Barry L. Salkin

New York, NY

I come to the employee benefits area with what I believe is a somewhat different perspective than many of my colleagues. My initial mentor in employee benefits when I began practicing at Kelley Drye & Warren in 1977 was the late Sam Howard, a member of the Selden Society, and while a graduate student in American history at Harvard before attending law school, I took a course in English legal history with the late professor Samuel Thorne, a leading authority on English legal history and common law. Not surprisingly, therefore, I find the common law of trusts at least as interesting as ERISA and its progeny, and look forward, when the occasion arises, to reading Dobbs on Equity Jurisprudence. When I began practicing, my time was divided between taxation and employee benefit, but with the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, I realized that the ability to maintain a high level of proficiency require a better person than myself, and since 1987, with the exception of my pro bono work for tax exempt entities, my practice has focused almost entirely on employee benefits.