Practice and Industry Groups

Heather H. Lyell

Of Counsel Portland

Heather is an employee benefits attorney in the Portland office of Ogletree Deakins with a practice focused on helping large and small employers with all aspects of their employee benefit plans, including providing advice on plan design, administration and technical compliance issues.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Heather accumulated more than 15 years of practical experience first as an employee benefit consultant for a national consulting firm with a particular focus on retirement plan outsourcing and then as an in-house employee benefit manager for a large, multinational Fortune 500 transportation company. Heather’s experience with retirement plan issues has provided her an expertise in a wide-range of matters, including everything from technical calculation issues and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders to systems issues, vendor management and plan de-risking, including plan terminations. Heather has also served as the secretary of the plan fiduciary committee and is well-versed in plan governance and fiduciary responsibilities. Heather’s experience with health and welfare plans includes solving day-to-day plan administration issues, resolving compliance questions related to the ERISA requirements for plan documentation, trouble-shooting operational issues under COBRA, HIPAA, and the Internal Revenue Code and leading large-scale projects to implement the employer mandates of the Affordable Care Act.

This extensive background in the consulting and corporate world has given Heather a keen understanding of the day to day challenges facing benefits professionals, which combined with her legal expertise, gives her a true understanding of the complicated real-world challenges her clients face and drives her to present legal solutions in a way that is practical and accessible. 

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • Western Pension and Benefits Council (past Board member)
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
  • Oregon State Bar Association