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Ann M. Caresani

Cleveland, OH | D 216.696.4788 | F 216.592.5009 | M 216.798.0241
Columbus, OH | D 614.358.9717 | F 614.358.9712

Ann Caresani, co-chair of the Tucker Ellis Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation and Tax practices, is a trusted advisor to business owners, board members, executives, and in-house counsel.

As a business attorney and certified public accountant with an M.B.A., Ann has the business perspective needed to assist clients with their strategic objectives such as business succession planning and mergers and acquisitions. She works closely with Tucker Ellis attorneys with various areas of expertise to ensure that clients’ needs are timely and efficiently met, regardless of the nature of the issues faced.

Ann focuses her practice on employee benefits, ERISA, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), and executive compensation. She counsels employers on the design, administration, and termination of their employee benefit programs, including tax-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation arrangements.

Ann defends employers, plan administrators, trustees, banks, insurers, investment managers, and other fiduciaries and service providers in ERISA litigation matters, including class action pension claims, ESOPs, breach of fiduciary duty claims, multi-employer plan breach of fiduciary duty claims regarding investment management, bankruptcy trustee claims involving 403(b) plan assets, executive compensation top-hat benefit claims, and denial of medical and disability benefit claims.

Ann helps plan fiduciaries resolve technical issues with actuaries, third-party administrators, and other service providers. She advises plan administrators, domestic relations attorneys, and financial advisors regarding qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs). Ann also represents employers with respect to employee benefit matters before governmental agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor, and she assists employers with government filings and reports, audits, investigations, voluntary compliance programs, determination letter requests, and private letter ruling requests. Ann counsels employers, third-party administrators, and multiple employer welfare arrangement sponsors and trustees to help ensure they comply with laws affecting employee benefits, such as the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA, FMLA, ADA, ADEA, Title VII, COBRA, HIPAA, and GINA. She helps them navigate through health care reform (Affordable Care Act), HIPAA privacy, and HIPAA data security breaches, and stay abreast of emerging guidance in these areas, such as regarding association health plans. She also advises financial institutions regarding prohibited transaction exemptions.

Ann is Band 2-ranked in Chambers USA 2017 for her work in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Ohio), where she is described as "excellent – readily available, prompt with information and a valuable external asset for the company."

Ann enjoys spending time with her husband and three sons, especially when traveling somewhere tropical. She is currently seeking partners to join her in ziplining, practicing air yoga, and riding roller coasters.

education & admissions


  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1994)
  • Cleveland State University (M.B.A., 1993)
  • Cleveland State University (B.B.A., magna cum laude, 1988)

state admissions

  • Ohio, 1994

federal admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
services & industries

service areas

industries represented

  • Accounting Firms
  • Architectural & Engineering Firms
  • Colleges & Universities
  • Financial Institutions
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • Manufacturing

Representative Matters

  • Counseled a non-profit chamber of commerce regarding the establishment of a multiple employer welfare arrangement
  • Counseled a corporation throughout Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration investigation
  • Enabled an employer to resolve multiple complex problems with a 401(k) plan utilizing IRS and Department of Labor correction programs
  • Counseled a corporation regarding due diligence and purchase agreement provisions in the acquisition of a business
  • Advised a corporation and fiduciaries with respect to its ESOP
  • Represented a trustee regarding the sale of an ESOP-owned business to a third party
  • Advised a foreign publicly held company regarding M&A risks including ERISA withdrawal liability exposure associated with a multi-employer plan
  • Advised a Fortune 500 company regarding retention agreement for its general counsel
  • Counseled a community college regarding welfare and retirement plans and compliance issues and addressed State Teacher Retirement System questions
  • Represented a publicly held company in ERISA litigation with current and former employees
publications & events

Recent Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • "Benefits Law in Corporate Transactions," Emerging Topics in Employment & Employee Benefits Law, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (March 2018)
  • "Affordable Care Act and Employer Group Health Plans," American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, Cleveland Chapter, Independence, Ohio (December 2017)
  • "WEB and CMBA Joint Year-End Legal & Regulatory Update," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio (December 2017)
  • "ERISA and the Trump Administration: Hot Topics and New Developments in 2017," 2017 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2017)
  • "HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance and Readiness," A Different and Better Data Security Guide: Counseling Clients and Managing Crises, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (July 2017)
  • “HIPAA Best Practices and Audit Readiness,” Webinar, Health Action Council (February 2017)
  • “Employment and Benefits Law Update: How to Avoid the Blues in 2017,” Oswald Companies, Cleveland, Ohio (December 2016)
  • "Retirement Benefits: Department of Labor’s Final Fiduciary Rule," 59th Annual Cleveland Tax Institute, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio (December 2016)
  • “Hot Topics in ERISA & Employee Benefits,” Hot Topics in Employment & Employee Benefits Law, Tucker Ellis LLP, Columbus, Ohio (November 2016)
  • "ERISA Update," 2016 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2016)
  • "Healthcare Issues for Employers," Hot Topics in Employment & Employee Benefits Law, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2016)
  • "ESOPs As an Estate Planning Tool: An Introduction to Employee Stock Ownership Plans," 43rd Annual Estate Planning Institute, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2016)
  • "Implementing Your Policies: How to Effectively Train and Monitor Your Employees," Practical Tips and Tools to Deal with Cybersecurity Challenges, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (July 2016)
  • "Understanding Where and How Your ESOP Benefit Fits In Your Retirement Plan," 30th Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference, Fairlawn, Ohio (April 2016)
  • "Retaining Top Talent: What’s New in Executive Compensation?", Moderator, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB), Cleveland, Ohio (February 2016)
  • "Best Practices and Maintaining Flexibility for the Future," The Mutual Business Model, Columbus, Ohio (February 2016)
  • "ERISA Litigation Issues," Cleveland Tax Institute, Cleveland, Ohio (December 2015)
  • "ERISA Professionalism Hurdles," Tucker Ellis Ohio Professional Conduct Program, Cleveland, Ohio (December 2015)
  • "Avoiding ERISA Red Flags in Healthcare, Retirement Plans, and Litigation," 2015 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2015)
  • "M&A Impact on Health and Welfare Benefits: What You Need to Think About to Prevent Unanticipated Problems in Closing and Transition," A 360-Degree Review of ERISA Issues, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, Ohio and Cleveland, Ohio (July 2015)
  • "Health, Pension and Multiemployer Issues," A 360-Degree Review of ERISA Issues, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, Ohio and Cleveland, Ohio (July 2015)
  • "Employment Risks: How to Protect and Train Your Employees," Tucker Ellis Privacy and Data Security Risks: Are You Prepared?, Cleveland, Ohio (July 2015)
  • "Managing ESOP Repurchase Obligations Before They Become Unmanageable," 28th Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference, Fairlawn, Ohio (April 2014)
  • "ERISA from the Plan’s Administrator’s Point of View for the Domestic Relations Practitioner," The Center for Principled Family Advocacy, Cleveland, Ohio (March 2014)
  • "Trends, Strategies and Outlook for the 401(k) Landscape," Chapman & Chapman and SS&G, Chagrin Falls, Ohio (October 2013)
  • "Health Care Reform Is Raining Down: What Employers Need to Do to Take Cover," Akron Area SHRM Annual Legal and Legislative Conference, Akron, Ohio (May 2013)
  • Legal Ethics, Professionalism and Substance Abuse Seminar, Association of Corporate Counsel, Northeast Ohio Chapter, Cleveland, Ohio (November 2012)
  • "Are You Prepared? 401(k) Fee Disclosure – Your Role as a Plan Sponsor," Beacon Financial Partners Seminar, Beachwood, Ohio (June 2012)
  • "Health Care Reform Developments in 2012 and Beyond: Don’t Wait!," International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Cleveland, Ohio (January 2012)
  • "Professional Considerations in Employee Benefits Matters," Legal Ethics, Professionalism and Substance Abuse Seminar, Association of Corporate Counsel, Northeast Ohio Chapter, Cleveland, Ohio (November 2011)
  • "401(k) Fiduciary Responsibilities," 35th Annual Convention & Trade Show, Community Bankers Association of Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio (August 2009)

Media Quotes


Awards & Professional Recognition

  • Chambers USA
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Ohio) (2013-2017)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2015-2018)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers® (2016-2018)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars® (2005)
  • Women of Professional Excellence Award, YWCA of Greater Cleveland (2009)

in the community

Civic & Professional Involvement

  • American Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Treasurer
    • Board of Trustees Member, Fiscal Policy Committee Member (2014-2017)
    • 3Rs Volunteer 
    • 2014 Women Honoring Women, Co-Chair
    • Women in Law Section, Chair (2012-2013)
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Worldwide Employee Benefits Network
    • Cleveland Chapter Steering Committee, Secretary
  • National Center for Employee Ownership
  • Ohio Employee Ownership Center
  • The ESOP Association
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
    • Cleveland Chapter
  • Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities, Great Lakes Region Member
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Perspectives on employee benefits, executive compensation and ERISA litigation to help you attract and retain talent.
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