Mark Smith helps financial service providers and Fortune 50 companies successfully design and administer retirement, employee benefit, insurance and executive compensation arrangements. He provides pragmatic perspective on the tax, ERISA and other legal considerations applicable to these arrangements.
Banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, investment advisers and managers, mutual funds, other product and service providers and plan sponsors seek Mark’s counsel on a broad range of consulting, transaction, regulatory and litigation matters. Clients say he has “extensive experience and provides concise, easy-to-understand solutions.”
Mark has managed more than 45 tax and ERISA cases in federal court, including Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. v. Darden (Supreme Court 1992) and, for the amici, Albertson’s, Inc. v. Commissioner (9th Cir. 1993, 1994). Mark also counsels on the taxation of corporate and nonqualified insurance products, including corporate- and bank-owned life insurance (COLI/BOLI) policies.
From 1999 to 2007, Mark served as partner-in-charge of Sutherland's Washington office and firmwide Executive Partner.
Sutherland negotiates the acquisition of financial products for benefit plans.
Sutherland completed more than 50 acquisitions of sophisticated investment and insurance products for benefit plans and sponsors.
Sutherland represents retirement product and service providers before government regulators.
Sutherland represents retirement product and service providers in enforcement and regulatory matters before federal, state and industry regulators, including IRS, Treasury, DOL's Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA), PBGC, SEC, FINRA, and OCC.
Sutherland assists in the design, regulatory approval and operation of several hundred insurance, investment and stable value products.
Sutherland has assisted in the design, required regulatory approval and/or operation of several hundred insurance, investment and stable value products; bank collective trust funds and insurance company separate accounts; investment advisory, investment management, and broker-dealer arrangements; and plan platform, record keeping and other service arrangements for the retirement market.
Awards and Rankings
Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of employee benefits (ERISA) law (2001-2012)
Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
Recognized in Legal 500 U.S.A. (2012-2013)
Co-Chair, IRI Retirement Summit (2012-present)
Past Presidents Council (2011-present), Former President (2009-2011) and Director (2008-2011), District of Columbia Bar Foundation
Former Director, D.C. Access to Justice Foundation (2009-2012)
Former Chair, Employee Benefits Committee, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (1991-1992)
Former Delegate, Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, American Bar Association
Former Member, Advisory Board, Georgetown Corporate Counsel Institute