Lisa Tavares, co-chair of Venable's Business Division, advises clients on Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and tax requirements applicable to retirement plans and non-qualified arrangements, health and welfare benefits, and fringe benefit arrangements. Lisa represents governmental employers on Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and other benefit plan issues related to governmental plans. She regularly assists with government correction programs, such as the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), the Department of Labor (DOL) Voluntary Compliance Program (VCP), and the Voluntary Closing Agreement Program. Lisa also navigates issues related to mergers and acquisitions, including due diligence, plan mergers, terminations, transition planning, and employee relations.
Lisa is experienced in negotiating service provider contracts and governance issues. She also has extensive regulatory experience in representing clients on compliance issues with the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor (DOL), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). She has been involved in numerous IRS and DOL audits at all levels.
Lisa joined Venable after five years as an attorney with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, National Office, where she concentrated on qualified plan issues under examination and in litigation. Her responsibilities included advising the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, IRS appeals officers, and IRS agents. She worked extensively on litigation regarding plan disqualification, partial termination, prohibited transactions, and worker classification issues. Lisa also has a background as an underwriter for directors and officers liability and ERISA fiduciary liability insurance.
Lisa is a former chair of the Subcommittee on Self-Correction, Determination Letters and Other Administrative Practices of the ABA Tax Section, Employee Benefits Committee, in which she interfaced directly with IRS and DOL officials on issues related to retirement plan administration, regulatory compliance, and government enforcement initiatives.