William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 1981
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, B.B.A., 1976
Awards & Honors
Recognized as "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers in America 2017 in Employee Benefits Law
Inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, 2016
Selected for inclusion in SuperLawyers®
Named among The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of employee benefits law
Elected to the Great Lakes Area Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TE/GE) Council
Jeff Cairns advises employers on ERISA and employee benefit matters, including qualified and nonqualified pension and profit sharing plans, ESOPs, welfare and fringe benefit plans. Jeff, who is a certified public accountant, also provides tax and compensation planning advice for owners of closely held businesses and for executives of public and private companies. He provides technical support to insurance and financial advisors and consultants, and third-party administrators of pension and welfare plans.
Jeff is a frequent lecturer for Minnesota Continuing Legal Education and other legal education programs.
Jeff is a regular contributor to the firm’s Benefits Notes blog, which delivers analysis on the continuously evolving areas of health care reform, retirement plan design and executive compensation.
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Minnesota Society of CPAs
National and Minnesota Chapters of ESOP Association, Midwest Pension Conference, National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)
Minnesota State Bar Association, Advisory Council of the Employee Benefits Section, Past Member, 1991-2000, President and Chair, 1999-2000
American Bar Association, Tax Section; Employee Benefits Committee; Real Property; Trust and Probate Section; ESOP Subcommittee
Minnesota State Chamber of Commerce, Secretary/Treasurer, 2004-2007
Minnesota Advisory Committee, Upper Midwest Pension Rights Project, 1994-Present
Minnesota State Chamber Business Services Inc., Past Chair, Board of Directors
William Mitchell College of Law, Former Trustee member of Audit and Finance Committee and Chair of Compliance Committee
Minneapolis Rotary Club #9 (downtown), Past Vice President, Treasurer and Board Member
Minneapolis Rotary Foundation, Board Member