Cindy L. Davis

CLD headshot

Partner & Shareholder

(612) 435-6343

Cindy Davis is a partner at Anderson, Helgen, Davis & Cefalu (AHDC), with more than 20 years experience practicing in:

  • Employee benefits
  • ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act)
  • Commercial real estate
  • General business and corporate matters

Employee Benefits and ERISA. Cindy has a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience related to employee benefit plans and specifically with the issues unique to Taft-Hartley employee benefit plans. She provides sound legal counsel in a cost-effective, responsive manner and regularly advises clients regarding employee benefit plan compliance, including:

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA)
  • Public Health Service Act (PHSA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Internal Revenue Code

Her clients include employee benefit plan sponsors, trustees, administrators and third-party administrators (TPAs).

Fund Counsel. Cindy provides the full-range of services required by benefit plans to be in compliance with all laws and regulations and best protect the interest of the plan. Her clients include numerous multi-employer benefit plans, as well as a major governmental body for which she negotiates network agreements and claims paying with TPAs.

Cindy assists clients in designing, implementing and operating retirement and group health plans consistent with the objectives of the plan sponsors and applicable laws. She also prepares corrective documentation and filing documentation with enforcement agencies, while simultaneously coordinating with applicable state law. Cindy has extensive experience representing clients in highly complex areas such as:

  • Hedge-fund investment by employee benefits plans
  • Employee plan commercial real estate and development transactions
  • Provider agreements
  • Network agreements

She reviews and drafts contracts and negotiates terms favorable to clients, including:

  • Network agreements between employer benefit plans and the health care provider networks
  • Commercial construction and financing documentation, such as:
    • Construction loan agreements
    • Inter-creditor agreements
    • Mortgages
    • Promissory notes

Investment Documentation Review. Throughout her career, Cindy has found that the documentation that many in the investment community deem to be “standard” is actually filled with dangerous clauses for benefit plans that can result in unnecessary litigation and expenses for her clients. Serving as counsel to benefit Fund clients, Cindy’s goal is to provide greater protection to the Fund so they may be more proactive and limit their exposure in the volatile investment market. She reviews private equity and hedge fund offerings, subscription agreements and other investment documents for potential issues, such as:

  • Any prohibited transaction issues under ERISA
  • Indemnification issues
  • Compensation to the Hedge Fund Manager and Investment Manager
  • Clawback rights
  • Term of the holding period and withdrawal rights

Cindy will often negotiate with the Hedge Fund Manager to secure a side letter clarifying and resolving potentially costly issues that might otherwise arise for her client.

General Business and Corporate Matters. Cindy has worked with small, medium and large businesses on a variety of legal matters including, but certainly not limited to, real estate transactions, human relations policy and procedures, employee and executive compensations, mergers, acquisitions, and other general business matters. She has also participated in large-scale document productions and discoveries, and advised as to business formations, restructuring and financing.

Cindy is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Minnesota and the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota. She currently serves on the Education Committee of the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation. She is a frequent presenter at conferences and seminars on topics involving employee benefit compliance and other employment law matters.

She received her B.S., cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. Prior to co-founding AHDC in 2009, she practiced law with other Twin Cities law firms and served as general counsel for a corporation.

Areas of Concentration

  • Employee Benefits
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • General Business and Corporate


  • University of Wisconsin, B.S., cum laude, Child Development and Family Relationships, Minor in Business Administration
  • William Mitchell College of Law, J.D.

Court Admissions

  • State of Minnesota
  • State of Wisconsin
  • State of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota

Professional Memberships

  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, Education Committee — Director-at-Large, Board of Directors

Community Involvement

  • The Commonwealth Leadership Team


  • Allocating Data Privacy/Security Risks — Contract and Cyber Liability Insurance Considerations, IFC National Marketing Inc.’s Annual Agent Conference, August 2016
  • Cyber Liability and Lessons Learned from OCR HIPAA Enforcement Actions, Employers Council on Flexible Compensation’s 29th Annual Administrators’ Symposium, August 2016
  • Allocating Data Privacy/Security Risks — Contract and Cyber Liability Insurance Considerations, Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters, April 2016
  • The Affordable Care Act for Employers with Unionized Workers, The Knowledge Congress, May 2015
  • Are you Ready for Some Audits?, National Association of Health Underwriters, January 2014
  • Best Practices – Are Your Ducks In A Row? and Preparing for & Surviving a DOL Audit, Employers Council on Flexible Compensation Conference, July 2013
  • The Affordable Care Act 2012 and Beyond, Insurance Center, September 2012
  • Come Together…Right Now – Business Reorganization and Retiree Issues and Preparing for and Surviving a DOL Audit, Employers Council on Flexible Compensation Conference, August 2012
  • Questions Regarding COBRA, Employers Council on Flexible Compensation Conference, August 2011
  • Legal Requirements for Cafeteria Plans, Employers Council on Flexible Compensation Conference, August 2011
  • The Practical Consequences of Your Retirement Decisions: Retirement Income and Estate Planning Issues, I.B.E.W. 292 Benefit Funds Pre-Retirement Seminar, August 2011
  • The Affordable Care Act – the Long and Winding Road, October 2010
  • Health Reform Highway 101: Where the Rubber Meets the Road, Employers Council on Flexible Compensation Conference, August 2010
  • Legal Requirements for Cafeteria Plans, Employers Council on Flexible Compensation Conference, August 2009
  • Building a Compliant 403(b) School District Retirement Plan, Cooperative Educational Services Agency #4, October 2007
  • Who is a Plan Fiduciary and Why Does It Matter?, La Crosse Area Business Seminar, October, 2007, and Winona Area Business Seminar, May, 2007
  • Consumer-Driven Health Plan Designs, Eau Claire Area Wisconsin Association of Certified Public Accountants, September 2007
  • Employee Health Plans: The Change to Consumer-Driven Health Care Vehicles, Winona Society for Human Resource Management, November 2005
  • IRC § 105 Health Reimbursement Arrangement Plans, La Crosse Area Wisconsin Association of Certified Public Accountants, October 2005
  • Employee Benefits Update, Winona Society for Human Resource Management, May 2005
  • Release of Employment Information Under New Minnesota Law, Winona Society for Human Resource Management, May 2004