Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation |
In today's challenging employee benefits environment, we partner with our clients to find creative and cost-effective solutions to their needs. We have extensive experience working with all types of employee benefits and compensation arrangements, including:
- Equity and 162(m) plans (such as annual and long-term incentive plans, stock option, restricted stock/restricted stock unit, performance share and broad-based equity plans);
- Executive plans (such as deferred compensation, supplemental retirement, severance and change-in-control plans);
- Retirement plans (such as 401(k), defined-benefit and ESOP plans);
- Health and welfare plans (including COBRA and HIPAA compliance);
- Other fringe benefits (such as cafeteria and educational assistance plans); and
- Funding vehicles (such as trusts and VEBAs).
Services that we regularly perform for our clients include:
- Drafting and reviewing plan documents and employee communications;
- Drafting and reviewing executive employment, severance and change-in-control agreements;
- Providing guidance on tax matters, including 401(a), 162(m), 409A and 280G;
- Drafting proxy statement and 8-K disclosure of executive and equity compensation arrangements and S-8 registration statements;
- Providing guidance on stock option and other equity granting practices;
- Providing guidance on the impact of accounting issues on employee benefits and compensation arrangements;
- Providing guidance on Section 16 disclosure and liability issues;
- Providing counsel on the establishment, maintenance, administration and termination of employee benefit plans and compensation arrangements;
- Providing guidance on fiduciary matters;
- Providing advice on employee benefits issues in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and other major business transactions; and
- Attending board and administrative committee meetings, and assisting in the preparation of the books and minutes for such meetings.
Our team also helps our clients stay abreast of changes in the law, and recommends specific responses to these changes. We produce and distribute timely updates, articles and presentations on emerging issues and other topics of note to clients; participate as chairs and speakers at local and national conferences; and wrote the Executive Compensation Disclosure Handbook: A Practical Guide to the SEC's Executive Compensation Disclosure Rules Rules, published RR Donnelley.
In addition, our team regularly represents employers, plan administrators and plan fiduciaries in all facets of ERISA litigation. The number of employee benefits and ERISA cases filed against employers has increased sharply in recent years. We assist clients with claims proceedings; obtaining tax and ERISA rulings; responding to IRS, DOL and other governmental audits and investigations; and resolving compliance problems under voluntary governmental programs.