Mark Miller, who joined the firm in 1987, is a partner in the Houston office. He has significant experience in designing all forms of qualified retirement plans and executive compensation arrangements, as well as litigating issues involving these types of plans.
Retirement Plans, Health and Welfare Plans and Executive Compensation. Mark works on hundreds of defined benefit and defined contribution plans, including 401(k), profit sharing, 457(b), 457(f), ESOPs, money purchase pension, nonqualified deferred compensation, stock bonus and 403(b) plans; design and redesign of defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans; merger of retirement plans; operational compliance advice; and all forms of executive compensation and health and welfare plans. He is experienced in resolving various plan operational issues under the IRS Resolution Program, the Closing Agreement Program and the DOL compliance program. He also has significant experience working with various types of government plans and church plans. He also acts as special counsel to compensation committees. Mark has represented more than 100 companies in their retirement plans, health and welfare plans and executive compensation programs.
ERISA Litigation. Mark is co-head of the firm's ERISA Litigation Practice Group. This practice group handles all types of ERISA litigation, including IRS audits, DOL investigations, claims for benefits and claims for breach of fiduciary duty by plan sponsors, plan administrative committees and plan trustees. Mark has recently been involved in ERISA litigation matters involving retiree medical plans, obligations of an employer under a deferred compensation arrangement, claims for pension, health and welfare benefits, obligations of fiduciaries under a 401(k) plan involving employer securities and what constitutes an ERISA plan.
- An employer who was challenged on its ability to charge retirees for medical premiums; arbitration ruled in favor of the employer
- An employer in a former employee's challenge of his pension benefit calculation; case resolved favorably to the employer
- An employer in litigation over a claim for deferred compensation benefits; potential exposure was in excess of $100 million; summary judgment was granted for the employer
- An employer in litigation over former employee's employment contract that provided deferred compensation benefits; case resolved favorably to the employer
- A bank trust company in a section 401(k) employer stock drop case
- Various employers in DOL investigations of pension benefit issues, 401(k) administrative issues, COBRA issues, HIPPA issues and welfare plan compliance
- A director in a section 401(k) employer stock drop case; court granted director's motion to dismiss
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- Houston Bar Association
- Washington State Bar Association
- "Lawyer of the Year" in Litigation/ERISA, Best Lawyers (2012 - 2013)
- "National Registry of Who's Who in America," Employee Benefits, Best Lawyers in America
- "Texas Super Lawyer," Employee Benefits, Employee Benefits/ERISA, Thomson Reuters (2003, 2004, 2007 - 2012)
- "Texas Top Rated Lawyer," LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell (2012 - 2013)
- "One of the best lawyers in Houston for employee benefits," Inside Houston magazine (2002)
- "New Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Laws," Fulbright & Jaworski memorandum, February 1, 2005
- Co-author, "FASB Mandates Stock Option Expensing," Fulbright & Jaworski Client Alert, December 15, 2004
Mark is a frequent speaker on ERISA topics such as IRS audits, DOL investigations, ERISA claim procedures and ERISA litigation matters. Some of his more notable speeches are:
- The Latest Word on the Use of Independent Contractors: Tax, ERISA, and Labor and Employment Law Issues, Houston, May 2010
- ERISA Governance Issues, Houston, March 2010
- Benefits 101: An Overview of ERISA Issues Facing Employers Today, Austin, May 2009
- "New Deferred Compensation Rules: Review of Just Issued IRS Guidance," Fulbright & Jaworski teleconference, December 22, 2004
- "Advising Clients in Today's Environment," Southwest Benefits Association, Dallas, November 2004
- "IRS Plan Administration Skills," Southwest Benefits Association, Houston, February 2003
- "ERISA: Are You Playing by the Rules?" Fulbright & Jaworski seminar, Houston, February 2002
1987 - LL.M., New York University School of Law
1986 - J.D., University of Notre Dame Law School
1983 - B.A., cum laude, Washington State University
Mark was admitted to practice law in 1986 in Washington State and in 1987 in Texas.
When not spending his free time participating in activities with his family, Mark enjoys such outdoor activities as hunting, fishing, running and mountain climbing. Now that he has scaled Mount Rainier in the state of Washington, he has his sights set on the summit of Mount McKinley in Alaska.
- Mt. Carmel High School Assistant Basketball Coach (2004)