Shumaker Strengthens Employee Benefits Team with Addition of Two Groups of Highly Skilled Attorneys

TOLEDO, OH — Shumaker is pleased to announce the addition of two teams of highly skilled employee benefits attorneys, paralegals, and administrative assistants from separate law firms. A total of eight talented professionals join Shumaker to strengthen its capabilities in the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits Service Line. This strategic move reflects Shumaker's commitment to meeting the growing demand for legal services in the employee benefits sector.

"We are excited to welcome this team of attorneys to Shumaker. The demand for employee benefits support for businesses has been steadily rising, especially in light of the pandemic and the subsequent changes in workforce dynamics,” said Jennifer Compton, Chair of the Management Committee at Shumaker. “As employers increasingly seek legal guidance to navigate the ever-evolving regulatory landscape, this strategic acquisition reinforces our commitment to better serve our clients.”

The team of professionals joining Shumaker brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the firm. It includes five new Partners—Amy Court, Scott Crossman, Cindy Davis, Christy Lawrie, and Roger Stelljes—along with Paralegal Benefits Specialist Andrea Cerny and Legal Administrative Assistants Nicole Means and Jen Reyes.

"We are fortunate to add this highly qualified and respected employee benefits team to our firm. Their depth of experience will be a tremendous asset to our clients as we strive to address their challenges and opportunities with creative, aggressive, and efficient solutions,” said Scott Newsom, Shumaker Partner and Benefits Team Leader. “We are committed to providing comprehensive legal services at the highest level of performance. This acquisition further advances our position in the market.”

About the New Partners

Amy Court centers her practice on advising plan trustees and administrators regarding a wide variety of benefit matters, including plan design and amendments, eligibility, enforcement and interpretation of plan provisions, administrative appeals of benefit denials, withdrawal liability, fiduciary responsibility, and prohibited transactions. An experienced courtroom advocate, Amy also represents plan trustees in litigation of varying size in complexity in both state and federal courts at the district and appellate levels, frequently defending them against claims brought by plan participants.

Scott Crossman has more than 35 years of experience in the employee benefits arena, having practiced exclusively in this area of law since his admission to the bar in 1987. He serves as lead counsel to a wide range of multiemployer fringe benefit funds, primarily located in the upper Midwest. Throughout his decades-long practice, Scott has developed a keen understanding of the issues affecting benefit funds and their boards of trustees. This allows him to provide experienced, thoughtful, confident, and consistent guidance to those parties.

Cindy Davis has more than 30 years of legal experience focused on employee benefits, Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), commercial real estate, and general business and transaction matters. Employee benefit plan sponsors, boards of trustees, administrators, and third-party administrators (TPAs) turn to Cindy for her wealth of knowledge related to employee benefit plans, specifically with the considerations and potential challenges unique to Taft-Hartley employee benefit plans. She regularly advises clients regarding employee benefit plan compliance related to ERISA, fiduciary duty and governance, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Internal Revenue Code.

Christy Lawrie focuses her practice on employee benefits, including single- and multi-employer benefit plans. A conscientious and strategic attorney, she is known for her dedication to ensuring that her clients’ benefit plans serve their needs in an efficient and effective manner. Practicing exclusively in employee benefits since the beginning of her legal career, Christy has litigated numerous matters before state and federal courts at both the district and appellate levels. In addition to her benefits practice, she frequently works with the funds, administrators, and service providers to navigate new and evolving cybersecurity regulations and enact measures to respond to ever-changing cyber threats.

Roger Stelljes has 29 years of experience practicing law. He concentrates his practice on ERISA and employee benefits, including qualified retirement and health plans. He’s worked extensively with a wide range of clients across multiple construction industry disciplines, including electrical, painting, wall covering, drywall, heat and frost, plasterers, cabinet makers, sheet metal workers, laborers, iron workers, teamsters, floor coverers, cement masons, and bricklayers, as well as the hotel industry. Roger works daily with clients and their plan professionals to assist them in finding cost-effective solutions to the issues they face in an ever-changing and complex world of employee benefits.