Brandon Long is an experienced, AV Preeminent-rated employee benefits attorney who concentrates his practice on qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation. He has represented a broad range of clients, including Fortune 500 companies, publicly traded and closely held businesses, middle-market companies, corporate trustees, hospitals, healthcare providers, partnerships, cities, universities and Indian tribes. He currently serves as leader of the firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group, overseeing one of the Southwest’s largest and most experienced teams of employee benefits lawyers.
Brandon’s practice is focused on matters involving 401(k) plans, defined benefit plans and employee stock ownership plans; audits and investigations by the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor; mergers and acquisitions involving ERISA plans; retirement plans for tax-exempt and governmental entities, including Indian tribes; health and welfare issues, including health care reform; and executive compensation issues arising under Code Section 409A. He has particular experience fixing broken retirement plans and has filed and successfully resolved numerous voluntary correction applications with the IRS.
Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform), Brandon has counseled clients of all sizes on the interpretation and implementation of key deadlines and measures, including “pay or play,” health insurance exchange issues, changes to flexible spending accounts, W-2 reporting, automatic enrollment, discrimination testing, and waiting periods. He also helps clients analyze and implement cost-containment strategies.
Brandon’s clients seek his advice for practical, creative solutions to complex problems, and the ability to make highly technical concepts understandable to executives, employees and other lawyers. A portion of his practice has been devoted to complex litigation, including ERISA litigation. In 2007, on behalf of a major insurance company, Brandon co-authored the petition for a writ of certiorari that was granted by the U.S. Supreme Court, and he helped prepare for and attended the oral argument in the Supreme Court, which issued an opinion in his client’s favor.
Prior to returning to his hometown and joining McAfee & Taft, Brandon practiced with large national and international law firms in Dallas and in Washington, D.C.
Brandon graduated from law school ranked first in his class. While in law school, he served on Law Review and was the recipient of numerous honors, including the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Outstanding Graduate Award, Berry-Opala Outstanding Graduate Award, OCU Law Outstanding Academic Performance Award, Editor-in-Chief Award, Outstanding Comment Award, West Group Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement, and numerous CALI Awards. Brandon went to college and law school at night while working in the mail room and in other administrative positions for another large law firm.
Brandon frequently writes and speaks on employee benefits issues, and he has been a guest legal columnist and contributing author to various professional publications. His achievements have previously earned him inclusion in Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars," which recognizes the state’s top up-and-coming attorneys. In 2010, Oklahoma City University School of Law honored him with its Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Brandon has been the recipient of multiple awards honoring his service to the community. In 2011, he received the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, and he was a finalist for Leadership Oklahoma City’s Paragon Award. In 2009, he was named to The Journal Record’s list of Leadership in Law Award honorees for his professional and civic contributions to the state. Also in 2009, the Oklahoma County Bar Association presented him with its Community Service Award, noting his personal involvement and volunteerism, his leadership in getting other young lawyers involved, and for serving “as an example to all of us in the legal community that we can do a little more to make the world a better place.” In 2008, he was honored with the Outstanding Director Award from the OCBA’s Young Lawyers Division.