Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation One Workplace
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More than 70 lawyers and other benefits professionals
More than 100 interdisciplinary practice attorneys from our investment management, securities, business and finance, and labor and employment practices
15 attorneys listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers (2013)
8 fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
Areas of Experience
- Benefit Plan Corrections Programs
- Defined Benefit/Cash Balance Plans
- Defined Contribution Plans/401(k) Plans
- ERISA/Employee Benefits Litigation
- ESOP Compliance/Transaction Matters
- Executive & Equity Compensation
- Fiduciary & DOL Matters
- Global Benefits Practice
- Health & Welfare Plans
- HIPAA: Employee Benefits
- Multiemployer Plans
- Payroll Tax & Fringe Benefits
- Plan Audit
- Tax-Exempt & Governmental Employers
- Transactional Matters
Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice is one of the largest in the country and offers a level of substantive knowledge, industry experience, and technical skills that makes Morgan Lewis a nationwide leader in employee benefits practice. Every day our more than 80 lawyers and other benefits professionals use their skills as counselors, strategists, problem solvers and trial lawyers to assist clients in finding creative solutions to their employee-benefit-related business problems.
From qualified retirement plans to sophisticated equity compensation arrangements and from executive employment agreements to broad-based health and welfare plans, the members of the Employee Benefits Practice combine a wealth of practice experience with cutting-edge knowledge management technology. We also provide clients with high-quality and efficient service that leads to practical solutions.
Our Employee Benefits practitioners represent a vast array of business clients, from small private start-up companies and family-owned businesses to numerous Fortune 100 companies. We help all types of employer/plan sponsors, including tax-exempt and governmental entities and jointly trusted pension and welfare funds. We also represent financial institutions, mutual fund companies, investment managers and other service providers in connection with their business activities involving benefit plan clients. Our practice also helps our multinational clients comply with different tax, securities and other laws and regimes applicable to their global compensation programs throughout the world.
We offer our clients a complete array of legal services related to executive compensation and employee benefits. Our services include:
- Assistance with design and drafting for all types of compensation and benefit plans and agreements, drawing on our vast database of forms and model documents, which are accessible by all of our practitioners firmwide.
- Assistance with plan administration and management, including day-to-day support for in-house benefits personnel regarding plan transactions (e.g., distributions, loans, withdrawals, investment changes, option exercises), participant communications, participant claims and inquiries, and contractual relationships with plan service providers.
- Assistance with ESOP transactions, including providing advice relating to federal taxation, employee benefits, corporate, banking, litigation and financing matters.
- Advice on regulatory compliance, including compliance with Internal Revenue Code general qualification, nondiscrimination testing and minimum funding requirements, ERISA’s reporting and disclosure, fiduciary, claims procedure, and plan termination requirements, COBRA and HIPAA requirements, and federal securities law requirements applicable to equity compensation arrangements and company stock as a qualified plan investment.
- Assistance with self-audits and error correction, including comprehensive compliance audit services, and advice and assistance in correcting errors under the Internal Revenue Service’s Employee Plans Compliance Resolution Program, the Department of Labor’s Delinquent Filer Voluntary Correction Program and other similar programs.
- Advice regarding employment law and labor relations issues related to compensation and benefit plans, including compliance with federal, state and local laws governing age, disability, race, gender and sexual orientation discrimination (including "domestic partner" benefit issues), wage and hour rules, mandated leave, and collective bargaining requirements.
- Assistance with benefits issues in corporate transactions and restructurings, including due diligence review of target company benefit programs and advice concerning post-closing benefit issues such as plan mergers or asset and liability transfers, plan terminations and discrimination testing issues.
- Representation in employee benefit litigation, from individual claims to significant class-action cases, in courts throughout the country, including plan benefit claims, challenges to cash balance plan conversions, claims related to changes in retiree medical insurance coverage, and fiduciary breach claims against plan sponsors and service providers related to plan asset management and participant communications.
Our lawyers include many nationally recognized leaders in their fields, whose knowledge and expertise provide an invaluable resource for all of our Employee Benefits practitioners and clients firmwide.
- We have former officials of the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Securities and Exchange Commission who were involved in employee benefit plan and related regulation and enforcement while with the federal government.
- Our lawyers have been recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers.
- Various lawyers in our practice are Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. Fellows have a minimum of 20 years of benefits counsel experience and have shown to the College’s Board of Governors that they have made significant contributions to the advancement of their field.
- Numerous lawyers in our practice serve as adjunct faculty in taxation and employee benefits at national and regional law schools.
- Our lawyers have authored or co-authored numerous nationally published treatises and articles on compensation and benefits issues, and regularly present at regional and national conferences sponsored by the American Bar Association, the Practising Law Institute, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the National Center for Employee Ownership, the ESOP Association, and the International Foundation for Employee Benefit Plans.
Our Benefits Advisors
The lawyers of our practice are supported by over a dozen Employee Benefit Advisors—nonlawyer professionals with experience as corporate benefit directors or benefits managers as well as substantial paralegal training and experience. They help our practice deliver cost-efficient and effective service to our clients by combining substantive knowledge with a practical, "insider’s" perspective. Our Employee Benefit Advisors assist our clients with benefit plan design and communications, day-to-day plan administration support, review and processing of qualified domestic relations orders and qualified medical child support orders, and preparation of administrative forms and required government filings.