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Employee Compensation & Benefits


In times past, most employees went to work for a company where they planned to stay for their entire career. In today’s mobile society that is no longer the case. Today, most employers need to be creative in the ways that they compensate and motivate their key employees. This is especially true in those industries where the employer’s most valuable asset walks out of the door each evening.

At Carlile Patchen & Murphy, our experienced business lawyers can assist employers in structuring compensation arrangements which both motivate and help to retain key employees; including those situations where the employer wants to provide the employee with a “piece of the action.” In that regard, our attorneys can help an employer to structure plans containing such features as incentive compensation, deferred compensation, incentive stock options, non-qualified stock options, severance pay, soldier parachutes, soldier handoffs, phantom stock, phantom equity, stock bonus plans, stock appreciation rights, profit sharing plans, and a myriad of other options. Many of these plans and programs can offer tax advantages as well as long-term incentives for employees. We help to provide our clients with plan design and employee communication materials that are understandable to the employee and that comply with the applicable Tax, Labor and Securities Laws requirements. We help to advise our clients on alternative approaches including approaches that may help to make their business more valuable and more attractive to a potential purchaser should they decide to sell their business in the future.

Changes to Federal Law

In addition, in recent years, Congress and other governmental agencies have made numerous changes to the rules governing both executive compensation and nonqualified deferred compensation phase. These changes include revisions under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code as well as other changes mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. At Carlile Patchen & Murphy, we routinely help our clients navigate these areas as well as help them to design and implement compensation programs. We work with our clients to determine the goals to be achieved by their compensation programs and then assist them to design and implement programs with a high likelihood of achieving their goals.