Our executive compensation attorneys are a resource for executive compensation matters, providing both strategic and tactical legal advice to clients. The firm's executive compensation attorneys bring depth to clients looking to implement or modify compensation plans, whether in connection with designing current and deferred compensation packages for executives, equity-based compensation arrangements for senior management or qualified retirement and welfare benefit plans for employees.
By assisting with the design and administration of executive compensation arrangements, our executive compensation attorneys work on an interdisciplinary basis with other attorneys in the firm, and outside consultants, to address the various issues confronting the client, including compensation regulatory issues, industry-specific state and federal regulatory issues, securities matters, corporate and business enterprise law, and accounting and finance issues, including Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
Our experience enables us to provide assistance on a wide range of issues and matters including:
- Design, implementation, and administration of tax-qualified retirement plans, including defined benefit pension and profit-sharing plans, union/managements plans under the Taft-Hartley Act, leveraged and non-leveraged employee stock ownership plans, money purchase plans, and cash balance retirement plans
- Assist executives to coordinate plan design with company goals
- Establish the duties and assist in reviewing the performance of fiduciaries and third-party administrators under tax-qualified retirement plans
- Assist in administrative issues concerning qualified retirement plans, including correction of prior plan administration errors, IRS and Department of Labor audits, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation matters, participant claims for benefits, domestic relations orders, and abandoned plans
- Provide counsel on the permitted use of plan assets consistent with prohibited transaction rules including joint ventures and partnerships using plan assets
- Provide counsel on the use of employee stock ownership plans, including the use of plan assets in connection with mergers and acquisitions, planning for the planned diversification of ESOP participants out of employer stock, projected repurchase liability analysis, and the duties of ESOP fiduciaries in mergers and acquisitions
- Provide for plan mergers, assumptions, and terminations in connection with corporate mergers and acquisitions
- Establishing funded and unfunded deferred compensation arrangements benefiting executives of both for-profit and non-profit employers, as well as the design and preparation of deferred compensation arrangements for governmental employers
- Development of master equity-based compensation plans and design plans providing for the award of restricted stock, stock options, phantom stock units, and stock appreciation rights permitting different awards to different individuals within the organization
- Development of deferred compensation plans for governmental employers that are coordinated with benefits provided under state or local law
- The design of performance-based deferred compensation plans for corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships, in which the amount and vesting of options, restricted stock, phantom ownership units, and other equity-based awards are based on individual, division, or company wide performance
- Design of deferred compensation arrangements in connection with mergers and acquisitions, including golden parachute arrangements, employment agreements, and the preparation of change in control agreements for companies preparing for an acquisition to assure the retention of key employees throughout the acquisition process
- The handling of deferred compensation in connection with an executive's personal matters including divorce and estate planning
- Establishing trusts and corporate-owned life insurance to hold assets intended to fund an executive's benefits under deferred compensation arrangements
- The drafting, design, and operation of welfare benefit plans including self-funded health plans for for-profit, non-profit, and governmental employers, including cafeteria plans and plans providing dental, vision, disability, and life insurance benefits
- Reviewing welfare benefit plans for compliance with state and federal requirements, including ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, etc.
- Assisting employers with the establishment of claims procedures and the review of participant claims
- Evaluating the potential effect of bankruptcy filings on self-funded welfare benefit plans