Jonathan A. Kenter


New York
Business Phone: 212.704.6100
Business Fax: 212.704.8388


Jonathan Kenter is a partner in the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice. He represents large public and privately held companies in a broad array of employee benefit and executive compensation matters including employment and severance agreements, regulatory compliance, corporate transactions and dispute resolution. He has developed a particular expertise in benefits integration and disintegration arising out of corporate transactions. Jonathan also serves on the firm's retirement committee with authority over $300 million in assets.

Jonathan has practiced extensively before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. With over 30 years in the benefits field, both as an attorney and actuarial assistant / record keeper, Jonathan brings a unique perspective to the Compensation & Employee Benefits Practice Group. He routinely provides clients with risk assessments enabling management to make difficult decisions in a complex area of the law.

Representative Matters

  • Represent Administrative Committees of large public companies in the administration of all aspects of qualified, nonqualified and welfare benefit plans.
  • Designed early retirement windows for public companies involving enhanced benefits under qualified defined benefit plan, nonqualified supplemental executive retirement plan, severance and COBRA reimbursement components.
  • Negotiated benefits aspects of $900 million sale of gas pipeline, including 280G and retiree medical benefit issues and underfunded defined benefit pension plan liabilities.
  • Consolidated 401(k) and welfare benefit plans of seven affiliates of a large public telecom.
  • Extensive experience in the negotiation and drafting of employment agreements for the chief executive officers of public companies both on behalf of the executive and the company.
  • Counsel to sponsor of a terminating under-funded multiple-employer defined benefit pension plan.
  • Redesigned a variety of nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements to comply with Code Section 409A.
  • Negotiated numerous Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service audits of qualified plans.
  • Won summary judgment in litigation of benefit denials on behalf of U.S. Bank, as trustee of the Chock full o’Nuts Corporation Benefits Protection Trust for former executives and employees of company who were denied enhanced pension benefits following hostile takeover by Sara Lee Corp. Last in series of cases, all of which settled favorably to former employees. See Rubio v. Chock full o'Nuts Corp., 254 F. Supp. 2d 413 (S.D.N.Y. 2003), argued and won motion that exhausting administrative remedies would be futile, Sadowski v. Chock full o'Nuts Corp., Case No. 04 CV 2724 (JAP) (MCA).
  • Curtailed retiree medical benefit programs for numerous public companies.
  • Defended ERISA fiduciary breach claims asserted in litigation of life insurance benefit denial.
  • Counsels pension and 401(K) plan committees with aggregate assets over $2 billion.
  • Trustee of several rabbi trusts with assets over $4 million.

Professional Experience

  • Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2007-present
  • Partner, Bingham McCutchen LLP, 2001-2007
  • Partner, Senior Counsel, Richards & O'Neil LLP, 1994-2001
  • Associate, Shea & Gould, 1988-1994
  • Associate, Epstein, Becker and Green, 1985 -1988



  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1986
  • Bernard M. Baruch College, M.B.A., 1985
  • Yeshiva University, B.A., 1981

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey