Biography

Sigmund serves as chair of the firm’s Employee Benefits + ERISA area, and also focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, business succession and tax law. He has been with the firm since 2008 and has been practicing law since 1978.

Employee Benefits + ERISA

Tom has more than 30 years of experience practicing law and is well known for his ERISA work. He works with clients, from individuals to large organizations, to achieve their goals with the design, implementation and administration of both qualified and non-qualified retirement and deferred compensation plans. Additionally, Tom represents closely held businesses and business owners regarding fringe benefits, compensation planning, 409A issues and insurance planning. He has a wealth of experience in the design and implementation of executive compensation plans, employment agreements and severance agreements. Tom counsels clients and has served as an expert witness in ERISA litigation cases with respect to both pension and welfare benefit plan matters. With mergers or acquisitions, Tom regularly assists clients with the employee benefit issues that surround these transactions.

Estate Planning + Business Succession

Another focus of Tom’s practice is his work in business succession and estate planning. Tom counsels individuals and business owners on sophisticated techniques to accomplish their estate planning and business succession objectives. This counseling often entails cutting-edge tax savings measures which dovetail with the client’s personal and business objectives. Tom’s counsel often encompasses creditor protection planning. He has served as an expert witness in probate court litigation matters in state and out of state.

Practice Areas

Education

  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (J.D., 1978)
  • The Ohio State University (B.A., 1975)

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Tax Court

Professional Affiliations

  • Columbus Bar Association, member
  • Columbus Estate Planning Council, member, past chair
  • Columbus Foundation, Legal Advisory Committee, advisor
  • James Ambassador Society, ambassador
  • Ohio State Bar Association, member
  • Society of Financial Services Professionals - National Executive Board, member; Columbus Chapter, past president

Special Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating of AV
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®
  • Recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer® by Law & Politics magazine
  • Recipient of the Sam Chickerella Hall of Fame Award

Charitable + Civic Involvement

  • Salvation Army, Resource Committee, member

Presentations

  • "Certainty in Uncertain Times: Staying Relevant with Estate Planning Without Regard to Taxation," presented at Salvation Army’s 2012 Annual Estate & Charitable Giving Planning with a Purpose Seminar, September 26 & 27, 2012, in Columbus & Cincinnati
  • "Hot Topics for Employee Benefits," presented to HRACO, June 2012
  • "Fiduciary Duties in Turbulent Times," presented to the Society of Financial Services Professionals, 2010 Forum
  • "Responsibilities of Qualified Plan Fiduciaries," presented to the Columbus Estate Planning Group, March 2009

Publications

  • "Certainty in Uncertain Times," a chapter published in Inside Minds: Estate Planning Client Strategies, 2012 ed., published by Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters business
  • "Family Limited Partnerships are Alive and Well," Ohio Lawyers Weekly, June 2004
  • "Employee Stock Ownership Plans Create a Win, Win Scenario," Co-author, Business First, September 14, 2001
  • "Planning Still A Must With New Rules For IRAs, Qualified Plans," Business First, February 23, 2001
  • "Selecting The Form of Business Entity: Analyzing LLCs and Other Entity Choices," Contributing Author and Legal Editor
  • "Internal Revenue Code §4980A/Grandfather Election," Sheldon Young Business Organization: Pension and Profit-Sharing Plans, Matthew Bender Co., 1989

Career Highlights

  • Serving as an adjunct professor for Capital University Law School’s LLM program, teaching Executive Compensation
  • Served as President of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, Columbus Chapter
  • Served as Chairman of the Columbus Estate Planning Council