Overview

Ariadna Alvarez has more than 20 years of experience practicing in the areas of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), employee benefits law and executive compensation. Ms. Alvarez' practice includes designing retirement and welfare plans, handling all employee benefits aspects in corporate transactions and counseling clients on various employee benefits issues, including the exercise of fiduciary duties, tax controversies surrounding qualified retirement plans and benefit plan compliance before the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Puerto Rico Treasury Department.

Ms. Alvarez has extensive experience handling issues arising under ERISA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She has acted as advisor to various governmental entities regarding human resources and employee benefits issues, including assisting with matters related to public pension funds and collectively bargained benefits.

Ms. Alvarez handles ERISA claims and litigation, as well as federal labor and employment law litigation and general tax litigation. She has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Ms. Alvarez was the co-author of the amicus brief filed before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of DRI – "the Voice of the Defense Bar" in the case of Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., et al., where the Supreme Court upheld a contractual limitations period in an ERISA plan. She also co-authored the amicus brief filed before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of DRI – "the Voice of the Defense Bar" in the case of Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, where the court held that a plaintiff who obtains relief under one of the express causes of action in Section 502(a) of ERISA cannot recover for the same injury under ERISA's "catchall" equitable relief recovery provision. In both cases, her briefs supported the prevailing position.

Ms. Alvarez is also experienced in trust administration, and is a certified trust and financial advisor (CTFA), a designation issued by the Institute of Certified Bankers. For two years, she was also the director of the trust division of an international bank.

Ms. Alvarez frequently lectures on the Affordable Care Act, ERISA litigation, ERISA compliance, retirement plan design and tax qualification, and HIPAA privacy regulations.

Representative Cases

U.S. District Court

  • Defended a global transportation company against claims for benefits under the employer's ERISA-covered group health plan
  • Defended a global consulting firm against an ERISA claim for breach of fiduciary duty in connection with services rendered as actuaries for an ERISA pension plan
  • Defended a global financial services firm in an ERISA claim for severance benefits and stock option benefits
  • Defended a large food and beverage company against an ERISA claim by plan participants seeking longterm disability benefits and alleging breach of fiduciary duty
  • Defended a U.S. home products company in a claim for pension benefits and an allegation of breach of fiduciary duty filed against the company, due to a supposed failure to comply with notice requirements under ERISA
  • Defended a private oil refinery company in an ERISA claim for pension benefits filed by participants
  • Defended a U.S. home products company against a group of plaintiffs claiming that the company breached its fiduciary duties under ERISA and requesting the certification of a class action

U.S. Court of Appeals

  • Represented a large food and beverage company in an appeal of the judgment issued by the district court after submission of briefs by both parties
  • Represented a large commercial airline in an appeal of ERISA pension benefits

Experience

Credentials

Education
  • University of Puerto Rico School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • Nova Southeastern University, M.Tax.
  • University of Puerto Rico, B.A., Finance
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
  • New York
  • Puerto Rico
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • All State Courts in New York
  • All State Courts in Florida
  • All State Courts in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Tax Court
Memberships
  • Women Leading Broward Class IV
  • Leadership Broward Class XXXVI
  • Gilda’s Club South Florida, Board of Directors
  • Florida Bar Association, Florida Bar Journal Committee
  • Broward County Bar Association
  • Broward County Hispanic Bar Association
  • DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, Professionalism and Ethics Committee, Social Media Vice-Chair
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Honors & Awards
  • Holland & Knight PCS Pro Bono All Star, 2018
  • Daily Business Review Professional Excellence Award, Holland & Knight - Litigation Departments - International Large Honoree, 2017
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Spanish

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News