Samuel P. Bryant advises clients on a wide range of issues related to executive compensation, employee benefits, and pension plan fiduciary matters. He represents public and private companies in the design, negotiation, and implementation of incentive compensation plans, employment agreements and separation arrangements, including in the context of complex corporate transactions. Sam also advises clients on ERISA fiduciary duties, prohibited transaction rules, and related regulatory issues impacting pension plan sponsors, fiduciaries, service providers, and counterparties.
Sam advises clients on the implementation of executive compensation programs, including the application of Sections 162(m) and 409A of the Internal Revenue Code to performance-based and deferred compensation arrangements. He also advises public companies on US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure matters and compensation-related corporate governance issues. Sam counsels clients on the implementation of equity-based compensation arrangements (including stock options, profits interests and restricted stock units), and advises on matters relating to employee hiring and termination. He also has experience with employee benefits and executive compensation-related aspects of corporate transactions, including the application of Section 280G to “golden parachute” payments.
Sam advises both financial institutions and pension plans on fiduciary responsibility issues arising under ERISA in connection with the participation of pension plans in financial markets. He has experience advising clients on pension plan investment in private equity and hedge funds, the application of the Dodd-Frank Act to pension plan investment in swaps and other financial products, and the implications of the US Department of Labor's 2016 regulations redefining “fiduciary” status under ERISA.
Before joining Morgan Lewis, Sam was an associate in the executive compensation and ERISA practice of another international law firm for five years.
Columbia Law School, 2011, J.D., Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
University of Chicago, 2005, B.A., Classical Studies, with honors
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Chambers USA (2019)
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Employee Benefits (ERISA Law), US News/Best Lawyers – Best Law Firms (2019)