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Alton C. Ward - Shareholder

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Alton C. Ward


University of Georgia, B.A., 1970
Stetson University College of Law, J.D., 1982
  • Law Review
  • Freshman Moot Court
    • Outstanding Participant

Bar Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
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Alton C. Ward - Shareholder

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Al is a Shareholder in the firm's Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits practice. Al is recognized throughout the professional community for his depth of experience and knowledge in the employee benefits area. Prior to entering the practice of law, Al was an actuarial and employee benefits consultant for over eight years.

Al has focused for over four decades on executive compensation, employee benefits, trusts and taxation. He represents many clients including publicly traded and privately held, taxable or tax-exempt entities and professional corporations with respect to their benefit programs. Al has extensive experience representing clients in disputes with the IRS, the U.S. Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Al served as Chairman of the Tampa Bay Pension Council from 1991 to 2012. He was a founding Board Member and past President of the Florida West Coast Employee Benefits Council. He serves as employee benefits counsel for The Florida Bar, is a member of the Southern Employee Benefits Conference, and a member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association. He is a Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

Al has been listed in Best Lawyer’s in America in Employee Benefits law every year since 1995 and Lawyer of the Year, Employee Benefits Law in 2010, 2016 and 2018. The international attorney ranking organization, Chambers & Partners, has cited him as a “Leading Attorney” in its Chambers USA since 2014.  Al was recently inducted into America's Top 100 Attorneys for the State of Florida.

Al has long been active in Tampa's civic, charitable and social organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Canterbury Towers and The University Club. Al served as President and a member of the Board of Trustees of The Tampa Club and has served on the Board of Directors of Hillsborough Education Foundation, Goodwill Industries/Suncoast and Hillsborough Association for Retarded Citizens.

To read Al's Community Spotlight article, click here.

Honors & Recognitions

  • AVPreeminent-Logo
  • Al Ward Lawyer of the Year
  • BestLawyers_Lawyer of the Year 2010_A Ward
  • 93068 - Alton C
  • America's Top 100 Attorney's
  • Al Ward
  • SL2018_gray
  • 2019 small button date only

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida

Professional Recognition

  • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers in America (1995-2020)
    • 2018 Tampa Employee Benefits (ERISA) Lawyer of the Year 
    • 2016 Tampa Employee Benefits (ERISA) Lawyer of the Year
    • 2010 Tampa Employee Benefits (ERISA) Lawyer of the Year
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyer (2016-2020)
    • Tax: Employee Benefits
  • Florida Trend  Legal Elite (2004-2011)
  • Florida Super Lawyers (2006-2020)
  • Leading Florida Attorneys (1996-2007)
  • Tampa Top Lawyers (2016-2017)
    • Employee Benefits Law

Community & Civic Affiliations

  • Canterbury Towers
    • Board of Directors 
  • The Group, Inc.
  • Gulf Coast Area TE/GE Council
    • Membership Chairman (2007-2010)

Professional Associations

  • American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
    • Fellow
  • Southern Employee Benefits Conference
  • Florida West Coast Employee Benefits Council
    • Past President
    • Founding Board Member
    • Board of Directors (1984-1989)
  • Tampa Bay Pension Council (1975-Present)
    • Chairman (1991-2012)
    • Founding Member

Publications & Presentations

  • Assessing the Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan: A Guide for the Benefits Professional. (July 2005). Employee Benefit Plan Review.


  • Al was recently elected one of the top 100 (Super Lawyers) in Florida by Law and Politics.

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