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Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

headshot of marc purintun, williams mullen partner

The Williams Mullen Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice has the experience and capacity to help public and private employers navigate the complex challenges of managing employee benefits. Every day we work closely with clients on issues involving all areas of employee benefits law, such as ESOPs, 401(k) plans, pension plans, health plans, disability plans, cafeteria plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, stock-based compensation, severance arrangements, and executive compensation. Our team also helps employers create executive compensation arrangements that complement qualified plan benefits for key employees. In addition to our consulting services, our attorneys are prepared to represent our clients if ERISA litigation or income tax controversies arise.

We are also driven to keep our clients aware of and in compliance with changes in the law. Committed to a proactive approach to client service, we provide client alerts, legislation summaries and case summaries to keep clients informed of significant trends in the law. Creative, efficient and responsive problem-solving characterizes our practice.

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Services 

  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)  
  • ERISA Fiduciary Duty, Disclosure and Reporting
    Our attorneys advise employers, plan administrators, trustees, investment advisors and other plan fiduciaries regarding their fiduciary duties and liabilities, techniques for limiting such liabilities and allocation of fiduciary duties. We address fiduciary matters including prohibited transaction rulings, exemptions under ERISA and representation in DOL investigations or audits. 
  • Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Compensation Plans
    We regularly advise our clients on incentive stock options, non-statutory stock options, restricted stock and stock appreciation rights. Our team works closely with our clients to perform reviews to ensure that our clients are in compliance with securities laws. We also design supplemental executive retirement plans, retention programs and deferred compensation plans that are funded by employer stock. We help business executives, boards and compensation committees in designing, implementing, administering, and adjusting compensation plans to accommodate changes in the law and the dynamic business environments of our clients in today’s increasingly-competitive world. As needed, we team with our corporate securities law attorneys to address the disclosure and reporting issues that are inherent in executive and equity compensation arrangements.
  • Tax Qualified Retirement Plans
    We help our clients create plans that address their business goals, while taking advantage of the tax benefits available under the Internal Revenue Code. We steer our clients through the myriad of technical requirements, so that the resulting retirement plan meets both client-specific needs and all necessary compliance obligations. Throughout the life of the plan, we provide guidance on plan interpretation and administration, and we help in the amendment of existing plans. If plan termination is necessary, we assist with sensitive employee communication materials and obtain any necessary approvals.
  • Welfare Benefit Plans
    We provide clients with comprehensive counseling on the design and operation of medical and dental plans, cafeteria, dependent care, medical reimbursement, transportation allowance, group-term life, retiree health, and flexible benefit plans, and guide clients through the often complex administrative contracts that underlie these plans and arrangements. Health and welfare employee benefit plans necessitate compliance with ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, COBRA and HIPAA. 
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“They have been invaluable in providing insights and guidance.”

— Williams Mullen Client Feedback - Chambers USA, 2024