Richard D. Nix
Shareholder, Practice Group Leader
Richard Nix is the leader of the firm’s Subrogation Recovery Service Group and an experienced attorney whose practice encompasses the entire range of employee benefit services, including qualified plans, nonqualified plans, executive compensation arrangements, health and welfare plans, subrogation recovery and all other deferred compensation matters. He is frequently called upon to provide analyses of, and/or recommendations concerning the tax, fiduciary requirements, and ERISA ramifications of business decisions on retirement, welfare benefit and executive compensation plans, and to provide consultation and advice on retirement plan matters for public, private and tax-exempt clients. He has also acted as counsel in connection with the formation of many tax-qualified retirement plans and in connection with plan terminations and amendments.
Richard is keenly aware of the special problems that can arise in connection with various employee benefit arrangements, including affiliated service group, non-discrimination and coverage requirements for qualified retirement plans, and subrogation recovery issues for health plans. He has also provided counseling to many governmental and tax-exempt clients in the areas of Section 403(b) and Section 457 plans and has worked extensively in the areas of the IRC §401(a)(4) regulations allowing benefit-based compliance with the IRC nondiscrimination requirements.
An ardent advocate for employer-sponsors of healthcare plans, Richard is a co-founder of the Oklahoma Employers Healthcare Alliance, a statewide coalition committed to educating and empowering Oklahoma employers and their employees to make informed healthcare-related decisions, as well as promoting healthcare quality, cost-effectiveness, transparency and accountability.
As part of his practice, Richard is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences on employee benefits topics, including the annual SouthWest Benefits Association Intermediate Level Training Seminar for Employee Benefits Practitioners and Plan Sponsors. In addition to having previously served on the board of directors of the SouthWest Benefits Association, he has published several articles and been a guest lecturer at the University of Oklahoma. He was also one of seven lawyers worldwide to be selected to serve on the 2007-2008 Edge Awards Article Review Board for Law Practice magazine. Edge Awards honor outstanding articles most likely to have a practical influence in shaping the future actions lawyers take to manage their practices.
Richard’s experience and achievements have earned him inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (corporate law; employee benefits/ERISA law) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers. He was selected by Best Lawyers as the “Oklahoma City Employee Benefits (ERISA) Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 and 2017 and “Oklahoma City Corporate Lawyer of the Year” for 2015, honors given to a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each market.
Richard previously served as the firm’s managing director for nine years.Download Bio (PDF)
- Counseled employers on the design, drafting and administration of employee benefit plans and the handling of such plans in corporate transactions.
- Represented clients before governmental agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
- Evaluated ERISA claims in the context of litigation and threatened litigation
- Counseled collectively bargained multi-employer plans on compliance with the Taft-Hartley Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and IRS Tax Code.
- Counseled clients on tax planning, especially as it pertains to lessening their exposure to both estate tax and income tax.
- Assisted clients with the rehabilitation of qualified retirement plans that have incurred a “qualification” failure.
- Handled cases with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration involving allegations of fiduciary breaches.
- Counseled trustees of multi-employer plans on issues concerning fee disclosures and conflicts of interest among providers.
- Submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of the petition for a writ of certiorari in an ERISA subrogation case regarding the scope of appropriate equitable relief under ERISA’s civil enforcement provisions. Great-West Life & Annuity Ins. Co. v. Knudson, 534 U.S. 204 (2002).
Honors and Awards
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (corporate law; employee benefits/ERISA law)
- Named “Oklahoma City Employee Benefits (ERISA) Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 and 2017 and “Oklahoma City Corporate Lawyer of the Year” for 2015 by The Best Lawyers in America
- Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers
- Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings
- Honored with The Journal Record’s Leadership in Law Award, recognizing legal professionals for their professional and civic contributions to the state (2007)
Professional Organizations and Memberships
- Oklahoma County Bar Association
- Oklahoma Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Oklahoma Employers Healthcare Alliance (Co-Founder)
- Oklahoma City Employee Benefits Conference
- IRS Midstates EP/EO Council (Former Secretary/Treasurer)
- SouthWest Benefits Association (Former Member, Board of Directors)
Civic Involvement and Leadership
- State Chamber of Oklahoma (Board of Directors)
- Calm Waters, Inc. (Board of Directors)
- Gatewood Elementary School (Tutor)
- Greater Oklahoma City Chamber (Board of Directors)
- Oklahoma Attorneys Mutual Insurance Company (Board of Directors)
- OU Medical Center (Board of Trustees)
- YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City (Board of Directors)