People: Jennifer A. Kraft, Partner

Photo of Jennifer A. Kraft, Partner

Jennifer A. Kraft

Partner

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5983
Fax: (312) 460-7983
0

Jennifer Kraft is a partner in the Employee Benefits Department & Executive Compensation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Chicago. With broad experience assisting Fortune 500 companies with all aspects of their employee benefits plans, she helps clients understand the myriad of complex laws impacting employee benefits, translating technical regulations and government agency guidance to assist clients in making legally sound business decisions.

Ms. Kraft advises clients on the design, administration and fiduciary responsibilities related to qualified retirement plans (401(k) plans, traditional defined benefit and cash balance plans) and welfare benefit plans.  Her experience in this area includes engaging with the DOL, IRS and PBGC on behalf of employers and plan fiduciaries, addressing plan corrections, assisting with significant corporate and plan spin-off and merger transactions with related integration issues, negotiating vendor contracts, and facilitating transitions to new recordkeepers.

Ms. Kraft also regularly counsels on welfare benefits issues, including wellness programs.  She has assisted a number of clients with the transition to retiree medical exchanges and has counseled and trained clients extensively on HIPAA compliance. She has also helped numerous clients deal with changes in the economy through the design, implementation and administration of severance plans.  Ms. Kraft has been quoted on health care reform issues in publications as diverse as CNN Money, Yahoo! Finance, National Law Journal, Law360, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Business Insurance, Corporate Counsel, Benefits Pro, Modern Healthcare and Scrip.

Ms. Kraft is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt.  Using Lean Six Sigma and project management methodologies, our SeyfarthLean® approach delivers increased value to our clients at a time of increased market pressures and competitive demands.  Seyfarth’s commitment to delivering legal services in a new way—with an emphasis on value and continuous improvement—has been praised by the Association of Corporate Counsel as being "five years ahead of every other AmLaw 200 firm." Ms. Kraft has worked with clients to create cost-effective solutions using the SeyfarthLean tools and incorporates these concepts into her daily practice.

Ms. Kraft is active in civic and pro bono activities.  She is a former recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award from CARPLS (the Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services).  She is  also a former Committee Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women and co-founder of their Mentoring Circles Program.

Jennifer Kraft is a partner in the Employee Benefits Department & Executive Compensation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Chicago. With broad experience assisting Fortune 500 companies with all aspects of their employee benefits plans, she helps clients understand the myriad of complex laws impacting employee benefits, translating technical regulations and government agency guidance to assist clients in making legally sound business decisions.

Ms. Kraft advises clients on the design, administration and fiduciary responsibilities related to qualified retirement plans (401(k) plans, traditional defined benefit and cash balance plans) and welfare benefit plans.  Her experience in this area includes engaging with the DOL, IRS and PBGC on behalf of employers and plan fiduciaries, addressing plan corrections, assisting with significant corporate and plan spin-off and merger transactions with related integration issues, negotiating vendor contracts, and facilitating transitions to new recordkeepers.

Ms. Kraft also regularly counsels on welfare benefits issues, including wellness programs.  She has assisted a number of clients with the transition to retiree medical exchanges and has counseled and trained clients extensively on HIPAA compliance. She has also helped numerous clients deal with changes in the economy through the design, implementation and administration of severance plans.  Ms. Kraft has been quoted on health care reform issues in publications as diverse as CNN Money, Yahoo! Finance, National Law Journal, Law360, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Business Insurance, Corporate Counsel, Benefits Pro, Modern Healthcare and Scrip.

Ms. Kraft is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt.  Using Lean Six Sigma and project management methodologies, our SeyfarthLean® approach delivers increased value to our clients at a time of increased market pressures and competitive demands.  Seyfarth’s commitment to delivering legal services in a new way—with an emphasis on value and continuous improvement—has been praised by the Association of Corporate Counsel as being "five years ahead of every other AmLaw 200 firm." Ms. Kraft has worked with clients to create cost-effective solutions using the SeyfarthLean tools and incorporates these concepts into her daily practice.

Ms. Kraft is active in civic and pro bono activities.  She is a former recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award from CARPLS (the Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services).  She is  also a former Committee Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women and co-founder of their Mentoring Circles Program.

Education

  • J.D., University of Minnesota Law School (1996)
    magna cum laude
    Order of the Coif
  • B.A., University of Michigan (1993)
    with distinction

Admissions

  • Illinois

Courts

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Presentations

  • “The Health Plan Sponsor – ERISA Basics,” Applying ERISA Fiduciary Rules to Health Plans, Services and Products 2019, presented by PLI, New York, NY (January 15, 2019)
  • “Fiduciary Status and Duties,” Applying ERISA Fiduciary Rules to Health Plans, Services and Products 2019, presented by PLI, New York, NY (January 15, 2019)
  • "How to Avoid Multi-Million Dollar HIPAA Penalties," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (September 20, 2018)
  • “Data Security,” Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (October 2015)
  • “Supreme Court Rules for Marriage: What it Means for Employers,” Equality Illinois (July 2015)
  • “SCOTUS on Employee Benefits: What the Supreme Court Decisions in King and Obergefell Will Mean for Employers and Plan Sponsors,” Seyfarth Shaw webinar (July 2015)
  • “Employment and Employee Benefit Ramifications of the Same-Sex Marriage Decision,” Equality Illinois (June 2015)
  • “Emerging Issues in Health Plan Design,” Chicago Bar Association (May 2015)
  • “Affordable Care Act:  What Every Lawyer and Her Clients Need to Know,” Workplace Benefits Renaissance (March 2015)
  • “What Every Labor & Employment Attorney Needs to Know About Employee Benefits,” North Shore Legal Counsel meeting (May 2014)
  • “Fiduciary Issues in Healthcare,” Practising Law Institute (April 2014)
  • “Planning for Healthcare Reform,” Women’s President Organization (November 2013)
  • “Affordable Care Act: Update on the Employer Mandate for 2015,” E-PAY Systems Inc. (October 2013)
  • “Ready for Obamacare? What employers need to know as deadlines loom in the Affordable Care Act,” Inland Press Association Webinar (October 2013)
  • “The Affordable Care Act (ACA): The Ongoing Health Reform Shake-Up for Payors, Providers and Employers,” The American Health Lawyers Association at the Workers Compensation Institute (August 2013)
  • “The Dash to 2014: The Scramble to Implement Health Reform in Individual and Group Health Coverage,” American Health Lawyers Association Annual Meeting (July 2013)
  • “Details of the Affordable Care Act and Its Impact on Builders,” Builders Association, Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America Spring Summit (May 2013)
  • “Affordable Care Act – The Economics,” Media Financial Management Association (May 2013)
  • “Planning For Health Care Reform for Small- to Mid-Sized Businesses,” Seyfarth Shaw webinar (May 2013)
  • “Non-Health Welfare Plan Issues and Trends for Plan Administrators,” Seyfarth Shaw 3rd Annual ERISA Roundtable: Health & Welfare Benefits (May 2013)
  • “ERISA & Employee Benefits Litigation: What Every In-House Counsel And Human Resources Professional Needs to Know Now,” Seyfarth Shaw Breakfast Briefing (March 2013)
  • “Health Care Reform After the Election: Will You Owe A Penalty in 2014?” Seyfarth Shaw webinar (December 2012)
  • “Health Care Reform Update: Impacts for Employers,” McGladrey Alliance Human Resources Roundtable (August 2012)
  • “Health Care Reform After the Supreme Court Decision -- What Employers Need to Know for Compliance, Transactions and Executive Compensation,” Practising Law Institute webinar (August 2012)
  • “Full Steam Ahead on Health Care Reform,” Seyfarth Shaw webinar (July 2012)
  • “Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act -- What It Means for Employers and the Future of Health Care in the U.S.” Seyfarth Shaw webinar (June 2012)
  • “Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act -- What It Means for Employers,” National Restaurant Association webinar (June 2012)
  • “Health Care Reform Supreme Court Oral Argument Debriefing: Implications for Employers,” Seyfarth Shaw webinar (March 2012)
  • “Health Care Reform Supreme Court Oral Argument Debriefing: Implications for Employers,” National Restaurant Association webinar (March 2012)
  • “Health Care Reform: Preparing for 2012 Open Enrollment and Beyond,” Inland Press Association webinar (July 2011)
  • "An Employers' Guide to Health Care Reform," Society for Human Resources Management Annual Conference and Exposition (June 2011) 
  • "Critical Healthcare Reform and Implementation Measures - When it is Happening and Issues to Watch," American Health Lawyers Association seminar, "Healthcare Reform: The Law and Its Implications" (December 2010)
  • “Breast Cancer Legal Advocacy Workshop: ERISA Issues,” Chicago Bar Association seminar (October 2010)
  • “What Business Owners Must Know About The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” American Health Lawyers Association and PNC Bank Small Business Webinar (October 2010)
  • “Health Care Reform Six Months Later,” Seyfarth Shaw webinar (October 2010)
  • “Health Care Reform – Overview for the Human Resources Generalist,” Human Resources Management Association of Chicago seminar (September 2010)
  • “How New Health Care Regulations Will Affect You,” Society for Human Resources Management Texarkana Health Care Summit (June 2010)
  • “Health Care Reform: What It Means for Collective Bargaining,” Seyfarth Shaw webinar (June 2010)
  • “An Employer’s Guide to Health Care Reform for the Newspaper Industry,” Inland Press Association webinar (June 2010)
  • “An Employer’s Guide to Health Care Reform for the Plastics Industry,” SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association webinar (May 2010)
  • “Health Care Reform: How It Will Impact the Hospitality Industry,” American Hotel and Lodging Association webinar (May 2010)

Publications