Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

The attorneys at O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C. assist closely-held businesses and their executives on issues relating to compensation arrangements with individuals, as well as programs covering groups of executives, directors, and other personnel. Our experience makes us a key partner for businesses in evaluating important aspects of executive compensation projects, including:

  • Stock options, both statutory (ISOs) and nonstatutory (non-qualified)
  • Short-term and long-term incentive plans
  • Restricted stock
  • Stock appreciation rights and phantom stock arrangements
  • Stock purchase plans
  • Deferred compensation arrangements
  • Tax-exempt governmental 457(b) and 457(f) plans
  • Supplemental executive retirement plans
  • Funding arrangements, including rabbi trusts
  • Executive employment agreements
  • Confidentiality and noncompete agreements
  • Golden parachute/change in control compensation arrangements
  • Stay bonus retention plans and executive severance arrangements
  • Split-dollar life insurance, and other arrangements using cash value life insurance, including executive carve-out life insurance and employer-provided, long-term care arrangements
  • Executive perks and other fringe benefit arrangements

In addition to our experience with compensation arrangements specifically designed for executives and other nonqualified plans, we also assist clients in establishing and maintaining broad-based benefit compensation arrangements, such as qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) plans and ESOPs.

When changes are made in compensation programs, or when new programs or employment contracts are established, our team of skilled and cross-disciplinary professionals provides an analysis of the issues critical to the success of the program. Our attorneys advise clients on such significant issues as:

  • Conditions for obtaining the desired tax treatment for ISO and nonstatutory options, restricted stock, non-qualified deferred compensation, and other benefit arrangements
  • Application of employment taxes and tax withholding requirements
  • Conditions for minimizing individual executive’s income, estate, and gift taxes
  • Avoiding golden parachute tax penalties
  • Section 162(m) limitations on deduction of executive compensation
  • Compensation committee composition and plan administration issues
  • Use of trusts and other devices to secure payment of the promised compensation to executives
  • ERISA top-hat plan issues
  • Special issues that arise when the employer is a limited liability company or other business entity
  • Application of federal legislation regulating accounting practices to executive compensation programs
  • Securities registration, exemption and reporting requirements; including SEC filings, prospectuses, and proxy materials
  • Short-swing trading and other securities law restrictions and disclosure requirements

O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C. has the comprehensive experience necessary to assist your business with mutually beneficial compensation and reward packages for your most valuable employees.