employer’s self-insured health plan, negotiating provider contracts with hospitals and physicians.
Engaged as expert witness in cases involving attorney malpractice in the preparation of qualified domestic relations orders, division of a defined benefit pension at divorce pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order, and inclusion of non-ERISA retirement plan assets in participants’ bankruptcy estates.
Represented employers regarding disclosure of employee benefit plan issues in connection with initial public offerings and private placements of securities.
Negotiated all employee benefits aspects of the creation of a joint venture between a Mexico-based employer and a Fortune 100 employer and of the eventual buy-out of the Fortune 100 employer’s interest.
Negotiated extremely favorable settlement for employer in class action litigation, prior to certification of class, in which plan participants alleged breach of fiduciary duty for allowing investment in employer securities, where employer’s publicly-traded stock lost nearly one-third of its value over a 6 month period.
Successfully litigated the non-existence of punitive and compensatory damages under ERISA from federal district court, through the federal appeals court, and to the United States Supreme Court to the petition for certiorari stage, winning at every step.
Served as national outside ERISA counsel for a publicly-traded corporation, which involved litigating health and long-term disability benefits claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and multiemployer plan withdrawal liability throughout the United States; negotiating employee benefits issues in collective bargaining agreements; and representing the employer in multiemployer pension and health plan audits.
Investigated the administration of a city’s early retirement incentive program and advised municipality’s board of commissioners regarding the outcome of the investigation.
Represented numerous employers, including a nonprofit hospital network, in connection with correction of administrative and plan document defects through the Internal Revenue Service’s employee plans correction resolution system (EPCRS).
Represented various employers in connection with IRS employee plan audits, applications for IRS determination letters and private letter rulings related to qualified retirement plans, and an application for waiver of funding standard for a money purchase plan.
Represented 401(k) plans in connection with field audits, applications for individual prohibited transaction exemptions and applications for correction under the voluntary fiduciary correction program (VFCP) before the U.S. Department of Labor.
Successfully defended an action by a Bankruptcy Trustee seeking to claw back an employer’s 401(k) plan’s assets into the bankruptcy estate of a defunct retirement plan third party administrator accused of running a Ponzi scheme.
American Bar Association, Tax Section
Member, Subcommittee on Employee Benefits
Middle Tennessee Employee Benefits Council
Member, Board of Directors
Tennessee Valley Employee Benefits Council
The Best Lawyers in America® (Employee Benefits) since 1998
Mid-South Super Lawyers® (Employee Benefits/ERISA) since 2008.
“Nashville’s Best Lawyers,” 2010.
Brentwood United Methodist Church
Member, Finance Committee
Brentwood United Methodist Church Foundation
Past Chair, Past Secretary
BERRY & TUDOR, P.C.
A Professional Corporation
5123 Virginia Way, Suite B-23
Brentwood, Tennessee 37027
Tel: (615) 726-1000
Fax: (615) 370-0077
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.S., Business Administration, 1981
Wake Forest University School of Law
Babcock Graduate School of Management
Nashville Bar Association
American Bar Association
United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, 1987
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1994
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, 1996
United States Supreme Court, 1997
United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, 2002