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“ERISA and employee benefits law frequently sound like a foreign language. My goal is to break down highly complex and technical ERISA matters to make them understandable and provide practical solutions to clients.”

Rob’s practice focuses on ERISA and employee compensation and benefits, including retirement plans and welfare benefit plans, fiduciary law and IRAs. He helps clients design, establish and maintain employee benefit programs, including qualified retirement, profit sharing, 401(k) and defined benefit pension plans, as well as health and welfare plans, and section 125 cafeteria plans. He also handles retirement plan terminations and navigates clients through the maze of IRS and PBGC approval procedures.

Rob has extensive experience in the area of executive compensation, including nonqualified deferred compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs), equity-based compensation and stock option plans, and incentive plans. He works frequently with the complex Tax Code Section 409A rules applicable to “nonqualified deferred compensation,” which is broadly defined for purposes of these rules.

Rob handles the employee benefits aspects of mergers and acquisitions. He also handles voluntary correction programs with the Internal Revenue Service and prohibited transaction exemption and fiduciary correction applications with the Department of Labor. He advises clients on plan administrative and operational issues, and he handles employer severance programs and COBRA questions. He counsels clients regarding IRAs as well as IRA and qualified plan distribution and beneficiary designation issues.

Prior to joining Hirschler, Rob was with Vandeventer Black. Prior to Vandeventer, he practiced with McGuireWoods and LeClairRyan.


Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2013 - 2022

Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent®  - This is given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.



  • Work extensively with human resources personnel and executive teams of national and Virginia clients on overall employee benefit plan and executive/equity compensation plan issues.
  • ERISA due diligence for merger and acquisition transactions.
  • IRS self-correction and voluntary correction programs and DOL fiduciary and late reporting correction program filings to disclose and correct retirement plan operational errors to preserve the plan’s tax-qualified status.
  • Extensive work with Tax Code Section 409A rules applicable to non-qualified deferred compensation plans and arrangements.
  • Handle defined benefit plan terminations, including required IRS and PBGC filings, legal and actuarial review, annuity selection process and final payouts.
  • Handle IRS and DOL audits of pension plans, 401(k) plans and ESOPs.
  • Prepare cafeteria plan and welfare wrap plan documents and advise on operational health and welfare plan issues.
  • ESOP leveraged stock purchase transactions.




Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

Virginia State Bar

Virginia and Richmond Bar Associations

Central Virginia Employee Benefits Council

Civic and Business Organizations

St. James’s Episcopal Church

Beyond the Law

Beyond the Law

Rob and his wife, Connie, have two grown daughters, a two-year old granddaughter and two grandsons on the way. In addition to family time, Rob enjoys the family’s Havanese dog, Lucy, fitness workouts, skiing (snow and water), history and literature, the Carolina Tarheels, and playing the piano, mostly standards and jazz.

Boston University School of Law, LLM.

New England School of Law, J.D. 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. B.A

  • Virginia
  • North Carolina 
  • United States Tax Court
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