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James focuses his practice on counseling clients with the design, implementation and operation of qualified defined contribution plans, executive compensation and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (“ESOPs”).

James's ESOP experience includes company, trustee and shareholder representation in numerous ESOP transactions, including leveraged buy-outs, corporate stock redemptions, shareholder succession and corporate reorganizations.

James previously served as an ERISA Enforcement Advisor and the National ESOP Advisor for the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration where he identified and corrected violations of ERISA in connection with ESOPs, including improper valuations, prohibited loans, discrimination issues, voting rights, diversification and refinancing.

Professional Activities

  • ESOP Association, Member
  • National Center for Employee Ownership, Member
  • National Institute of Pension Administrators, Member

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

Past Appearances


  • Washington, 2018
  • Missouri, 2016
  • Oregon, 2014
  • Utah, 2009


  • LL.M., Taxation & Employee Benefits, Georgetown University Law Center, 2009
  • J.D., University of Valparaiso School of Law, 2008
  • B.S., Utah State University, 2004
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