Mike Brittingham is a Certified Tax Specialist who, for over 30 years, clients turn to for advice about issues that arise in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation.

Mike prides himself on finding practical solutions for clients’ difficult issues. Mike assists clients with the design, implementation, and administration of all types of employee benefit plans and executive compensation plans and programs. He also works with other attorneys in corporate transactions to address and resolve employee benefit due diligence issues.

Mike often assists clients with disputed claims for benefits helping clients navigate the claims administrative process to reach accurate and defendable claims decisions. When claims disputes go to litigation, Mike has experience defending claims in state and federal courts.

Typical projects and engagements include:

  • Review of design and implementation plans for employee retirement benefit and employee welfare benefit plans of all types
  • Assist with the design and preparation of all types of executive compensation arrangements
  • Litigation of ERISA-governed employee benefit claims
  • Preparation of employment and employment-related contracts


  • Reviewed countless numbers of employee retirement plans and employee welfare benefit plans for employers regarding issues ranging from start-up to plan termination and the many issues that arise in operation in between
  • Successfully resolved and/or litigated a host of disputed claims for employee benefits regarding retirement benefit and welfare benefit issues
  • Participated in numerous corporate transactions where important employee benefit issues were addressed and resolved

Before entering the private practice of law, Mike worked in public accounting as a Certified Public Accountant. Mike returned to law school where he earned his law degree and his masters in tax law. Mike is a certified tax law specialist.

Community & Professional

  • South Carolina Bar

Outside Maynard Nexsen

Mike has hiked some impressive terrain from all parts of his beloved home state of South Carolina, to the Alaskan back-country, and trekking everywhere in between. Mike says if someone were to tell him to go take a hike, well, he just might hit the trail. Some of his favorite places to take in natural beauty and wonders include Shining Rock Wilderness (NC), Congaree National Park (SC), Cumberland Island National Seashore (GA), Teton National Park (WY), Yellowstone (WY), Yosemite (CA), Muir Woods (CA), Point Reyes National Seashore (CA), and Denali National Park (AK). Mike and his family have logged countless miles and he plans to continue the adventures for years to come.

Mike also makes time to serve on the Board of Directors for Lutheran Homes of South Carolina. But, most importantly, Mike enjoys quality time with his wife and family.


  • Martindale-Hubbell "AV" Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law and Litigation (ERISA), Since 2007
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for "Lawyer of the Year" - Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law in Columbia in 2014 and 2019 and Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law in 2016
  • Certified Tax Specialist
  • Certified Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management Yellow Belt



Employment Law Update: Background Becomes Battleground The Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission recently filed federal lawsuits against Dollar General and a BMW manufacturing plant in South Carolina based on the EEOC’s revised guidance concerning use of criminal background checks.

Employers Beware: NLRB Continues to Target Policies and Agreements
The National Labor Relations Board continues its pursuit of employee handbooks and employment contracts in a series of recent decisions examining the lawfulness of confidentiality and alternative dispute resolution policies and agreements.

To Pay or Not to Pay? The Test for the Unpaid Intern
As the end of another academic year approaches, college students across the country are seeking summer employment opportunities.

FMLA's Twentieth Birthday
On February 5, 2013, the Family and Medical Leave Act turned 20 years old. Coinciding with this milestone, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a new final rule, which codifies further additions and revisions to the FMLA. This newsletter highlights some of the changes.

New I-9 Form Shows More Changes May be in Store for Employers
On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new two-page version of Form I-9, together with six pages of instructions. This article explains some of the notable features of the revised Form I-9.

Update: Noncompete Agreements in SC are Worth More Than the Paper They're Written On
In light of the restrictive nature with which South Carolina courts have historically viewed noncompetition agreements, many people assume they are not enforceable and, in essence, “not worth the paper they’re written on.” However, in January of this year, the South Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a physician’s noncompetition agreement and expanded the scope of enforceable noncompetition agreements in this state.

Employment Law Update: U.S. Supreme Court Set to Define "Supervisor" for Purposes of Title VII
The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a case that could have a significant impact on employer liability. Specifically, as the result of an appeal in Vance v. Ball State University, et al, 646 F.3d 461 (7th Cir. 2011), the Court is poised to decide who qualifies as a “supervisor” for purposes of liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

2012 Employment and Labor Law Final Exam Answer Key
We received a great response to the 2012 Employment and Labor Law Final Exam. Thanks to all of our clients and friends who participated this year.

2012 Employment and Labor Law Final Exam
As 2012 comes to a close, it is time to put your employment and labor law knowledge to the test with our second annual final exam. We will send out answers to the exam in two weeks.

Employment Law Update: Recent Cases Address Employer Efforts to Protect Confidential Information
In recent months, both the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over federal cases in North and South Carolina, and the South Carolina Supreme Court have addressed the issue of protecting trade secrets and confidential information.

Employment Law - Business Immigration Update
Over the past few months, there have been several immigration developments that could have a significant impact on businesses in North and South Carolina. This update summarizes the key developments for employers.

Employment Law Update - Employers Beware: NLRB Challenges Established HR Practices
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a number of recent opinions questioning and, in some instances, invalidating common employer practices and policies on the grounds of protecting employee rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The impact of these decisions on handbook disclaimers and investigative procedures is addressed below.

Employment Law Update - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Upcoming Deadlines Require Employer Action
After months of anticipation and seemingly endless public debate, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision upholding the key individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). While the significance of the decision cannot be overestimated, the real import is its practical effect on employers.

New Rule Makes “Reasonable Factors Other Than Age” Defense More Difficult for Employers
On March 29, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a final rule making it more difficult for employers to establish a “reasonable factor other than age” defense for disparate impact claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Recent Guidelines for Employers of Active Duty & Veteran Service Members
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued timely and relevant guidance for employers addressing protections afforded veterans under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Keep Your Ears Peeled: Employment Law Update on the FLSA's "Anti-retaliation" Provision
In this issue we describe and discuss a recent federal appeals court decision concluding that internal complaints about pay may be protected by the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provision.

Employment Law Update: Romance in the Workplace: You, Me and our Employer?
As Valentine's Day approaches, here are some interesting facts for employers to consider.

Recent Ruling that Class Action Waivers are Illegal Shows NLRB Remains Active
On January 3, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a class action waiver in a mandatory employment arbitration agreement is illegal.

I-9 Compliance: Avoiding Traps of New Federal Security Features
A redesigned federal document is leading to confusion as businesses try to comply with the I-9 requirement.

Employment Law Update - January 2012
As employers plan for 2012, the inherent risk posed by departing employees presents an opportunity to reevaluate measures used to protect confidential information and trade secrets from the high cost of misappropriation.

NLRB Delays Requirement for Employers to Post Pro-Union Notice
On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued regulations requiring virtually all employers to post a large notice to employees informing them of rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), particularly their right to unionize. Employers must post the notice beginning April 30th, 2012.

Employment Law Update - December 2011
The EEOC is processing a record number of charges and collecting record settlement amounts. It is pursuing an aggressive systemic enforcement program and focusing on hiring issues. In this edition we discuss what the EEOC is doing and some of the implications for employers.

2011 Employment and Labor Law - Final Exam Answer Key
Last week's final exam generated tremendous response from our clients and friends. Congratulations to our winners.

Client Alert: 2010 Tax Act Provides Portability to Reduce the Estate Taxes Paid by Couples
The IRS is offering a new way for surviving spouses to reduce their estate tax bill if their spouse passed away after December 31, 2010.


"Employee Benefits Compliance: Critical Steps to Take for Compliance and Risk Mitigation," - Employment Law Certificate Series Webinar - August 14, 2019

“Employee Benefits: Legalities in Discrimination of Health Benefits”; 2010 SCACPA Industry Conference; Columbia, SC;        
October 11-12, 2010  



  • State Bar: South Carolina
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How does your practice collaborate with other areas of the firm to provide exceptional client service?

I like to tell clients that my practice happens at the intersection of tax law and employment law. I often partner with our firm's labor and employment attorneys to help with all types of compensation and employee benefits matters.

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