900 SEVENTH STREET, N.W., SUITE 1020
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20001
P: (202) 223-0888 | F: (202) 223-3868
Potts-Dupre, Hawkins & Kramer is a boutique law firm with extensive experience representing multiemployer benefit funds, including defined benefit and defined contribution pension funds, health and welfare funds, apprenticeship funds, and a variety of single employer pension and health and welfare funds. Our firm is honored to count among its clients two of the country’s leading and largest Taft-Hartley plans, which together hold over 18 billion dollars in assets, and the various employee benefit funds affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
We provide comprehensive legal services to our fund clients including: advising clients on matters relating to ERISA, USERRA, FMLA, COBRA, HIPAA, and PPACA; preparation and amendment of plan documents; ensuring continued tax qualification with the IRS; preparation and analysis of investment advisory and other service provider contracts; litigation of benefit claims, delinquent contributions, and withdrawal liability; representing clients in IRS and DOL audits; preparing and submitting requests for prohibited transaction exemptions; providing advice on fiduciary responsibility; and asserting and enforcing rights to subrogation and reimbursement.
David has represented the IBEW, its employee benefit plans, and national NECA/IBEW employee benefit plans since 1985, and is general counsel to two of the largest Taft‐Hartley pension plans in the country. He specializes in ERISA and fiduciary law and advises Taft‐Hartley plan trustees and staff on a wide variety of administrative and investment‐related matters. He has experience with a variety of health care and PPACA‐related issues and represents a nationwide IBEW‐NECA multiemployer health plan. David has shepherded clients successfully through Department of Labor and IRS audits and investigations and the prohibited transaction exemptions and DOL advisory opinion processes.
David is a frequent speaker at electrical industry conferences and is a former Co‐Chair of the Subcommittee on Jointly‐Administered Plans in the American Bar Association’s Labor Law Section, Committee on Employee Benefits. He also served as a Chapter Editor for the Employee Benefits Law treatise put out by the American Bar Association.
David spent his first year after law school clerking for the Alaska Supreme Court in Anchorage, Alaska. He also worked for a period of time early in his career with the Federal Labor Relations Authority.
District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
University of California, Davis, J.D. 1983
Kalamazoo College; University of California, Davis, B.S., with highest honors, 1978
Katie joined the firm as an associate in 2012 and has been a partner since 2019. She specializes in representing health care funds, and regularly advises clients on the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, COBRA, HIPAA privacy matters, fiduciary responsibilities, claims procedures, participant disclosures and notices, and the enforcement of funds’ rights to subrogation and reimbursement. Her work with health and welfare plans includes counseling plans and plan sponsors on the establishment, design, and operation of health and welfare plans, and she has experience negotiating contracts with third‐party administrators, record keepers, insurance carriers, consultants, and vendors. Katie is a member of the ABA, the Maryland State Bar Association, the International Foundation of Employee Benefits, and the Society of Human Resource Management.
District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
University of Maryland School of Law, J.D. 2010
Boston College, B.A., cum laude, 2007
Shane N. Kramer
Shane joined the firm in 2000 and has been a partner since 2006. Shane has a broad practice focusing primarily on the tax and ERISA aspects of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans (including defined benefit, defined contribution, 401(k), 457(b) and 457(f) plans) and health and welfare arrangements. Shane also represents a wide range of tax exempt organizations on matters involving corporate governance, executive compensation, unrelated business taxable income, and US and state tax exemption, among others.
A significant portion of Shane’s practice involves counseling plan fiduciaries on ERISA fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transaction matters and negotiating vendor contracts, with a special focus on investment-related agreements. To that end, he deals with major investment firms on the necessary documentation for all manner of separate account and commingled arrangements as well as more complicated structures involving hedge fund and private equity investments.
Shane also has extensive plan design and tax compliance experience and has obtained numerous favorable IRS determination letters for tax-qualified plans and tax-exempt organizations. In addition, Shane provides advice on an array of plan administration issues, including benefits eligibility, information reporting obligations, plan disclosures and communications, and navigating Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor corrections and compliance programs. Shane also works on Affordable Care Act, HIPAA privacy, eligibility, and tax-based issues for the firm’s health plan clients.
District of Columbia
Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M., Taxation, with distinction, 2000
Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D., 1999
University of Virginia, B.A., 1996
Peter J. Tkach
Pete joined the firm as an associate in 2022. He represents the firm’s employee-benefit fund clients in litigation arising under ERISA and other federal statutes. Prior to joining the firm, he was an intern with both the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office in the Special Victims Division, and the General Counsel’s Office for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Before enrolling in law school, Pete was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer for a small immigration non-profit.
Pete received his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School in 2021, where he served as an editor for the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Quarterly Journal. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Justice Studies from James Madison University in 2015. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.
District of Columbia
George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2021
James Madison University, B.A., 2015
Jennifer Bush Hawkins
Jennifer joined the firm as an associate in 1996 and has been a partner since 2002. Her emphasis is on employee benefits, ERISA litigation, and the collection of delinquent contributions. Jennifer regularly attends trustee meetings and advises trustees and fund staff on all legal aspects of fund administration, and has represented multiemployer and union-related benefit plans in federal and state court at both the trial and appellate levels. She is well-versed in collection matters, withdrawal liability, benefit claims and appeal issues, plan and amendment drafting, qualified domestic relations orders, compliance with the Code and ERISA, and fiduciary duty issues.
Jennifer received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from St. John’s University and a law degree from Hofstra University, where she was an editor of the Hofstra Law Review. Before joining the firm, Jennifer was an associate with the Commercial Litigation department of the New York City law firm of Baer Marks & Upham and served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Farley III on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims in Washington, D.C.
District of Columbia
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Third, Fourth, Seventh, Nineth, and Tenth Circuits
U.S. District Courts for the District of Maryland, District of Columbia, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, District of Colorado, Central District of Illinois, Western District of Wisconsin, and Western District of Michigan
Hofstra University, J.D.
St. John’s University, B.S.
Helga von Harsdorf-Johnson