Brandon Long is an experienced, AV Preeminent-rated employee benefits attorney. He represents regional and national clients with thousands of employees, including large publicly traded corporations and governmental entities. Clients seek his advice for practical, creative solutions to complex problems, as well as his ability to make highly technical concepts understandable to executives, employees and other lawyers. His achievements have earned him inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (employee benefits/ERISA law) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers. In 2018, Brandon was named a “Notable Practitioner” by the researchers and publishers of the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
Brandon 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. He also serves as the president of the SouthWest Benefits Association, a 700-plus member organization based in Dallas, Texas, and he serves on the Steering Committee of the Employee Benefits Institute based in Kansas City, Missouri.
Brandon’s practice is focused on matters involving qualified retirements plans, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Brandon has counseled clients of all sizes on the interpretation and implementation of key compliance issues and cost-containment strategies. Brandon is a frequent speaker on various employee benefits issues before state, regional, and national audiences.
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.
More than 20 years ago, Brandon started in the mail room of another large Oklahoma City firm, worked as a legal assistant while going to law school at night, and graduated ranked first in his law school class. Brandon then practiced with large national and international law firms in Dallas and Washington, D.C. before returning to his hometown and joining McAfee & Taft. He holds a master of laws in taxation from the Villanova University School of Law.Download Bio (PDF)
- Advises companies of all sizes regarding complex compliance issues associated with their retirement plans.
- Prepares and negotiates voluntary correction filings with the IRS under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) for qualified retirement plans, including anonymous submissions for company-threatening issues and/or creative solutions to difficult problems.
- Regularly conducts legal plan audits for qualified retirement plans to identify legal risks prior to potential audits by the IRS or the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Advises Indian tribal clients and consultants regarding cutting-edge and extremely complicated employee benefits and tax issues, including sovereignty issues, comments to the IRS regarding proposed regulatory action, identification and separation of government and so-called “commercial” employees and plans, benefits structuring, entity structuring, controlled group issues, deferred compensation and health care reform.
- Representation of clients before the IRS during plan audits.
- Representation of clients before the U.S. Department of Labor during investigations and in correcting plan errors.
- Advises clients regarding their fiduciary responsibilities.
- Advises clients regarding prohibited transaction issues.
- Advises clients regarding employee stock ownership plans, including difficult S corporation issues. Also represents clients with ESOPs that also have a 401(k) feature — or so-called “KSOPs.”
- Conducts due diligence on employee benefits issues related to mergers and acquisitions.
- Advises clients regarding health and welfare plans, including healthcare reform issues, multiple-employer welfare arrangements, ERISA preemption issues, and COBRA.
- Obtains private letter rulings for clients from the Internal Revenue Service on unique tax issues.
- Successful representation of major insurance company in the United States Supreme Court in Safeco Insurance Company of America v. Burr, 551 U.S. 47 (2007).
Honors and Awards
- Named a “Notable Practitioner” in the 2018 edition of the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (employee benefits/ERISA law)
- Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers
- Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubble Peer Review Ratings
- Inducted in the Rose State College Alumni Hall of Fame (2014)
- Named to Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 under 40 list of outstanding young professionals (2014)
- Honored with Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award (2011)
- Named a finalist for Leadership Oklahoma City’s Paragon Award (2011)
- Honored with Oklahoma City University School of Law’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award (2010)
- Honored with The Journal Record’s Leadership in Law Award, recognizing legal professionals for their professional and civic contributions to the state (2009)
- Honored with the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Community Service Award (2009)
- Honored with the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division Outstanding Director Award (2008)
Professional Organizations and Memberships
- Oklahoma County Bar Association
- Oklahoma Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- American Bar Association (Assistant Vice Chair, ABA Section of Taxation’s Employee Benefits Subcommittee on Multiple Employers, Professional Employer Organizations and Controlled and Affiliated Service Groups)
- SouthWest Benefits Association (President-Elect, Board of Directors)
- Employee Benefits Institute of Kansas City, Inc. (Steering Committee)
Civic Involvement and Leadership
- Oklahoma City University School of Law (Executive Board)
- Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma (Board of Directors)
- Royals Excellence in Education Foundation (President, Board of Directors)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters (Big Brother, 1994 — 2007)
- Leadership Oklahoma (Class XXVIII)
- Leadership Oklahoma City LOYAL Program (Class V)
- Oklahoma Board on Legislative Compensation (Former Member)
At The Podium
Health Benefit Plans in a Post-Affordable Care Act World
Code Section 414 Controlled Group Principles & Native American Tribal Governments
for Human Resources Spring 2017 Conference