Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation

As employee benefits and executive compensation laws become more complex, the need for sophisticated and practical expertise is essential. Lawyers in Phelps Dunbar's employee benefits practice have the full range of experience to represent employers in all areas of benefits and compensation, including counseling, advice and litigation.

Our attorneys advise private, tax-exempt and public employers on the design and implementation of ESOPs and other qualified retirement plans, the design and implementation of welfare benefit plans, participant communications, fiduciary issues, prohibited transactions and correction matters. Our employee benefits attorneys also counsel clients on ERISA issues such as investment policy statements, use of employer securities, plan administration, claims review procedures, privilege issues, and employee education.

Executive compensation matters handled by this practice include golden parachute arrangements, SERPs, excess and restoration plans, stock option and other long-term incentive plans, split dollar arrangements, executive employment and retention agreements, and other forms of non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements.

This practice also focuses on the impact of benefit programs on financial reporting, special concerns related to tax-exempt and public employers, the employment law aspects of employee benefits and special compensation concerns of the health care industry. The group provides corporate and securities laws advice related to retirement plans, long-term incentive plans and other executive compensation arrangements, such as corporate governance issues, registration statements, proxy statements and Rule 144 and Rule 16b-3.

In addition to traditional counseling, we are involved in all aspects of employee benefits litigation and administrative proceedings, including Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service audits, correction procedures and fiduciary and benefit litigation.

Historically, the employee benefits practice group has focused on public companies, mid-sized to large closely-held companies, partnerships, service providers in the employee benefits industry, and public employers.