Chirag Shah is a partner in the firm and has over 25 years of experience practicing in the full spectrum of ERISA and employee benefit law as well as labor and employment law. Since May 2011, he has served as independent counsel to the board of the largest public pension system in the United States; he also serves as ERISA and employee benefits counsel to numerous employee benefit plans and trusts. Mr. Shah began his career with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel headquarters in Washington, DC. He worked as an associate in a large law firm (and was managing director of Shah and Associates, APLC, from 2009 thru 2021) before forming Haney & Shah LLP with his long-time friend Steven H. Haney. Mr. Shah worked full-time through high school, college, law school, and Georgetown University Law Center’s Master of Laws (LL.M. with distinction) and Certificate in Employee Benefits Law programs. He received his undergraduate degree with double majors (B.S. in Management with Accounting Concentration and Second Major in Political Science) from the University of Massachusetts in 1992, while working full-time at a major mutual fund company.
In his benefits practice, Mr. Shah serves as benefits counsel to many (large, mid-size, and small) corporate as well as multi-employer, collectively bargained Taft-Hartley trusts, labor-management cooperation committees and apprenticeship trusts governed by administrative committees and boards of trustee. On a daily basis, he advises sponsors, committees, trustees, fiduciaries, administrators, consultants, investment managers, accountants, and administrative personnel of retirement and health and welfare benefit plans, funds and programs in all aspects of administration, compliance, and litigation. Mr. Shah has provided “lead counsel” or “sole counsel” advice to private boards of trustee and public pension boards throughout California. The areas of law that Mr. Shah works with on a daily basis include the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Internal Revenue Code, the Health Care Reform Law, the California Government Code, the California Public Employees’ Retirement Law, the California Public Employees’ Medical and Hospital Care Act, the California Code of Revenue and Taxation, the Administrative Procedures Act (state and federal), due process and constitutional law, and probate and community property law as they relate to employee benefit plans. The asset value of employee benefit plans that Mr. Shah has been involved in has ranged from $2 million to over $500 billion.
From January 2009 thru December 2021, Mr. Shah regularly updated a 200-plus page chapter, “Retirement, Pension, and Health and Welfare Benefits,” covering almost every aspect of ERISA and employee benefits law in a national treatise published by Thomson Reuters/West.
In his labor and employment law practice, Mr. Shah handles all aspects of the counseling and litigation, including arbitration, administrative proceedings, and state and federal court litigation. Mr. Shah regularly practices before the National Labor Relations Board as well as other federal and state agencies such as the United States Department of Labor and the California Department of Industrial Relations. This side of the practice also encompasses construction industry labor law, including prevailing wage compliance and public works enforcement.
Immediately prior to law school, Mr. Shah worked full-time during college and thereafter for over five years in retirement planning, plan/trust administration, and investment management of employee benefit plan assets at a major mutual fund company. Mr. Shah has extensive personal experience serving on numerous governing boards and committees of a variety of nonprofit organizations as a component of his unwavering commitment to public and community service.