Eric S. Smith regularly advises clients regarding the design and implementation of all types of retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. He also advises clients regarding the design and management of welfare benefit programs, including health plans and cafeteria plans. He assists clients with day-to-day administrative, nondiscrimination and fiduciary issues, including operational and reporting corrections under the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor voluntary correction programs.

Prior to joining Conner & Winters, Eric was a shareholder of Blackwell Smith, P.C.   He also practiced with another respected Tulsa firm in the areas of corporate law, business transactions, tax-exempt organizations and health law, as well as employee benefits law.

Eric has been included in the Best Lawyers in America among employee benefits practitioners each year since 2009.  He is a graduate of Leadership Tulsa and has served as a director of the SouthWest Benefits Association, Tulsa Employee Benefits Group, Big Brothers and Sisters of Green Country and the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business Alumni Association.

Best Lawyers 2024 Badge - Eric Smith


Prepare qualified plan documents and represent clients with respect to Internal Revenue Service determination letter applications

Prepare for and represent clients in Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor employee benefit plan audits and voluntary correction actions undertaken with both agencies

Advise clients regarding plan design and documentation changes relating to health care reform employer mandate compliance

Advise clients regarding design and prepare documentation for nonqualified deferred compensation plans

Advise clients regarding executive compensation issues arising from employment agreements and severance arrangements

Perform employee benefit plan due diligence relating to mergers and acquisitions and advise both buyers and sellers with respect to employee benefits issues

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Recognitions

Named the Best Lawyers’ 2013 Tulsa Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law "Lawyer of the Year"

Listed in Best Lawyers in America© for Employee Benefits Law  (2009-2020)

Oklahoma Law Review, Managing Editor

Order of the Coif

Community & Professional

American Bar Association

Oklahoma Bar Association

Tulsa County Bar Association

Southwest Benefits Association (past Director)

Tulsa Employee Benefits Group (past Director)

Tulsa Pension Attorneys (past Chairperson)

Leadership Tulsa graduate

Other Activities and Interests

Youth sports coach and Sunday School teacher

Frequent speaker on employee benefits topics including:

  • COVID-19 Return to Work Issues, Nov. 2020, Southwest Benefits Association 31st Annual Benefits Compliance Conference, via Zoom
  • Legislative Update, August 2020, Tulsa Employee Benefits Group, Tulsa, OK, Via Zoom
  • Participant Coming and Goings in Welfare Plans: The Latest Updates on Status Change Rules, April 2020, Southwest Benefits Association Administrative Workshop, Oklahoma City
  • Nuts and Bolts of Severance Plans, March 2015, SouthWest Benefits Association Plan Administration Skills Workshop, Oklahoma City
  • Department of Labor Audits: What Plan Administrators Need to Know, March 2014 SouthWest Benefits Association Plan Administration Skills Workshop, Oklahoma City
  • Fee Disclosures, Revenue Sharing, ERISA Accounts and Litigation, April 2014, Tulsa Employee Benefits Group
  • Transition Relief under Final Pay or Play Regulations and Review of DOL FAQ XVIII, February 2014, Tulsa Pension Attorneys
  • Health Reform: PPACA's Continuing Impact on Plans and Plan Administrators, March 2013 SouthWest Benefits Association Plan Administration Skills Workshop, Oklahoma City
  • Latest Update on the PPACA: What’s Happening Now, April 2013, Fundamentals of Employment Law, Tulsa
  • PPACA: The New Health Care Law Issue, March 2013 SouthWest Benefits Association Plan Administration Skills Workshop, Oklahoma City
  • Health Reform: Preparing for 2014, January 2013, Tulsa Employee Benefits Group
  • Executive Compensation Strategies, April 2012, Executive Luncheon Series, Tulsa
  • Health Care Reform – Update Preparing for the Inevitable, October 2011, Tulsa Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinators Association
  • Welfare Plan Design, November 2010, SouthWest Benefits Association Employee Benefits Conference for Practitioners and Plan Sponsors, Dallas
  • Practical Issues for 403(b) Plans and Year?End Retirement Plan Amendment and Notice Reminders, October 2009, Tulsa Employee Benefits Group
  • New Rules for Health Plans, COBRA Subsidy, Expanded Special Enrollment Rules, Mental Health Parity and More, April 2009, Tulsa Employee Benefits Group
  • New HIPAA Privacy and Security Developments, November 2009, TAHRA Employment Law & Practices Seminar, Tulsa
  • Administering the Qualified Change in Status Rules and Related Issues, February 2009, SouthWest Benefits Association Plan Administration Skills Workshop, Tulsa


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