People: Peter M. Varney, Counsel

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Peter M. Varney

Counsel

Atlanta
Direct: (404) 885-7995
Fax: (404) 892-7056
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Mr. Varney is counsel in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice area in Seyfarth Shaw's Atlanta office. He advises plan sponsors on the design and operation of employee benefit plans, including 401(k) plans, flexible benefit plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, and severance plans. He creates and drafts retirement, savings, and welfare plan documents, summary plan descriptions, plan participant communications, and plan administrative forms to ensure compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. Mr. Varney’s practice regularly involves counseling clients on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform), HIPAA privacy and security rules, wellness programs, self-funded medical plans, and COBRA administration.
 
Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, Mr. Varney served as senior counsel at Lowe’s Companies, Inc., where his responsibilities included counseling and legal compliance in all areas of employee benefits and compensation.
 
Mr. Varney clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, from 2001 to 2001, and for the Honorable R. Allan Edgar, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, from 1999 to 2001.
Mr. Varney is counsel in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice area in Seyfarth Shaw's Atlanta office. He advises plan sponsors on the design and operation of employee benefit plans, including 401(k) plans, flexible benefit plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, and severance plans. He creates and drafts retirement, savings, and welfare plan documents, summary plan descriptions, plan participant communications, and plan administrative forms to ensure compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. Mr. Varney’s practice regularly involves counseling clients on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform), HIPAA privacy and security rules, wellness programs, self-funded medical plans, and COBRA administration.
 
Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, Mr. Varney served as senior counsel at Lowe’s Companies, Inc., where his responsibilities included counseling and legal compliance in all areas of employee benefits and compensation.
 
Mr. Varney clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, from 2001 to 2001, and for the Honorable R. Allan Edgar, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, from 1999 to 2001.

Education

  • J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, with honors (1999)

  • A.B. Political Science, Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, cum laude (1996)

Admissions

  • Georgia
  • North Carolina

Courts

  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Georgia and the Eastern District of Tennessee

Presentations

  • “The Impact of Religious Freedom Legislation and Litigation on Employers and Employees: Implications for Employee Benefits,” National LGBT Bar Association’s 2016 Lavender Law Conference, Washington (August 2016)
  • “A Practical and Tactical Look at Department of Labor Health and Welfare Benefit Plan Audits” (June 2016)
  • “Supreme Court Case Law Affecting Employee Benefit Plans” (February 2015)
  • “The Affordable Care Act and the Defense of Marriage Act Decisions: Constitutional Case Law Affecting Employee Benefit Plans” (December 2013)
  • In-House Counsel Panel Member and Conference Co-Chair, “In-House Think Tank on Minimizing Legal Risks in the Design, Implementation, and Administration of Executive Compensation Packages,” American Conference Institute’s Conference on Minimizing Legal Risks in the Design, Implementation & Administration of Executive Compensation, Chicago (July 2010)
  • In-House Counsel Roundtable Member and Conference Co-Chair, “Best Practices for Fiduciary Compliance, Avoiding Faulty Plan Documents, and Aligning Plan Documents with Plan Administration,” American Conference Institute’s National Advanced Compliance Forum on Minimizing Legal Risks in the Design, Implementation & Administration of Employee Benefit Plans, New York (May 2010)

Publications

  • “Individual Retirement Arrangements: Section 403(b) Plans and Individual Retirement Arrangements: Individual Retirement Arrangements, Simplified Employee Pension Plans, SIMPLE IRA Plans, and Deemed IRAs,” in ABA Section of Labor & Employment Law, Employee Benefits Committee, Employee Benefits Law, 2nd and 3rd edition (2009 & 2012)