In our standard fiduciary services engagement ERISA Fiduciary Administrators LLC (“EFA”) is engaged to act as legal counsel to the plan’s “Named Fiduciary.” The plan sponsor’s in-house legal staff, or its outside counsel, may include ERISA attorneys who frequently counsel the management team regarding the plan. By and large, these attorneys represent the plan sponsor. Communicating through the plan sponsor’s board and management team, they have professional duties, determined under their particular state’s business and professions code and rules of professional ethics, that run to the corporate shareholders.
EFA views the plan’s “Named Fiduciary” as a separate entity, deserving of its own legal representation. This is not to suggest that the interests of the plan and the corporation are in any way adversarial. But, they are not necessarily completely congruent in all situations and certain conflicts of interest may arise that interfere with corporate counsel’s ability to advise the Named Fiduciary..
Even if the plan sponsor is not interested in engaging EFA to act in a fiduciary capacity, or to take on one or more non-fiduciary consulting projects, Philip J. Koehler, Esq., EFA’s CEO, is available for the exclusive engagement as the legal counsel to the plan’s “Named Fiduciary.”