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Kate U. Saracene

New York Office
Chicago Office

Kate Ulrich Saracene advises fully and self-insured employers, consultants, insurance brokers, third-party administrators and multiple employer associations regarding employee benefit plan design and operational compliance. She has extensive experience with a variety of plan types, including health, life and accident, flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), dependent care assistance programs, and severance pay, among others. She also provides counsel on wellness programs and paid family leave, two of the fastest-growing areas in employee benefits.

In addition to developing benefits strategies and drafting plan documentation and notices, Kate helps clients navigate the complexities of government disclosures and filings, US Department of Labor and other government audits, and benefit plan litigation. She also represents employers in negotiations involving third-party administrative service agreements and collective bargaining agreements.

Additionally, Kate provides counsel on compliance matters to a wide variety of employer types, including education, health care, manufacturing, hospitality, technology, media, government and industry associations. She also has a robust practice advising third-party administrators on product development and compliance.

Kate frequently lectures and writes on topics relating to employee benefits and wellness programs, and has been featured in national and industry media, including quotes appearing in Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week, Law360, HR Morning and HR Executive magazine. She has been recognized as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers, a "40 Under Forty" award recipient by the Rochester Business Journal, a "Top Woman in Law" by The Daily Record, and a "Woman to Watch" by the Democrat & Chronicle.

Prior to joining Katten, Kate headed a number of human resources functions at Xerox. She most recently served as the head of the Health and Welfare Benefits team at an Am Law 100 firm, where she also practiced as an employment law attorney.

Shown below is a selection of Kate’s engagements.


Legal 500, 2019
August 25, 2017
Co-author, New York's Family Leave Act Differs in Key Respects From Federal Law, Rochester Business Journal
February 27, 2016
Author, Nextpert: Affordable Care Act Reporting Deadlines Draw Near, Democrat & Chronicle
June 18, 2014
Co-author, ACA: Health Insurance Exchanges and the Future of COBRA, Law360
August 2013
Co-author, What's New With the Affordable Care Act?, Employee Benefits Plan Review
April 8, 2013
Co-author, ACA Checkup Can Help Keep Firm Healthy, Providence Business News
March 15, 2013
Co-author, What To Look for in Health Care Reform Mandates Next January, Rochester Business Journal
September 17–20, 2017
Presenter | Employee Wellness Programs: What Employers Need To Know To Comply With the New Regulations | Choosing the Right Account-Based Health Plans: Tricks, Traps and Tradeoffs of FSAs, HSAs and HRAs | Pre Conference Tutorial: Fiduciary Obligations Under ERISA | How to Stay Compliant During the Healthcare Reform Storm | Mid-Sized Retirement and Healthcare Plan Management Conference | Austin, Texas
June 14–17, 2017
Presenter | Employee Wellness Programs: What Employers Need To Know To Comply With the New Regulations | Choosing the Right Account-Based Health Plans: Tricks, Traps and Tradeoffs of FSAs, HSAs and HRAs | The Uncertain Future of the ACA: What's Next for Employers? | Mindfulness as a Path to Wellness | Mid-Sized Retirement and Healthcare Plan Management Conference | Chicago, Illinois
February 7–8, 2017
Co-Presenter | EEOC Status Update on Wellness Program Regulations | Rewarding Healthy Behaviors Forum–World Congress | Scottsdale, Arizona
Kate U. Saracene


  • JD, Yale Law School
  • BS, Cornell University

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Western District of New York
  • US District Court, Northern District of New York


Legal 500
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