William E. Robinson

Of Counsel
1900 Republic Centre
633 Chestnut Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37450
T: 423.209.4107
F: 423.752.9614

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Bill Robinson concentrates his practice in ERISA and Employee Benefits. He has extensive experience in the areas of pension and welfare benefits. He also provides advice on benefit plans in connection with mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Robinson has represented multi-employer pension and welfare plans and advises corporate clients on multi-employer plan issues. Mr. Robinson also represents governmental entities in connection with retirement plan matters. He represents both "for profit" and "tax exempt" employers with respect to non-qualified deferred compensation and other areas of executive compensation. He also works with the labor and employment and litigation attorneys in support of employee benefits litigation and advises business clients on ESOP matters.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • "Victims of Louisiana Storms and Flooding May Access Assets from Qualified Retirement Plans to Alleviate Hardships," Baker Donelson Tax Alert, September 2, 2016
  • "Fiduciary Duty and the Voluntary Compliance Program," Fiduciary Duty and the Voluntary Compliance Program, May 12, 2016
  • "DOL Audit Preparation: Fiduciary Liabilities, Identity Theft and Online Security," Webinar, April 26, 2016
  • "Using Retirement Accounts To Fund Franchise Growth," Franchise Business Network South Spring 2016 Quarterly Meeting, April 12, 2016
  • "DOL Audit Preparation: Fiduciary Training and Upcoming Regulatory Changes," Webinar, January 14, 2016
  • "DOL Audit Preparation: Fiduciary Training Module 1," Webinar, November 17, 2015
  • ERISA Expert Panel member on benefits issues and speaker, the Tennessee Society of CPAs 2015 Employee Benefit Plans Conference, Nashville, Tennessee (May 4, 2015)
  • "401(k) Plan Liabilities and Fiduciary Responsibility," Tennessee Bar Association 2015 Corporate Counsel Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (March 6, 2015)
  • "Affordable Care Act," County & Local Governments Workshop, Gatlinburg, Tennessee (June 5, 2013) 
  •  "Fiduciary Duty: An Overview and a Guide to Common Mistakes in 401(k) Plans", Chattanooga, Tennessee (March 13, 2013) 
  •  "Little Noticed Provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act May Cause Big Mistakes," Chattanooga Society for Human Resources Management Annual Legal Round-Up, Chattanooga, Tennessee (February 12, 2013) 
  •  ERISA Seminar Series: "DOL Issues Final Regs on Fee Disclosures," Nashville, Tennessee (August 22, 2012), Knoxville, Tennessee (August 8, 2012), Chattanooga, Tennessee (July 18, 2012), Nashville, Tennessee (June 13, 2012) 
  •  "DOL Issues Final Regs on Fee Disclosures," Chattanooga Society for Human Resources Management Annual Legal Round-Up, Chattanooga, Tennessee (February 14, 2012)
  • "Defective Retirement Plans," co-author, Employee Benefit Plan Review (January 2012)
  • "Surviving and Succeeding in the World of Health Care Reform," 2011 Tennessee SHRM Conference and Exposition, Society for Human Resource Management, Chattanooga, Tennessee (September 21, 2011)
  • "Sponsoring Your 401(k): Things You Have to Do and Things You Shouldn't Do," Brentwood, Tennessee (October 14, 2011) and Chattanooga, Tennessee (September 14, 2011)
  • "The Impact of Health Care Reform on Employers," Habif, Arogeti & Wynn, LLP, Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors, Atlanta, Georgia (November 2, 2010)
  • "Common Mistakes Made by 401(k) Plan Sponsors and Administrators," Tax and Estate Planning Seminar, Baker Donelson office, Jackson, Mississippi (November 12, 2009)
  • "Know Your Risk Tolerance Before Self-Insuring," co-author, Society for Human Resource Management's Legal Report (September-October 2009) 
  • "Overview of 403(b) Plans," Chattanooga Tax Practitioners (November 11, 2008)
  • Testified at working group hearing of the Department of Labor ERISA Advisory Council, 2003

Professional Honors & Activities

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law since 2007
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2017, 2015 and 2012 Chattanooga Employee Benefits (ERISA) "Lawyer of the Year" 
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee and American Bar Associations
  • National Association of Public Pension Attorneys
  • Chattanooga Estate Planning Council
  • Chattanooga Tax Practitioners
  • Former President, Board of Directors – Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Public Library
  • Former Chairman, Board of Directors – WTCI-Public Television
  • Former Chairman – Endowment Committee, Grace Episcopal Church
  • Former President – Chattanooga Arts and Education Council


  • Tennessee, 1980
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. Tennessee, 2004
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2016


  • University of Tennessee, J.D., 1980
  • University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, B.A., 1977