The one constant for all employers is the need to attract and retain their most valuable asset–their people. Our firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group works with employers of varying size and industry to advise them on a wide range of employee benefit plans and programs that provide benefit coverage to those people, including qualified and non-qualified retirement plans and employee stock ownership plans and health care plans. We have extensive experience in all aspects of executive compensation, including employment agreements, stock-based compensation programs, severance arrangements, golden parachutes and incentive compensation programs. We regularly advise employers with respect to the design and administration of employer-based health and welfare programs (including compliance with the ever-changing federal health care standards). In addition, we advise our clients with respect to legislative and regulatory developments affecting employee benefit plans and programs.
Our lawyers have extensive expertise structuring retirement plans and regularly counsel clients on the design and administration of their tax-qualified pension and 401(k) plans, ensuring that these plans comply with the tax qualification rules and ERISA, including ERISA fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transaction matters. We also work with clients to ensure that their non-qualified deferred compensation plans comply with the tax treatment rules contained in Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. Our lawyers advise our clients on health and welfare plans, providing guidance concerning compliance with the Affordable Care Act, COBRA and HIPAA.
Our lawyers work with board of directors, compensation committees, and individual executives on a full range of executive compensation and benefit issues and arrangements, including related tax, securities law and corporate governance matters. Our lawyers also advise non-profits and non-profit boards on compensation requirements and corporate governance matters related to executive compensation under IRS rules and regulations.
Our lawyers have extensive experience in negotiating and structuring employment and severance agreements, equity-based compensation plans, incentive compensation, deferred compensation plans and other compensation arrangements. We counsel clients on the tax implications of funded and unfunded executive compensation programs. Attorneys in the group also collaborate with the firm’s corporate attorneys to address compensation, pension, and other employee benefit issues resulting from mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and dispositions and financing arrangements.
We regularly represent clients before governmental agencies with jurisdiction over employee benefit plans such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Treasury, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.