About

Cooperative, Creative, Proactive, Professional, Relationship-Driven

About

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.

Meet Our Team

Anne Tyler Hall – Owner and Principal Attorney

Prior to forming HBL, Anne Tyler practiced ERISA and Benefits law with Alston & Bird, LLP and King & Spalding, LLP, two of Atlanta’s largest law firms.


Anne Tyler Hall is named a 2017 and 2018 Super Lawyers Rising Star, selected through peer nominations, professional achievement, evaluations, and independent research. Anne Tyler also maintains a Martindale Hubbell rating of Preeminent, representing the highest achievement of professional excellence based upon client and peer review.


When not counseling clients on fiduciary matters, healthcare reform, executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, and retirement plan legal issues, Anne Tyler enjoys running 5K races and cycling with her husband and spending quality time with her daughter.


EDUCATION

  • Master of Laws in Taxation, with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center
  • Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law
  • Master of Science in International Development from the University of Bath
  • Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics, magna cum laude, from Birmingham-Southern College

 

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Led negotiation of a reduction of more than 80 percent of the original 401(k) retirement plan penalty assessment by the Department of Labor for a multinational telecommunication company.
  • Drafted and implemented comprehensive deferred compensation program for global architecture firm based in Atlanta.
  • Negotiated settlement with IRS to address six-figure health plan design legal compliance issue on behalf of national eyewear company.
  • Reviewed purchase agreement in stock transaction and advised parent company of its ERISA obligations with respect to providing long-term disability benefits to a legal employee of a recently-acquired subsidiary for multinational irrigation company.


ADMITTED TO PRACTICE
Georgia, 2008
Alabama, 2006
United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia

Leah Singleton – Director of Legal Operations

Leah is formerly counsel at Alston & Bird LLP’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation 

Practice Group. Prior to that, Leah practiced employee benefits at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Troutman Sanders LLP. She has practiced in employee benefits for over 15 years and uses a practical and business-focused approach to advise her clients on complex employee benefits matters, drawing on prior experience both as a compliance consultant at a large human resources consulting firm and a former small business owner herself. Leah focuses her practice on advising corporate, not-for-profit, governmental, and individual clients in all matters relating to employee benefit plans and executive compensation at every phase, from plan design and implementation to plan termination, including ongoing compliance with applicable laws such as ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

EDUCATION

  • J.D., Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, University of West Georgia

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Provides practical business advice to clients on the design, implementation, and operation of defined benefit, defined contribution, profit-sharing cash balance, ESOP, 401(k), 403(b), 457, and nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
  • Advises on pension plan funding, withdrawal issues for multiemployer plans, and other plan compliance issues triggered by business reorganizations, closings, bankruptcy, and reductions-in-force.
  • Advises clients on benefit plan compliance issues, including submissions to the Internal Revenue Service regarding a variety of operational and plan document failures and submissions to the Department of Labor for fiduciary compliance matters and delinquent Form 5500 filings.
  • Advises public and private companies in executive compensation issues under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, including performance pay awards, change-in-control agreements, severance plans, equity incentive plans, and employment agreements.
  • Assists employers with health and welfare plan compliance, including compliance under the Affordable Care Act, ERISA wrap plans, HIPAA privacy and security requirements, and other federal and state law requirements.
  • Counsels on drafting and compliance issues in health plans, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, cafeteria plans, wrap plans, and other wellness plans.
  • Advises both buyers and sellers on benefit issues in numerous corporate transactions involving mergers, stock purchases, asset purchases, and business acquisitions, including how the benefits are impacted through plan mergers, plan consolidations, and plan asset transfers.
  • Advises on ESOPs in all aspects from designing, implementation, operations, and termination.

PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS

  • Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL)
  • Women in Pensions Network
  • Former board member of the Boys & Girls Club of West Georgia Pike County
  • Former chair of the Achievement in Corporate Excellence Awards of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Professionals

ADMITTED TO PRACTICE

  • Georgia, 2002
  • All state courts in Georgia
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Tax Court

Deborah Andrews – Senior Compliance Counsel

Deborah’s practice encompasses a broad range of complex tax matters. She is a Certified Public Accountant certified to practice in North Carolina and regularly advises individuals, businesses, and tax-exempt entities on various issues related to transactional matters, tax planning, executive compensation, employee benefits, and tax reporting. In addition, Deborah represents clients in handling tax controversies with federal and state taxing authorities. She has lectured and written articles on several topics such as deferred compensation, choice of entity, and joint ventures. Prior to practicing law, she worked with an international company and a Big 5 accounting firm.

EDUCATION

  • L.L.M., Taxation, Georgetown University Law Center, 2003
  • J.D., The University of North Carolina School of Law, 1997
  • B.A., with honors, North Carolina State University, 1989

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Advised financial institutions on the rules related to nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, golden parachute payments, and performance based compensation.
  • Negotiated and drafted tax provisions for acquisition agreements.
  • Designed deferred compensation plans for hospitals.
  • Analyzed treaties and advised on tax withholding requirements.
  • Represented multistate corporation in negotiations with state taxing authority on nexus issue.
  • Advised multistate corporation on formation of a charitable organization and compliance issues.
  • Represented the purchaser in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice concerning tax collections and the foreclosure of real property.
  • Advised university affiliate on governance, compensatory, and tax-exempt issues.

PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS

  • American Bar Association — Sections: Business Law; Taxation
  • Association Executives of North Carolina
  • North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Business Law (council member); Tax Law

ADMITTED TO PRACTICE

  • North Carolina, 1997
  • Georgia, 1999
  • All state courts in Georgia
  • All state courts in North Carolina
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Tax Court

Rhonda Thomas-Collier – Staff Attorney

Prior to finishing second in her class at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Rhonda Thomas-Collier earned a B.A. in Journalism and an M.S. in Leadership from the University of Memphis. In her role as Senior Pension Compliance Manager at the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia, Rhonda provides leadership and management to the Member Services division. She oversees the collection, reconciliation, and disbursement of contributions for 130,000 members as well as 63,000 retirees and beneficiaries of multiple state pension plans, including Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution plans with assets under management of $13.5 billion. Rhonda is an active member of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers.

David Hall – Firm Manager

David was born and raised in Atlanta, he is an alumnus of Marist School, and he earned his Bachelor’s Degree at Wake Forest University. Prior to joining Hall Benefits Law as Firm Manager, David was the Southeastern District Sales Manager for School Outfitters, a role in which he consulted with school districts throughout the region. He served for five years as an account executive with Quench USA, traveling throughout the United States. David also enjoyed a nine-year career as a teacher at The Schenck School, a private school in Atlanta. He is an avid golfer and reader.

Shawan Emer – Marketing Coordinator

Shawan is a key player in the marketing and production of the firm’s webinars, lunch and learn events, and other speaking engagements. Shawan heads the firm’s digital marketing efforts, including frequent social media updates. Shawan was born and raised in Atlanta, and she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Louisville.

Prior to joining Hall Benefits Law as Marketing Coordinator, Shawan was the Director of Marketing for Keller Williams, a role in which she consulted with agents and managed the regional marketing for the company’s realtors in Georgia.

  

Larry Benator – Director of Business Development

Larry is an experienced executive with over 30 years of experience working with both Fortune 100 and privately held companies. In his business development role, Larry is responsible for maintaining existing relationships and fostering new ones, making sure everyone the firm touches receives personal attention and follow up.

Prior to joining Hall Benefits Law, Larry was an executive recruiter with a focus on legal and real estate staffing needs for local and national companies. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, an avowed Bulldogs fan, and a devoted father to his two daughters.

Debbie Kerr – Legal Administrative Assistant

Debbie Kerr serves as the administrative assistant for Hall Benefits Law. In this role, she supports the firm’s operational and administrative needs including:

  • PowerPoint presentation creation
  • Document management
  • Copy writing, proofing, and editing
  • Management of newsletters, blogs, and social media
  • Assistance with design and management of marketing materials

Debbie moved to South Africa with her parents when she was a teenager. For 29 years she called Johannesburg home, and she started her professional career there, becoming proficient in typesetting, proofreading, and graphic design for local printing companies.

Sherry Markopoulos – ERISA Paralegal

Sherry joined Hall Benefits Law in 2017 after more than 30 years’ experience in taxes, employee benefits, tax organizations, and accounting. She has worked with attorneys for over twenty years in the area of employee benefits and ERISA, and prior to that she worked for the IRS for ten years. Sherry is adept at gathering information and documentation for attorneys, and she has the experience and ability to prepare EPCRS submissions, to draft determination letters and ruling requests, and to draft plan documents ranging from cafeteria plans and SPDs to wrap plans and participant forms. Her depth of experience is a perfect fit with Hall Benefits Law’s core values, and Sherry is a valued member of our “A” Team.