Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
We provide clients with comprehensive legal and counseling services that help them motivate talented employees, retain key executives and transition their workforces in times of change. 

Our team advises on a spectrum of employee benefits and executive compensation programs, including retirement and welfare programs, executive compensation, and associated legal and tax issues.  We are particularly skilled in navigating clients through mergers, acquisitions and changes in control.  With Kelley Drye, you work with a team that understands how benefits, qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, equity-based plans and other programs combine to create value for employees and build loyalty.  You also benefit from our intricate knowledge of ERISA’s demands, and can count on our litigators in the event of government intervention into the way you administer your plans and execute your fiduciary duties.

We represent international clients and their U.S.-based affiliates on inbound and third-country matters, and represent U.S. clients on outbound matters.  The firm’s international lawyers have extensive experience assisting highly-regulated companies in the development of their business in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.  We have counseled such companies on all aspects of the establishment and structuring of their U.S. and non-U.S. operations, including employee benefits and executive compensation matters.

Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation team supports clients in a broad array of business areas:

  • ERISA Compliance–We advise in-house leaders and administrative and investment committees on their fiduciary responsibilities.  We also handle ERISA-related litigation in federal and state courts and administrative proceedings with the Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

  • Qualified Retirement Benefits–We implement tax-qualified employee benefit programs such as 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, profit-sharing plans, ESOPs and multi-employer and collectively bargained pension plans, among others.  In addition, we advise clients on fiduciary issues involving the investment of plan assets.

  • Non-Qualified Benefits–We design, implement and communicate to executives non-qualified programs including deferred compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans, incentive plans and perks.  We also advise on compliance with Code section 409A and the use of rabbi trusts to secure benefits under non-qualified plans.

  • Executive Compensation–We counsel senior executives regarding their employment agreements, and change in control and severance arrangements.  Our team also helps business clients create incentive arrangements for top executives, including stock option and variable compensation plans.

  • Change in Control Arrangements–We integrate multiple benefit and compensation plans for clients acquiring companies, implementing golden- and tin-parachute arrangements, and securing non-qualified benefits through trusts or annuities.  Clients seek our help to protect surplus pension assets in hostile takeovers through such techniques as “pension parachutes,” a concept our team pioneered.

  • Mergers and Acquisitions–We evaluate benefits and executive compensation programs of target companies and envisioning ways to effectively integrate diverse targets’ plans into clients’ plans.  We counsel multinational employers on cross-border benefit and compensation issues.

  • Trustee Issues–We draft and negotiate trust agreements for institutional trustees, and counsel them on compliance with fiduciary standards.  We also represent pension trust funds regarding real estate deals, venture capital investments and securities transactions.

  • Group Medical Plans and HIPAA–We assist our clients in designing, implementing and administering fully insured and self-insured medical programs, including Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Account arrangements.  We also advise our clients on COBRA, health care reform, and the portability and privacy aspects of HIPAA, as well as the various tax and ERISA implications of structuring and operating group medical, dental, vision and other health benefit programs.  With respect to HIPAA, we advise covered entities and business associates on compliance with the many facets of the law and conduct training on HIPAA’s Privacy Rule, review business associate agreements, and analyze how to respond to possible breaches of protected health information.

  • Employee Benefits–We guide our clients as they design and document severance programs and choose and modify group life insurance and disability benefit programs, and other welfare benefit plans.  In addition, we assist clients with consulting and employment agreements, as well as income and estate tax planning relating to employee benefits for individuals.

  • Church Plans–We assist churches and religiously affiliated clients in navigating the unique requirements applicable to non-ERISA church plans, including defined benefit pension plans, 403(b) programs, and medical plans.  We counsel clients sponsoring church plans on all aspects of plan design, legal compliance, funding, participant communications, plan governance, and fiduciary considerations.
 
 

Overview

We provide clients with comprehensive legal and counseling services that help them motivate talented employees, retain key executives and transition their workforces in times of change. 

Our team advises on a spectrum of employee benefits and executive compensation programs, including retirement and welfare programs, executive compensation, and associated legal and tax issues.  We are particularly skilled in navigating clients through mergers, acquisitions and changes in control.  With Kelley Drye, you work with a team that understands how benefits, qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, equity-based plans and other programs combine to create value for employees and build loyalty.  You also benefit from our intricate knowledge of ERISA’s demands, and can count on our litigators in the event of government intervention into the way you administer your plans and execute your fiduciary duties.

We represent international clients and their U.S.-based affiliates on inbound and third-country matters, and represent U.S. clients on outbound matters.  The firm’s international lawyers have extensive experience assisting highly-regulated companies in the development of their business in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.  We have counseled such companies on all aspects of the establishment and structuring of their U.S. and non-U.S. operations, including employee benefits and executive compensation matters.

Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation team supports clients in a broad array of business areas:

  • ERISA Compliance–We advise in-house leaders and administrative and investment committees on their fiduciary responsibilities.  We also handle ERISA-related litigation in federal and state courts and administrative proceedings with the Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

  • Qualified Retirement Benefits–We implement tax-qualified employee benefit programs such as 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, profit-sharing plans, ESOPs and multi-employer and collectively bargained pension plans, among others.  In addition, we advise clients on fiduciary issues involving the investment of plan assets.

  • Non-Qualified Benefits–We design, implement and communicate to executives non-qualified programs including deferred compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans, incentive plans and perks.  We also advise on compliance with Code section 409A and the use of rabbi trusts to secure benefits under non-qualified plans.

  • Executive Compensation–We counsel senior executives regarding their employment agreements, and change in control and severance arrangements.  Our team also helps business clients create incentive arrangements for top executives, including stock option and variable compensation plans.

  • Change in Control Arrangements–We integrate multiple benefit and compensation plans for clients acquiring companies, implementing golden- and tin-parachute arrangements, and securing non-qualified benefits through trusts or annuities.  Clients seek our help to protect surplus pension assets in hostile takeovers through such techniques as “pension parachutes,” a concept our team pioneered.

  • Mergers and Acquisitions–We evaluate benefits and executive compensation programs of target companies and envisioning ways to effectively integrate diverse targets’ plans into clients’ plans.  We counsel multinational employers on cross-border benefit and compensation issues.

  • Trustee Issues–We draft and negotiate trust agreements for institutional trustees, and counsel them on compliance with fiduciary standards.  We also represent pension trust funds regarding real estate deals, venture capital investments and securities transactions.

  • Group Medical Plans and HIPAA–We assist our clients in designing, implementing and administering fully insured and self-insured medical programs, including Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Account arrangements.  We also advise our clients on COBRA, health care reform, and the portability and privacy aspects of HIPAA, as well as the various tax and ERISA implications of structuring and operating group medical, dental, vision and other health benefit programs.  With respect to HIPAA, we advise covered entities and business associates on compliance with the many facets of the law and conduct training on HIPAA’s Privacy Rule, review business associate agreements, and analyze how to respond to possible breaches of protected health information.

  • Employee Benefits–We guide our clients as they design and document severance programs and choose and modify group life insurance and disability benefit programs, and other welfare benefit plans.  In addition, we assist clients with consulting and employment agreements, as well as income and estate tax planning relating to employee benefits for individuals.

  • Church Plans–We assist churches and religiously affiliated clients in navigating the unique requirements applicable to non-ERISA church plans, including defined benefit pension plans, 403(b) programs, and medical plans.  We counsel clients sponsoring church plans on all aspects of plan design, legal compliance, funding, participant communications, plan governance, and fiduciary considerations.
Partner
Email (203) 351-8028(203) 351-8028
Richard Chargar chairs the firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group.  He advises public and private companies, institutions and other organizations, senior executives a...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7618(212) 808-7618
David Barry is a partner in the firm’s New York office. He focuses his practice on employee benefits, executive compensation and real estate matters. David has particular experience ass...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7830(212) 808-7830
Eugene D’Ablemont is a partner in the firm’s New York office. He focuses his practice on representing only management in all facets of labor law. Eugene frequently is selected as ...
Partner
Email (310) 712-6140(310) 712-6140
Michael Gallion is a partner in Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment practice group, based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. For over two decades, Michael has focused exclusively on ...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7628(212) 808-7628
Barbara Hoey is chair of Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment practice group, and a member of the firm’s executive committee.  In her third decade of practice, Barbara’s exper...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7980(212) 808-7980
Pamela Kaplan represents Fortune 500 companies, not-for-profit entities and other organizations on their employee benefits and compensation-related initiatives.  She advises on the full arr...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7959(212) 808-7959
Mark Konkel is committed to protecting and maximizing the interests of employers of all sizes, from the major multinational to the startup.  Whether Mark is helping his clients with seasoned,...
Partner
Email (312) 857-2623(312) 857-2623
Matthew Luzadder focuses his practice on white-collar crime and internal investigations, commercial litigation and labor and employment law matters. Matt’s clients include national and ...
Partner
Email +(32)(2) 899-2941+(32)(2) 899-2941
Bert Theeuwes represents and advises international organizations, sovereign states, embassies, missions, heads of state, diplomats and international civil servants on all issues of international l...
Partner
Email (310) 712-6185(310) 712-6185
Kate Visosky, a partner in the Labor and Employment practice, is valued for her ability to balance the law with practical business sense.  She focuses her practice on trade secrets and high-st...
Special Counsel
Email (212) 808-7621(212) 808-7621
Victoria Anderson focuses her practice on employee benefits and executive compensation – namely, qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation arrangements under 409A, 4...
Special Counsel
Email (203) 351-8065 (203) 351-8065
Christine Quier-Sheth advises Fortune 500 companies and other organizations on employee benefits law and executive compensation matters.  Attracting and retaining outstanding professionals i...
Special Counsel
Email (973) 503-5924(973) 503-5924
Vincent Rao is special counsel in the firm’s Parsippany office.  His practice focuses on commercial litigation, consumer-oriented class action defense, intellectual property protection ...
Senior Associate
Email (212) 808-7935(212) 808-7935
Richard Solomon is a senior associate in the firm's New York office. He focuses his practice on immigration and nationality law. Richard represents multinational corporations, domestic co...
Associate
Email (212) 808-7812(212) 808-7812
Levi Downing is an associate in the firm’s New York office.  He focuses his practice on litigation.
Associate
Email (212) 808-5053 (212) 808-5053
Marc Nawyn is an associate in the firm’s New York office. His practice focuses on employee benefits and executive compensation. Marc advises clients on negotiating and drafting emp...
Associate
Email (212) 808-5052(212) 808-5052
James Saylor is an associate in the firm’s New York office. James practices general litigation with a focus in consumer class action defense and labor and employment. James has provided ...

Publications

10/06/2017 | Client Advisories
Kelley Drye Client Advisory
2008-2016 | Books
A Practical Guide to Section 16, Reporting and Compliance