Professional Bio

  • Russell Gaudreau is a partner at The Wagner Law Group. He consults with clients on a wide variety of issues regarding tax-qualified retirement plans, 403(b) and 457 plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, split-dollar life insurance arrangements and executive compensation.

    His clients include for-profit as well as tax-exempt employers, and he practices regularly before the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

    Additionally, Russ advises clients on employee benefit issues involving mergers and acquisitions, fiduciary responsibilities, prohibited transaction issues, executive compensation, and benefit programs for tax-exempt entities.

    Prior to The Wagner Law Group, Russ was a partner in the Tax & Benefits Department at Ropes & Gray, where he headed the firm’s employee benefits consulting and actuarial practice. While there, he concentrated on retirement plan and executive compensation matters.

    Russ also served as the managing partner of Ropes & Gray’s Washington, DC office where he developed a significant employee benefits practice and frequently obtained private letter rulings, closing agreements, and advisory opinions from the IRS and the DOL.

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    • Non Competition Provisions in Nonqualified Plan: Have the Courts Put Away the Blue Pencil?”, Journal of Deferred Compensation Nonqualified Plans and Executive Compensation, Volume 2, Number 3, Spring 1997


    • New Fee Disclosure Rules Increase Fiduciary Responsibilities,” Lawyers Weekly (May 31, 2012)
    • Executive Retirement Benefits in the Non-Profit Sector -- A White Paper -- Managing Expectations When There is No Perfect Answer,” BNA's Executive Compensation Library on the Web, March 8, 2010
    • “Executive Retirement Benefits in the Non-Profit Sector,Crain's New York, February 23, 2010
    • Chapter 23, Benders Federal Tax Service, “Tax-Sheltered Annuities, Church, Governmental and B Qualified Bond Pension Plans,” (1997)
  • Bar Admissions

    • District of Columbia, 1991
    • Massachusetts, 1968

    Court Admissions

    • Supreme Court of the United States

    Professional Memberships

    • American Bar Association (Committee on Employee Benefits of the Tax Section)
    • Boston Bar Association
    • District of Columbia Bar (Employee Benefits Tax Study Group, Employee Benefits Committee, ERISA Committee)
    • U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Employee Benefits Committee)

    Professional and Civic Activities

    • Former director and founder of the New England Employee Benefits Council
    • Charter fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
    • Long-time faculty member, Boston University School of Law Graduate Tax Program
    • Member of the Georgetown University Law Center faculty, where he teaches courses on pension, 401(k), 403(b) and other deferred compensation arrangements
    • Former member of the American Law Institute of the American Bar Association faculty
    • Former director and president of Parents’ & Children’s Services
    • Trustee, Suffolk University
    • Director, Beacon Hill Civic Association
    • Former director and board chair of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay

    • New York University School of Law, LL.M. (Tax Law), 1969
    • Suffolk University Law School, J.D. (cum laude), 1968
    • University of Massachusetts, B.A., 1965

    • Marquis Who's Who: Arthur Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award (2018)
    • Who’s Who in American Law (1990 - present)
    • New England’s Best Lawyers (2013 - present)
    • Massachusetts Super Lawyers List, New England Super Lawyers Magazine, (2004 - present)
    • The Best Lawyers in America (1987 - present)
    • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2006 - present)
    • Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition (2010 - present)
    • Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2004 - present)
    • Who’s Who in America (1990 - present)
    • Greater Boston Employee Benefits Lawyer of the Year (2010)
    • Who's Who in American Education (multiple editions)
    • Who's Who in the East (multiple editions)
    • Who's Who in the World (multiple editions)