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Judith Boyette

Judith W. Boyette

(415) 995-5115


Judy has advised employers and employee benefit plans on all aspects of compensation and benefits for more than 25 years. This includes tax, regulatory, fiduciary responsibility, financing, and organizational integrity issues. She has unique, hands-on experience as an administrator running large, complex employee benefit programs.

In her former role as Associate Vice President of Human Resources for the entire University of California system, she was directly responsible for all human resources issues, including collective bargaining for UC campuses and medical centers. She also managed a $40 billion pension system covering 100,000 members, three large defined contribution plans, and the third-largest health plan in California.

Before joining Hanson Bridgett, Judy was a partner in a national law firm where she advised clients on complex business and employee benefits issues. She also served as deputy general counsel at one of the largest telecommunications corporations in America, where she was responsible for corporate legal matters, including executive compensation and employee benefits.

Judy has substantial experience in labor negotiations, mergers, divestitures, executive compensation, and retirement programs, including including governmental and ERISA-covered, single and multi-employer, pension plans, 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) plans, and other non-qualified arrangements and all health and welfare plan issues. She has worked with legislative and regulatory agencies, with many appearances before California legislative committees. She is a national leader in the area of human resources organizational evaluation and certifications. Judy also is a recognized expert in the area of employment tax.

Most recently, Judy was elected a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. She also was appointed by the Secretary of Treasury for a 3-year term on the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) as a representative in the employee plans area. The ACT advises IRS leadership on operational policy and procedural improvements in the areas of employee plans, tax exempt organizations, tax-exempt bonds, and federal, state, local and Indian tribal governments. In addition, Judy is currently serving as a member of the Board of Trustees for the UC Law San Francisco Foundation.


J.D. Order of the Coif UC Law San Francisco (Formerly UC Hastings) ( 1981 )
B.S. with honors Texas Woman's University ( 1972 )

Admissions and Courts

U.S. Tax Court

Retirement plan fiduciaries. Provide advice on emerging fiduciary issues, including recent litigation and regulatory actions involving investments and administrative fees, and current ESG investment guidance. Support fiduciaries in ensuring continued tax-qualified plan status, including successfully completing many IRS voluntary correction program (VCP) filings.  Present annual fiduciary education update on key issues for clients.

Complex regulatory solutions. Work with clients to achieve practical solutions for health and welfare and retirement plan compliance, such as meeting new requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Transparency in Coverage Rules, No Surprises Act, the COVID-19 legislation, SECURE 2.0, as well as implementing DOL and IRS guidance.

Tax reporting and withholding. Advise on numerous issues, including implementation of new federal and state tax requirements such as numerous COVID-19 related tax credits.

Represented numerous clients in successful resolution of IRS employment tax audits and asserted ACA penalties.

Special issues for governmental plans.  Advise the State Association of County Retirement Systems on federal tax compliance issues for public retirement systems. Help clients work through issues arising under separate plans sponsored by government entities, as well as those arising under the large statutory plans such as CalPERS (including medical coverage under PEMHCA), CalSTRS, and the '37 Act county retirement systems.

American College of Tax Counsel, Fellow

Internal Revenue Service Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities, Member

American Bar Association, Tax Section, Employee Benefits Committee Member

Western Pension & Benefits Council, Member

National Association of College and University Attorneys, Member

Alliance for Work-Life Progress, Member

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Member

Society for Human Resource Management, Member

"The State of Employer-Sponsored Healthcare," Managed Healthcare Executive (March 2019)

California Lawyers Association, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2022)

Best Lawyers in America® (2017)