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Practices

Employee Benefits

Assisting private employers of all sizes

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Our Employee Benefits attorneys work closely with clients to meet the challenge of attracting and retaining high caliber employees by offering competitive benefit programs.

We work with employers of all sizes, across a wide range of industries, including publicly and privately held corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, start-ups, boards of directors, compensation committees, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment managers and senior executives.

Our comprehensive employee benefits services include designing, implementing, and administering comprehensive executive compensation programs and employee benefits plans, including qualified retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation and executive incentive plans; stock option, restricted stock and other equity plans; and health and welfare plans.  We assist in the design and negotiation of executive employment agreements and compensation packages.  We also advise clients on a range of fiduciary compliance issues associated with implementing and administering benefit plans and programs.  We work closely with our corporate practice to assist clients at all stages of the business life-cycle. 

Representative services include:

  • Assisting in developing plans subject to collective bargaining agreements
  • Assisting with §1042 ESOPs and estate planning
  • Handling issues related to pension plan terminations, funding and underfunding
  • Advising on employee benefit plan investments, investment policy statements and prohibited transactions
  • Offering programs on retirement plan design administration and fiduciary compliance
  • Assisting investment committees under tax-qualified plans in monitoring performance of investments and investment managers
  • Code Section 409A compliance
Executive Compensation
  • Executive compensation arrangements, including executive employment agreements, retention and severance agreements
  • Non-qualified deferred compensation, including Section 409A compliance
  • Equity plans, including stock options, restricted stock, and omnibus equity plans
  • Phantom equity programs and other incentive plans
  • International equity and compensation arrangements
  • Change in control provisions (“golden parachutes”)
Qualified Plans
  • Plan design, creation, administration and termination
  • Required and discretionary plan amendments
  • Voluntary correction of operational or fiduciary failures
  • Audits and inquiries by the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
ERISA Fiduciary Compliance
  • Advise retirement plan committee, investment committee, boards of directors, human resource directors, investment managers, custodians, trustees and other fiduciaries
  • Fiduciary duties, including compliance, breaches and corrections
  • Prohibited transactions and prohibited transaction exemptions
  • Issues specific to investment entities and investment managers including plan assets issues, VCOC, REOC, prohibited transactions and prohibited transaction exemptions such as QPAM and the service provider exemption, reporting and disclosure, fund related documents and financial services agreements
  • 401(k) fees and expenses
  • ERISA Section 404(c) compliance
  • Administrative and service provider agreements
  • Employer stock issues
Mergers and Acquisitions and Other Corporate Transactions
  • Due diligence and risk assessments
  • Merger, consolidation and spin-off considerations and structures
  • Change in control payments (Section 280G)
  • Post-merger integration
Health and Welfare
  • Medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance plans
  • Health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement accounts (HRAs)
  • Affordable Care Act planning and compliance
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Wellness programs, educational assistance plans and transportation plans
  • Cafeteria and flexible spending account plans
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
Regulatory Compliance

We stay abreast of ever-changing federal and state laws, regulations, and court decisions. We leverage this knowledge to craft compensation and benefit plans and compliance strategies that minimize litigation risk.  We are available to routinely monitor our clients' employee benefits plans to ensure continued compliance with the law.   When our clients’ compliance is challenged, we counsel clients through audits and investigations and work with regulatory organizations on negotiating closing agreements as required.

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