Jennifer M. Gardner

Bar/Court Admissions
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 2008
  • B.S.B.A., magna cum laude, Accounting, The Ohio State University

Jennifer focuses on general employee benefit and executive compensation matters. Her areas of practice include executive compensation arrangements (including 409A and 457(f) plans and agreements), qualified and non-qualified retirement plans (including 401(k), pension, 403(b), government, and church plans), and health and welfare plans and arrangements.

Her background as an accountant and her time spent working in the manufacturing and public sectors give her added perspective on benefits and compensation issues facing her clients.

Jennifer’s focus is on providing compliance advice and assistance to both for-profit and nonprofit clients on an ongoing basis. She regularly assists a variety of clients with employee benefit and executive compensation issues, including many national and international employers, large and small closely held companies, hospitals and other medical-service providers, churches, and state and local government entities.

A significant portion of Jennifer’s practice is focused on providing employee benefits and executive compensation advice on the Firm’s M&A, private equity and mezzanine finance matters.

Jennifer has advised clients on a wide variety of ERISA and federal tax matters regarding employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements. Her focus has been on plan documentation, administrative compliance and other ongoing ERISA and federal tax design and compliance issues.

She has obtained compliance statements and favorable determinations for clients from both the IRS and the DOL. She also regularly advises clients regarding plan design and implementation, error correction, administration and fiduciary compliance matters.

Jennifer currently serves as the Co-chair of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group and is a member of the Cohen & Grigsby Hiring Committee. She also serves as a board member and as treasurer for Christian Legal Aid of Pittsburgh, a nonprofit legal services provider.

  • Presenter, C&G Academy, “Controlled Groups: Hidden Pitfalls of Corporate Formation and Reorganization,” May 2017
  • Presenter, Schneider Downs 2017 Employee Benefits Forum, “Prepare Now – Avoiding Benefit Plan Pitfalls in Corporate Transactions,” March 2017
  • Presenter, C&G Academy, “Ten Years After Section 409 A: Deferred Compensation Issues, Strategies, and Looming IRS Audits,” November 2014
  • Presenter, Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership, “Affordable Care Act: Highlights and Recent Developments,” November 2013
  • Presenter, “Health Care Reform: The Time is NOW,” March 2013
  • Presenter, Cohen & Grigsby Labor & Employment Seminar, “Top Ten Tips on the Toughest Benefits Topics,” May 2012
  • Benefits Practitioners’ Strategy Guide, “What, Me, Worry? The Top Ten Consequences of Careless 401(k) Compliance,” March 2012
  • Presenter, Cohen & Grigsby Labor & Employment Seminar, “What People Want to Know About Benefits,” March 2010
  • C&G Academy Presentation, “Employee Benefit Issues in M&A Transactions,” November 2009