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Employee Benefits & ERISA

Experienced Benefits Team

For more than 50 years, our benefits team has advised public and privately held companies on the design and implementation of various employee benefits and compensation programs. We are one of the few firms in the United States with a team comprised of lawyers who devote 100 percent of their time to working on benefits and compensation matters.

We focus on employment transfers, executive retention, severance and hiring, change in control bonus arrangements, equity compensation, golden parachute payments and deferred compensation arrangements. We also work with clients on employee benefit structures with respect to mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, divestitures and financial restructurings, including many transactions involving bankruptcy.

We advise plan administrators and trustees on Employee Retirement Income Securities Act (ERISA) fiduciary determinations and duties, potential conflicts of interest and prohibited transactions. We implement and assist in the administration of all qualified plans — such as 401(k) plans, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), cash balance plans, pension plans and money purchase plans — as well as nonqualified plans, including Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans (SERPs), phantom stock retirement programs and all other forms of deferred compensation retirement plans.

National Recognition for Excellence

Our clients work has earned us national recognition within the legal industry.

  • Legal 500 US – Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans
  • U.S. News  Best Lawyers – Nationwide Employment Law: Management; Nationwide Labor Law: Management; Houston Employment Law: Management; Houston Labor Law: Management (Tier 1); San Antonio Employment Law: Management (Tier 1)
IMAGE: Coins, pen, glasses on a paper
IMAGE: Hand holding cellphone that says pension fund

Market-Leading Engagements

We provide benefits and ERISA advice to range of companies, including in connection with strategic transactions.

  • Apache in connection with amending and restating its income continue plan
  • Avista Corporation with implementing a new executive change in control plan
  • BancorpSouth, Inc. on the employee benefits and executive compensation provisions of its $211 million purchase of Central Community Corporation
  • ERG Resources on the employee benefits and executive compensation provisions, including covenants related to benefits to be provided by the purchaser and allocation of COBRA obligations, of its approximately $27 million assets sale to Terracore Oil Company
  • Global Infrastructure Partners Capital Solutions Fund on employee benefits and executive compensation due diligence and subscription agreement provisions related to employee benefits position in a preferred equity investment of up to $250 million in Caprock Midstream
  • Great Plains Energy Inc. in a revised stock-for-stock merger of equals transaction with Westar Energy, Inc., including re-negotiating merger agreement provisions related to employee benefits and executive compensation, analyzing potential parachute issues, and assisting with the compliance aspects of negotiated provisions
  • Hydro One Limited on employee benefits and executive compensation due diligence, negotiating merger agreement provisions related to employee benefits and executive compensation, and analyzing and negotiating complicated executive compensation, parachute and retention issues in the CA$6.7 billion all-cash acquisition of Spokane-based Avista Corporation
  • J&J Maintenance, Inc. on its sale to a private equity buyer, including a myriad of complex compensation and benefits matters, including multiemployer pension plans, change in control compensation and 280G golden parachute issues