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Gary Blachman is a partner in Ice Miller’s Workplace Solutions Group where he helps companies to minimize their financial and legal risk by developing best practices for employee benefits, executive compensation, corporate governance and compliance policy.
Gary advises clients on corporate benefits issues in mergers and acquisitions, including post-acquisition benefit strategies. He regularly counsels on the design, implementation, and termination of executive incentive compensation programs, compliance with Code Section 409A Rules, and other equity and cash incentive plans. Gary negotiates employment and separation agreements for senior C-Suite executives and regularly provides fiduciary compliance training for retirement committee members. He also advises on Affordable Care Act and HIPAA-related matters, such as health coverage portability, health information privacy, data security and ongoing welfare plan compliance. Gary has extensive experience with IRS and U.S. Department of Labor audits, negotiating settlements and voluntary correction programs.
Prior to entering private practice, Gary served as a consultant and in-house counsel for an independent human resources and employee benefits solutions firm. In this role, he advised internal and external clients regarding federal tax, pension and health and welfare law issues; designed and maintained qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, 401(k) plans, cafeteria plans, stock bonus plans and other executive compensation arrangements and negotiated voluntary compliance matters with the IRS and U.S. Department of Labor.
Gary also previously served as a pension investigator with the U.S. Department of Labor where he investigated prohibited transactions and fiduciary violations. In that role, he interviewed fiduciaries, issued subpoenas, drafted voluntary compliance letters and prepared cases for litigation. Gary conducted civil investigations and financial audits of corporations and banks that sponsor 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) and other qualified pension and welfare plans.
Gary is a contributing editor to the Employee Benefits Plan Review, a Walters Kluwer publication, and also to Plan Consultant magazine, a publication of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries. He has served in local and national leadership positions for the American Retirement Association (ASPPA), including vice-chair of IRS regional conferences, vice-chair of national conferences and chair of general conferences. He previously served as chair of the employee benefits committee of the Cincinnati Bar Association, and president of the Cincinnati chapter of ASPPA, and is the current chair of the IRS Great Lakes TE/GE Council in Chicago.
Gary received his juris doctor from University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. During law school, he held an externship with Judge Alexander White in the Tax and Remedies Division of Cook County Circuit Court, served as vice justice on the Moot Court Honors Board, was a finalist in the Fred F. Herzog Moot Court Competition, and was an  officer of Phi Alpha Delta.
He earned his Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business and Marketing from Baruch College, City University of New York. He received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and English and a Criminology Certificate from Rutgers University.
Gary is licensed to practice law in Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Firm Publications
Published In
Speaking Engagements
  • “Labor and Employment Benefit Plan Guidance,” Ice Miller Webinar, April 23, 2020 (PowerPoint, Q&A
  • “Hot Topics in Employee Benefits,” CLE Event for North Shore General Counsel, 2019
  • “Case Studies: Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System,” ASPAA Annual Conference, 2013
  • “Best Practices for Fiduciary Compliance,” ACI Forum on Employee Benefits Plan, May 2013
  • “Recent ERISA Litigation and the Potential Impact on Your Retirement Plan,” Horan Associates Annual Seminar, 2012
  • “Staying Ahead of the Curve: Retirement Plan Hot Topics,” Thompson Hine LLP Employee Benefits Update, April 2012
  • “Recent DOL Guidance, Getting Your Fiduciary House in Order,” Thompson Hine LLP Employee Benefits Update, March 2011
  • “Recent and Anticipated Health and Welfare Legislation,” Annual Employee Benefit Advisor Summit, 2010
  • “Operational Aspects of Merging Plans,” Annual Forum-National Institute of Pension Administrators, 2010
  • “Health Care Reform,” ACI National Advanced Compliance Forum on Employee Benefits Plans, 2010
  • “My Perfect Retirement Plan Has a Compliance Error – Now What? ASPPA Cincinnati Pension Conference, 2009
  • “Legal and Regulatory Update,” Annual Meeting of Cleveland Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB), 2009
  • “Employee Benefits in Mergers and Acquisitions,” Legal Beat, March 2008
  • “Ask the Experts: Panel of IRS Conference Speakers,” 18th Annual Cincinnati Bar Association Employee Benefits Conference, 2005
  • “IRS Final 401(k) Regulations,” Great Lakes Area IRS TE/GE Council Meeting, 2005
  • “How to Survive a U.S. Department of Labor Audit,” 17th Annual Cincinnati Bar Association Employee Benefits Conference, 2004
  • “The Year in Review – Hot Topics for Retirement and Welfare Plans,” Annual Meeting of Cincinnati/Dayton Chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS), 2003
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