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J. Quitman Stephens

Special Counsel
Dallas Office

Quitman Stephens's practice focuses on ERISA, employee benefits, executive compensation and health care. Quitman counsels clients on employee benefit and executive compensation plans and arrangements, including qualified retirement, nonqualified deferred compensation (including 409A and 280G matters), group health and other plans, and on matters arising under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"). He regularly advises clients on formation, operation, planning, compliance and litigation matters with respect to such plans and arrangements. 

Quitman also advises clients on healthcare compliance, including matters arising under the Stark Law, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), the Civil Monetary Penalties Law (CMPL), the False Claims Act (FCA) and the Texas Patient Solicitation Act. 

Shown below is a selection of J. Quitman’s engagements.

  • Advice to clients on employee benefits and executive compensation issues in multimillion- and multibillion-dollar M&A transactions, including, while at a prior firm, serving as ERISA/employee benefits counsel to (i) a regional health care system in its sale of a network of nine hospitals and 39 clinics, (ii) a worldwide publishing enterprise in its $2.4 billion sale to a private equity firm and (iii) a worldwide haircare business in conjunction with the $400 million sale of its haircare products business.
  • Oversight of employee benefit plan corrections for clients through the programs at the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor for operational failures, plan-document failures, reporting and disclosure issues, breaches of fiduciary duty, and prohibited transactions (EPCRS, VFCP and DFVC).
  • Counsel on the drafting and operation of deferred compensation plans and arrangements for executives, including compliance with the requirements of Code Section 409A and, where applicable, 280G.
  • Advice on the formation and operation of private equity funds in compliance with ERISA and the Department of Labor’s “plan assets regulations,” including, while at a prior firm, advising on the formation and operation of 40 such funds, with much of that work involving significant, international, investment projects, requiring coordination with lawyers and other professionals in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Macao and China.
  • Advocate for clients in litigation involving employee benefit plans and arrangements, including, while at a prior firm, advising clients on complex, multimillion-dollar controversies involving 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, defined benefit plans, multiemployer plans, group health plans, retiree-medical plans and nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
  • Counsel to clients on group health plans, including strategy and compliance issues relating to the Affordable Care Act, as well as multiple employer welfare arrangements.
  • Advice to clients on the specialized requirements for ESOPs—including the use of an ESOP as a tax-favored planning vehicle to acquire the equity of departing owners of successful closely held companies through a leveraged buyout, while ensuring the continuity of the enterprise through employee ownership—as well as for corporate acquisitions involving ESOP-owned entities.
  • Regular advice to hospitals, physicians, physician practices and other enterprises in the health care industry on operational and transactional compliance issues, including contractual arrangements involving physicians, hospitals and other service providers; investments in ambulatory surgery centers and other health-care enterprises; and formation of joint ventures.
  • While at a prior firm, advice to a health care system on health care-compliance matters involved in the sale of substantially all of its assets, including a network of 9 hospitals, 39 clinics, two inpatient facilities, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, physician clinics, two emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, a comprehensive seven-trauma center care network, and an EMS fleet of more than 45 ambulances and 4 helicopters.


D Magazine, Best Lawyers in Dallas

D Magazine, Best Lawyers in Dallas, 2016, 2018
Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Texas, 2012
J. Quitman  Stephens


  • LL.M, Taxation, New York University School of Law
  • JD, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, cum laude
  • BA, BS, Southern Methodist University, with Honors in the Liberal Arts

Bar Admissions

  • Texas


D Magazine, Best Lawyers in Dallas

2016, 2018
Super Lawyers Rising Stars
Texas, 2012
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  • American Bar Association, Taxation Section
  • Dallas Bar Association, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Section, Taxation Section
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