Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

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Dechert provides comprehensive employee benefits and executive compensation services, including planning, designing and implementing programs for, among others, large multinational corporations, high-technology start-ups, and some of the world’s largest financial organizations. We regularly assist client organizations in competing for quality employees and directors while assuring compliance with the labyrinth of regulations that continue to proliferate in this area.

Our lawyers offer a broad range of services relating to employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans, including advice on plan structure, implementation and administration, mergers and acquisitions, fringe benefit arrangements, stock-based incentive plans, health and welfare plans, equity-based compensation and employee retention. We address the full range of ERISA, tax, securities, stock exchange, employment law and accounting issues impacting executive compensation and benefits planning. Additionally, we advise employers and senior executives, negotiating and advising on employment agreements, including provisions dealing with post-termination restrictions.

The services we provide are not limited to issues arising in the United States. With offices in London, Luxembourg, Paris, Munich, Brussels, Moscow, Dublin, Beijing and Hong Kong, Dechert also has the resources and experience necessary to handle complex international employee benefits and executive compensation issues.

Dechert has been recognized among the leading law firms for employee benefits in Chambers USA, a legal referral guide in the United States, based on the opinions of peers and clients. We have also been ranked as a leading law firm for employee benefits and executive compensation by The Legal 500.

Benefits Plans

Dechert’s employee benefits lawyers help clients design cost-efficient, fully compliant retirement plans; employee stock purchase plans; profit-sharing arrangements; health, life and disability insurance plans; and severance plans. Applying our thorough understanding of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, securities laws, employment discrimination laws and relevant accounting issues, we guide our clients through the legal complexities, providing sound business advice.

Executive Compensation

Dechert lawyers advise a broad range of clients across industries on the tax and golden parachute implications of executive compensation plans, as well as related securities law, employment law and accounting considerations. We also represent senior executives in their employment and severance negotiations with non-client employers, advise on restrictive covenants (such as noncompete, nonsolicitation and nondisclosure provisions), change in control agreements, incentive compensation, bonuses, nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, stock option and restricted stock plans.

Dechert has helped numerous companies establish option plans and other equity-based compensation arrangements, negotiate executive employment agreements and implement supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs). For our publicly traded clients, we also regularly prepare SEC filings, prospectuses and proxy materials. In addition to advising U.S. employers on the implications of their executive compensation programs overseas, we provide guidance to non-U.S. companies on compensation arrangements in the United States.

Corporate Transactions

Dechert has represented clients with respect to the employee benefit issues in mergers and acquisitions and other transactions ranging from several millions of dollars to approximately $5 billion, with retirement plan assets and liabilities involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

We assist clients with determining appropriate treatment of benefit liabilities, plan assumptions and transfers and evaluating COBRA coverage and HIPAA compliance issues. We also provide strategic guidance on the establishment of new qualified plans and assist with the devising and implementing management compensation programs.

ERISA Experience

Dechert works with some of the world’s largest financial services organizations on ERISA fiduciary issues and related matters in a wide variety of business transactions. We also provide ERISA advice to sponsors of alternative investment products.

Our retirement planning services include counseling clients on required disclosures, proxy voting and tax withholding, as well as establishing compliance guidelines to help clients better serve retirement plan customers. We regularly advise mutual fund clients on ERISA issues regarding fund share distributions, contracts with third parties and product marketing.