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Staff Bios

 


Deborah Dees - Attorney

dees@haynesbenefits.com

Debbie has practiced in the area of employee benefits law for over 30 years.  She has extensive experience in ERISA matters and represents companies in performing due diligence and remedying form and operational benefit plan problems and in mergers and acquisitions.  She has consulted with banks, plan administration companies, governmental entities, hospitals, nonprofit entities and controlled groups in various industries regarding benefit issues unique to such organizations.

Her experience includes remedying noncompliance in operation of employee health plans and qualified retirement plans, representation of employers or plans in Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service audits, and designing and drafting qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, 457(f) plans, 403(b)(7) custodial account plans, cafeteria plans, group health plans, and welfare benefit trusts.  She also assists in interpretation of plan provisions, statutes, regulations, rulings; obtaining exemptions and rulings regarding various employee benefit plan issues; and performing operational audits and document reviews to ensure HIPAA, COBRA , and other legal compliance.

Debbie received her undergraduate degree in Accounting from Mississippi State University, her Law Degree from University of Mississippi Cum Laude, and her Masters in Taxation Law from The University of Florida.  She is licensed to practice in Mississippi and before the U.S. Tax Court.

Debbie has been awarded the Mississippi Top 50 Leading Business Women Award and the Best Lawyers in America Award.  She is a member of The Mississippi Bar and has served as the Chairperson of The Mississippi Bar Taxation Section, and as a member of the Employee Benefits Committee and Welfare Benefits Subcommittee, Section of Taxation, American Bar Association.  Debbie is a member of the IRS TE/GE Gulf Coast Council and is currently an active Alumnus participating in quarterly meetings with Internal Revenue Service. 

Debbie has been a speaker and panelist for national, regional, and local programs in educating the public and other lawyers about ERISA (particularly health plan) issues.  She is a Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. 

Before joining Haynes Benefits, Debbie was a partner in a regional law firm.  Debbie currently lives and works with Haynes Benefits remotely from Ridgeland, Mississippi.  She is an active member of the community and of her church, and sings in her church choir.