Head of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Services
: Sacramento, CA
Scott E. Galbreath joined the firm in April of 2013, adding over 25 years of experience in ERISA, employee benefits, and executive compensation. His practice areas include counseling for profit, tax exempt and governmental clients on all aspects of employee benefits: choosing appropriate retirement, deferred compensation, equity compensation, cafeteria and other health and welfare benefit plans; using benefits to attract and retain key executive and management employees; using benefits (including ESOPs), in succession planning; ERISA, Internal Revenue Code section 401(a), 403(b), 409A and 457 compliance; CalPERS and PEPRA compliance; investments, prohibited transactions, and fiduciary duties; multiemployer plan funding and withdrawal liability rules; as well as drafting plan documents and correcting plan operational or document failures, and representing clients in IRS audits or Department of Labor investigations. Prior to joining the firm, Scott was a Senior Attorney with the Folsom employee benefits firm of Chang, Ruthenberg & Long P.C. for over five years. Scott also practices in the areas of tax, estate planning, and business law.
Scott graduated from IIT CHICAGO-KENT College of Law and also earned an LL.M in Taxation, with Honors, from IIT CHICAGO-KENT. He was recognized as an Illinois Leading Lawyer in Employee Benefits in 2006 by the Leading Lawyer Network. He was appointed to teach Executive Compensation as an adjunct professor for the John Marshall Law School's Center for Tax and Employee Benefits Graduate Program in 2007 but resigned upon moving to California in late 2007. He is also a former officer of the Chicago Bar Association's Employee Benefits Committee and former Chair of its Executive Compensation Subcommittee.
Scott was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1986 and 22 years later sat for and passed the California bar exam in 2008. In California, Scott has served as Chair of the Sacramento County Bar Association's Tax Section as well as President of the Sacramento Chapter of the Western Pension & Benefits Council. He has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Governing Board of the Western Pension & Benefits Council and a board member of the Sacramento Chapter of the National Institute of Pension Administrators. His peers named him a Top Lawyer for Employee Benefits for 2015 on the list published by Sacramento Magazine.
Scott is a frequent writer and speaker on new developments in employee benefits. In September 2007, he helped organize, spoke at and moderated the first annual Executive Compensation Institute sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association and the John Marshall Law School. He was also integral in establishing the Capital Forum On Pensions, the Sacramento area's annual employee benefits conference established in 2013. At the 2015 Forum he presented "When and Why to Use Nonqualified Plans". He is also a regular speaker at the Sacramento County Bar Association's Tax Symposium. At the 2015 Symposium he presented "Using Benefits to Compensate Key Management & In Succession Planning". Scott also spoke at the 2015 Western Benefits Conference on "Affordable Care Act Practical Choices for Employers". He is also a regular contributor to the Journal of Pension Benefits where his article, "Howdy Partner! Compensatory Equity Interests in Entities Taxed as Partnerships Transforms Employees to Partners-Tax Reform Proposals Don't Resolve Issue" appeared in the Winter 2015 issue.
Scott lives in El Dorado Hills with his wife and son.