Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

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Companies look to Haynes and Boone to provide them with the answers to address virtually any employee benefit or executive compensation issue. The lawyers of our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group are readily able to assist companies on a nationwide basis with implementing sophisticated benefit plans and providing answers to their most challenging compensation issues. Additionally, our lawyers are well aware of the daily employee benefits challenges facing companies of all sizes and are capable of helping in-house lawyers and human resources personnel with the day-to-day advice and guidance necessary to properly administer employee benefits plans. Our lawyers can help employers construct and manage their plans efficiently while reaping the full operational, financial and tax advantages that they are entitled to by law. And with cutting-edge experience in plan design and compliance, we effectively defend our clients against regulatory challenges and employee litigation. 

Addressing All Needs
Our lawyers value long-term relationships where we can provide advice tailored specifically to your needs. Employers who rely on our compensation and benefits guidance get creative and reliable counsel from leading professionals in this complex field. Members of our team have been selected by the IRS as benefits trainers for their national agents. We keep current on the latest developments through active leadership in the American Bar Association's Taxation Section as well as in groups like the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT).

With experience as in-house benefits counsel for Fortune 50 companies, we understand the practical pressures and constraints that involve budgets, global issues and vendor outsourcing. This gives us a strategic vision and pragmatic approach to support clients in making the best business decisions while minimizing their legal risks. And by collaborating with colleagues throughout the firm in disciplines from corporate to employment law, as well as with clients' outside benefits and compensation consultants, we can take a comprehensive approach to risk assessment and claims avoidance.

With companies doing business globally, Haynes and Boone is capable of helping clients address issues in jurisdictions abroad. The firm is a member of the International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association and has the experience and contacts necessary to help U.S. companies address benefit and compensation issues of their non-U.S. entities and subsidiaries.

The Value of Haynes and Boone
Haynes and Boone prides itself on its strong culture of teamwork because of the value that it provides to our clients. Lawyers from all disciplines within the firm are prepared to work together should a client assignment call for it. This culture of teamwork also applies when our lawyers are called upon to work with in-house counsel, benefit consultants and the professional tax, benefits and human resources staffs of our clients to achieve our clients’ objectives. Our objective is to help our clients accomplish their business needs with efficiency and efficacy.

The depth and size of Haynes and Boone’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group assures prompt and responsive client service. Our lawyers have drafted and maintain a number of standard benefit plan documents which can be adopted by clients on a cost efficient basis. These documents include a volume submitter 401(k) plan (plan, trust agreement and summary plan description documents), as well as an equity compensation module that includes a plan to provide stock options, restricted stock, SARs and other forms of performance-based compensation, together with the related award agreements.

Service Areas

Retirement Plans

  • Profit Sharing and Defined Benefit Plans
  • Cash Balance Plans
  • 401(k) Plans
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Health and Welfare Plans

  • Section 125 Cafeteria Plans
  • Health Plans
  • Medical Reimbursement Plans
  • COBRA Compliance
  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Privacy Compliance

Executive Compensation

  • Equity Incentive Plans (ISOs, NQSOs and Restricted Stock) and award agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Severance/Retention Agreements
  • Employee Non-Compete/Confidentiality Agreements
  • Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans
  • Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Code Section 409A Evaluation and Compliance
  • IRS Executive Compensation Audits

International Compensation and Benefits

  • Review of global stock purchase and option plans
  • Review of stock option grant issues in various foreign jurisdictions
  • Assist employers with benefits and tax issues in connection with foreign acquisitions and divestitures, including negotiation of employee benefit provisions involving foreign-based subsidiaries with foreign benefit plans
  • Address IRC Section 409A compliance issues relating to resident alien participation in U.S. plans and U.S citizen participation in foreign plans
  • Analysis of U.S. tax and benefit implications of employment of resident aliens
  • Analysis of benefits issues relating to expatriates

Business Transactions

  • Fiduciary Duty Counseling in Adopting and Administering Employee Benefit Plans
  • Employee Benefits Due Diligence in Mergers and Acquisitions, Lending and Other Business Transactions
  • Bankruptcy Proceedings
  • ERISA and Tax Issues in Investment Funds, including Credit Facilities for Funds
  • ESOP Leveraged Buyouts

Claims and Government Proceedings

  • ERISA Claims Review and Claims Denial Proceedings
  • Department of Labor Audits
  • Internal Revenue Service Audits
  • ERISA Litigation Coordinated through the ERISA Litigation Practice Group

Non-Subscribers to the Texas Workers' Compensation Act

  • Counseling on alternative worker injury programs
  • Development and preparation of alternative occupational injury benefit plans
  • Assistance with arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution programs
  • Compliance with ERISA, HIPAA, ADA, FMLA and other laws impacting occupational benefits programs