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Executive Compensation

“Our clients rely on us to assist them in designing and implementing executive compensation packages in a manner that maximizes executive incentives while complying with applicable law.” 

In the increasingly competitive market, a company’s success stems, in part, from its ability to attract and retain valuable executives. However, the laws governing executive compensation are complex and constantly evolving.  Failure to provide the necessary oversight of these programs can lead to tax liability and penalties that can further strain a company’s finances and human resources.  At McGrath North, we assist our clients in designing, reviewing and operating a wide variety of executive compensation arrangements.

We advise our clients in sophisticated employment contract negotiations, terminations and severance arrangements. Our practical, solutions-oriented approach creates a strategic framework in which an employer’s compensation arrangements are consistent with the company’s overall business objectives and goals. We strive to minimize disputes and ensure that our clients’ interests are protected. When liability issues arise, our litigators are experienced in defending employers in claims over compensation, benefits, fiduciary compliance violations and related issues.

We have a wide range of expertise and are able to advise our clients on compensation package design and compliance as well as related tax, securities and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) advice. Our attorneys provide employers of all sizes practical advice regarding deferred compensation, stock based compensation (including stock options, stock purchase plans and stock appreciation rights), special rules for tax-exempt employers, supplemental executive retirement plans, corporate owned life insurance, split-dollar insurance arrangements, rabbi trusts, golden parachute arrangements and other change of control packages.

Industry Experience:  Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service Audits and voluntary correction procedures, governmental and tax-exempt employer plans, executive and deferred compensation arrangements, corporate restructurings, acquisitions, qualified retirement plans, reporting and disclosure obligations to the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service, retirement plan nondiscrimination requirements, fiduciary compliance, investment committee administration, qualified  domestic relations orders (QDROs), payroll tax compliance, international benefit arrangements, plan administration, plan documentation, annual plan reporting.

Representative Matters:

  • Designed, modified and reviewed nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements for Code §409A compliance for Fortune 500 companies, closely-held companies, governments and charitable organizations.
  • Structured, drafted and implemented stock options, restricted stock and restricted stock unit plans for publicly traded and privately held companies.