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Robert J. Lowe

Partner - los angeles


Every year, San Francisco's Golden Gate Park transforms into a veritable musical epicenter for three days, where 180,000 people are drawn to the two famous vintage wooden windmills and eclectic mix of musical acts that embody Outside Lands. Music lover Bob Lowe and his son, Jeremy, comprise a small percentage of that audience. An avid fan of alternative rock and musical acts from the UK, Bob often listens to BBC Radio 1 and Alt Nation on SiriusXM. He likes to keep fresh on his music and is always listening for the next top act. 

Parallels abound between Bob’s taste in music and his focus in practicing law, both of which serve as virtual book-ends in his life. Bob is no stranger to keeping fresh on trends, especially since public policy issues and current events affect his every day practice. For years, Bob has honed his skills in a nuanced area of law and consistently educates himself on developing issues.

During his free time, Bob can be found at local musical venues such as the Troubadour, El Rey and Fonda jamming to the tunes of Years and Years, Alt-J and Royal Blood , or in his car listening for the next new artist to be discovered.


Legal Expertise

All areas of employee benefits and executive compensation including: qualified and nonqualified retirement plans; group health plans; multi-employer pension and health plans; benefit plan issues in mergers and acquisitions; benefit plan investments in venture capital and real estate; equity incentive and nonqualified deferred compensation plans; benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements for employees of tax-exempt entities; income and estate tax planning for receipt of large distributions from retirement plans; negotiating and drafting executive employment agreements; use of employer stock in benefit plans including ESOPs. Recommended by Legal 500 US 2010 for his “highly sophisticated knowledge in employee benefits tax and regulation.”

Representative Matters

  • Advise employers and multi-employer health plans on compliance with the Affordable Care Act and other legislation affecting group health plans.
  • Advise plan sponsors with publicly traded securities held in retirement plans with respect to strategies for minimizing exposure to employer stock fund litigation.
  • Advise multi-employer pension plans on strategies for compliance with Pension Protection Act of 2006 “endangered status” funding and disclosure rules. 
  • Implement strategies to comply with requirements of IRC Section 409A for deferred compensation plans, SERPs, performance-based plans, severance pay plans and executive employment agreements. 
  • Advise employers with respect to IRS EPCRS retirement plan voluntary correction procedures and represent plan sponsors before IRS in obtaining approval for plan correction proposals. 
  • Advise tax-exempt employers with respect to special executive compensation issues, including strategies for dealing with IRC Code Section 457 deferred compensation limits and IRC Code Section 4958 excess benefit transaction risks.
  • Represent multi-employer pension plans with respect to compliance, funding and withdrawal liability issues. 
  • Advise clients with respect to employee benefits issues in mergers,  acquisitions and similar transactions. 
  • Advise investment funds and benefit plans with respect to plan investment issues, including application of “plan assets” regulations to venture capital operating companies (VCOCs) and real estate operating companies (REOCs).   
  • Advise employers with respect to equity incentive and nonqualified deferred compensation plans, including compliance with IRC Section 409A.
  • Advise group health plans with respect to HSA, FSA, COBRA, HIPAA privacy and ERISA issues, including reporting and disclosure and claims procedures.  
  • Advise high net worth individuals on income and estate tax planning for receipt of large distributions from retirement plans, including beneficiary designations and strategies for applying IRC Code Section 401(a)(9) minimum distribution rules.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of: 
    • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (2009-2024)
      • "Lawyer of the Year" 2021
  • "Top 5% of lawyers in Southern California," Southern California Super Lawyers (2007-2017)
  • AV® Preeminent™ Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Professional, Business and civic Affiliations

  • State Bar of California

Other Career Experience

  • O'Melveny & Myers, LLP, Counsel
  • Wyman Bautzer Kuchel & Silbert
  • Kindel & Anderson






  • California
  • U.S. District Court
  •    Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
  •    Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court


University of California, Berkeley School of Law, J.D., 1978

Binghamton University, State University of New York, B.S., 1975 ; Phi Beta Kappa

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