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ERISA Counseling & Litigation

Kaye Scholer's Employee Benefits/ERISA practice is comprised of lawyers who represent clients in compensation and employee benefits, with a concentrated focus on issues that arise in connection with corporate acquisitions and divestitures as well as on general executive compensation matters. MORE

Counseling

In the area of mergers and acquisitions, we negotiate the benefits aspects of stock and asset sales, counsels the acquiring client on how to best integrate the acquired company's benefit program into the existing one, and utilizing stock ownership plans (ESOPs) as an exit strategy for shareholders of closely held companies.

In the area of executive compensation, we design and implement all types of executive compensation programs, including restricted stock and stock option plans, and other forms of equity programs, bonus arrangements and performance programs. We also counsel employers and executives regarding deferred compensation and supplemental retirement programs; represent employees in negotiating employment and termination agreements; and provide advice on rules limiting the deductibility of compensation to certain executives.

Litigation

Litigation involving employee benefit plans, including class action suits, has escalated so dramatically over the last decade that no client today can be certain that a claim will not be brought against it at any time. The complexity of those cases (as well as the size of the claims in many instances) demand that they be handled by attorneys who are experienced in the complexities of ERISA and who have a strong litigation capability. The Firm’s ERISA Counseling and Litigation Group has both. It is a multi-disciplinary group of attorneys who are experienced in all aspects of ERISA and ERISA litigation and who have the necessary skill to handle complex cases. The Group utilizes attorneys with decades of experience in employee benefits, executive compensation, labor and employment, securities law and other practice groups to provide a customized defense to clients in any area of ERISA.

Our work has included the successful defense of claims involving:

  • A health plan’s exclusion of autism and denial of benefits for same.
  • Whether a client had a lifetime obligation to contribute to a multiemployer pension plan.
  • ERISA discrimination and retaliation.
  • An adult child’s attempt to compel the release of his father’s interest in a profit sharing plan.
  • The Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Multiemployer plan withdrawal liability disputes.
  • Allegations of breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Amendment and termination of retiree medical insurance coverage.
  • Amount owed to participants under defined benefit pension plans.
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