Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
We represent businesses in the design and maintenance of their complex employee benefits and executive compensation environment programs and arrangements to ensure compliance with the changing rules under the applicable tax, pension, employment, and securities laws. We have extensive experience working with all types of employee benefit and compensation programs and arrangements, including:
• Equity and performance based plans (e.g., annual and long-term incentive plans, stock option, restricted stock, performance share and broad-based equity plans);
• Executive plans (e.g., deferred compensation, supplemental retirement, severance and change-in-control plans);
• Retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, traditional defined benefit pension plans and ESOPs); and
• Health and welfare plans (including COBRA and HIPAA compliance), and other fringe benefit programs.
Services that we regularly provide for our clients include: (i) drafting and reviewing plan documents and employee communications, (ii) drafting and reviewing executive employment, severance and change-in-control agreements, (iii) providing guidance on tax matters, including 401(a), 162(m), 409A and 280G; (iv) drafting proxy statement and 8-K disclosure of executive and equity compensation arrangements and S-8 registration statements; (v) providing guidance on Section 16 disclosure and liability issues; and (vi) advising with respect to the establishment, maintenance, administration and termination of employee benefit plans and compensation arrangements.
We also advise plan trustees, fiduciaries and service providers on the myriad fiduciary compliance issues inherent in modern benefit practice. We are active in advising clients on the complex rules and potential pitfalls in managing and investing plan assets in the context of pooled investment funds such as venture capital and hedge funds. Our employee benefit attorneys are an integral part of our transaction teams in advising the buyers and sellers of businesses on the important roles that employee benefit assets and liabilities play in business transactions.
In addition, we regularly represent both employers and participants, executives, plan administrators and plan fiduciaries in all facets of benefit-related tax and ERISA disputes and controversies. The disputes and controversy work, includes, claims proceedings, obtaining tax and ERISA rulings, responding to IRS, DOL and other governmental audits and investigations, and resolving compliance issues under voluntary governmental programs.