Jenny Kiesewetter is getting ready to move her boutique law firm into what will be its third home in three years, a product of the workload for employee benefits attorneys like her swelling with each passing month as new regulations come down from the federal government.
She’s not only moving. In the last week, she’s also made two new hires. That brings the total staff of the Kiesewetter Law Firm PLLC to seven – four attorneys including Kiesewetter, two paralegals and one receptionist.
The firm – which focuses on employee benefits, health care regulatory compliance and corporate law – is shifting from Independent Bank Tower at 5050 Poplar Ave. to the Forum III building at 1770 Kirby Parkway. Kiesewetter recently signed a lease for almost 3,500 square feet at Forum III, and she said construction is expected to start within the next week.
“Compliance is really heating up across the board. ... It’s hard to keep up with it for businesses, but we’re definitely growing to meet that need.”
– Jenny Kiesewetter
Her firm is taking the remaining space on the fourth floor also occupied by Northwestern Mutual.
“We’re probably going to be there around May 1,” she said. “They’re going to start construction probably within the next week, and it’s going to take them two months to build it out.”
The move more than doubles the firm’s available space – a good move, since it was growing fast. It has about 1,100 square feet of room at its current home at Independent Bank Tower, which is where the firm moved in 2011 after leaving previous office space across the street from The Crescent Center.
To understand her trajectory, in the space of about a year Kiesewetter started a firm, moved it into a new office and started bringing on staffers.
Kiesewetter was a partner at Evans Petree PC before deciding to start her own firm. She felt the time was right to do so for many reasons, including the challenge of staying on top of regulatory changes that need to be conveyed to clients.
Outside of the office, she teaches employee benefits law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where she’s an adjunct professor. She’s also keeping up a variety of speaking engagements, talking to audiences about that and related topics.
“Things are just getting busier, and we’re trying to stay ahead of the curve,” she said. “It’s kind of fun swimming fast.
“Right now, health care reform is ‘wearing the tiara,’ for better or worse. It’s really cranking up with 2014 coming and the exchanges forming and taking shape. Businesses have a lot of questions about how that’s going to impact them. And I’m doing a lot of work right now on helping businesses plan for it. Not to be reactive, but to be proactive.”
Her legal practice focuses on items including employee benefits, tax and transactional corporate law. She’s knowledgeable about employee benefit plan regulatory compliance and governance with ERISA and the IRS, health plans, executive and deferred compensation, OPEB trusts, public sector union plans and more.
She’s a member of the Memphis and the Mississippi Bar Associations and was a mentor for the Memphis Institute for Leadership Education, MILE Class of 2010-2011.
“Compliance is really heating up across the board, and it’s amazing what’s coming out of Washington and from across the agencies,” she said. “It’s hard to keep up with it for businesses, but we’re definitely growing to meet that need.”