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Bennett H. Speyer

1000 Jackson Street
Toledo, OH 43604


Denise Busch

Bennett H. Speyer is a partner in the firm whose practice is focused in employee benefits law (ERISA) and executive compensation.  He is regularly involved in advising plan sponsors, as well as fiduciaries, regarding the legal and tax issues involved with the design and administration of various types of benefit plans, including qualified retirement plans, non-qualified plans and other executive compensation arrangements, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPS), cafeteria plans, health and other welfare benefit plans, including the drafting of these plans.  Bennett advises a wide variety of plan sponsors, including corporate/institutional employers, entrepreneurial businesses, professional service firms, closely held and family business owners, joint boards of trustees (Taft Hartley plans), as well as tax exempt organizations and governmental employers, including colleges and universities. Bennett is also routinely involved with the representation of plan sponsors and fiduciaries before the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of Labor, which regulate the administration of employee benefit plans.

In addition to representation of employers and plan sponsors, Bennett is legal counsel to elite level college and professional coaches, athletic directors, conference commissioners, as well as executives in the sports and entertainment industry.  Working collaboratively with their agents, financial advisors and accountants, Bennett emphasizes structuring their contracts in a manner to achieve future financial security by utilizing tax efficient compensation, including appropriately designed deferred compensation arrangements, and that their contracts provide well considered protections given the risks and uncertainties endemic to this industry.  These clients also rely upon Bennett for advice developing and implementing their estate plans and philanthropic objectives, and participation in outside business ventures.

Prior to his legal career, Bennett was a tax consultant in the Tax Department of Ernst & Whinney (n/k/a Ernst & Young LLP) in its Cleveland, Ohio office, where his responsibilities included tax planning and compliance for executives, business owners, tax exempt organizations, and a professional sports franchise.  He is a graduate of Miami University and the University of Toledo College of Law.  While in law school, Bennett was a member of the Moot Court Board and the Federal Tax Moot Court Team and was a recipient of the Brief Writing Award in Albert R. Mugel National Tax Moot Court Competition (1985).

Bennett frequently speaks to professional and industry groups regarding employee benefits and related tax planning.


  • Toledo Business Journal, “Who’s Who in Toledo Area Law”

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Entertainment and Sports Industry Forum
  • Sports Lawyers Association
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

News Releases



Events and Presentations

04.16.2018"Cracking the Tax Code - Expert Advice," Collegiate Sports Summit, Santa Monica, California
04.02.2018"Creative Coach Retention Strategies," Collegiate Coaching Consortium, San Antonio, Texas
04.22.2015"Negotiating Win-Win Coaching Contracts," Collegiate Sports Summit, Santa Monica, California
07.16.2014The Shumaker Sports Career Development Forum
05.15.2014"Negotiating Coaching Agreements"
04.06.2013"NCAA Amateurism:  Compliance and the Evolution of the Collegiate Athletic Department," Panelist, 16th Annual University of Miami Law ESLS Entertainment & Sports Law Symposium, Miami, Florida
October 2012"A Critical 30 Minute Timeout for Big Ten Basketball Officials – Rethinking How to Fund Your Retirement," Chicago, Illinois
April 2012"Qualified and Non-Qualified Retirement Plans – ‘Diamonds in the Rough’ for Successful Business Owners:  Strategic Uses for Building Wealth and Retaining Key Employees," SCULL and Company Jewelry Consultants Independent Retailer Jewelers Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
05.01.2011"Important Tax Considerations and Planning Opportunities When Representing Sports Figures," Sports Lawyers Association 2011 Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.
04.01.2010"Overview of Health Care Reform," Toledo Area Construction Financial Management Association
10.01.2009"Your Responsibilities to 401(k) Participants: A Primer on ERISA for Business Owners and Their Advisors," United Way of Hancock County Professional Development Symposium
04.01.2009"Maximizing Value for the Coach," Panelist, Florida Coastal School of Law Sports Symposium
11.01.2007"ERISA Update," Findlay/Hancock County Bar Association
12.01.2006"The Pension Protection Act of 2006," Toledo Employers’ Association
10.01.2006"ESOPs: The Best Kept Secret in Business Succession Planning," Findlay, Ohio
10.01.2006"Key Plan Design Opportunities and Mandates and Individual Tax Planning Strategies Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006," Findlay Estate Planning Council

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Alternate biographies




  • J.D., The University of Toledo College of Law, 1985
  • B.A., Economics, Miami University, 1982

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Ohio, 1985