Harley L. Bjelland is the sole owner of The ERISA Law Firm where he focuses on ERISA, employee benefits, and executive compensation. With over three decades of experience practicing employee benefits in California, Harley provides his clients with rich perspective and creative solutions to effectively respond to their needs and achieve favorable results.
“Call me when someone says ‘ERISA’ and you need a translator. I’ll speak plain English and listen attentively. I will get the information you need to make your business decisions. I’ll give it to you straight; if I can’t do the job, I will help you find the right resources.“
While Harley has over six hundred clients, Harley’s best asset comes from his extensive experience running benefit plans as an employer. Mr. Bjelland has served as the primary executive in charge of the administration and operation of the health and retirement plans for four 100 plus attorney law firms. This experience as a consumer of benefits advice has taught Harley to tailor his advice to the needs of his clients.
Targeting and understanding the employee culture at any company is the most important factor in any successful incentive compensation program. A properly structured reward program will create timely and realistic targets resulting in incentives that will push key personnel to perform. Harley has designed, implemented and terminated thousands of executive compensation packages that target and achieve key financial goals for the plan sponsor.
An expert witness explains the law to the trier of fact. The most successful expert witnesses garner the trust of the judge or jury. Harley’s personal, plain English approach to the complexities of benefits litigation simplifies the trier’s obligations. Harley has served as an expert witness on numerous actions involving Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and ERISA. Harley’s 37 years of experience lends itself to educate triers of fact regarding the obligations, duties and procedures a fiduciary must navigate to comply with this complex area of the law.
Harley’s areas of emphasis include qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans, and defined benefit pension plans; health and welfare benefit plans, including medical, dental, disability, life and HSAs; and executive perquisites such as SERPs, non-qualified plans, Section 409A issues, stock, and other compensation.
The Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating is the highest possible rating for an attorney for both ethical standards and legal ability. This rating represents the pinnacle of professional excellence. It is achieved only after an attorney has been reviewed and recommended by their peers – members of the bar and the judiciary. Harley L. Bjelland has achieved an AV® Preeminent™ Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.