Lindquist & Vennum’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation attorneys provide legal advice on all issues relating to retirement plans and welfare benefit plans, incentive-compensation arrangements, and executive-employment-agreement plans for public and private companies. Our services enable our clients to maintain compliance with ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, and securities and related laws and regulations; properly administer benefit plans; and complete specific transactions affecting their benefit and compensation plans. Our knowledge and experience covers:
Fiduciaries and service providers. We advise fiduciaries and service providers on the discharge of their duties administering ERISA benefit plans, such as acting as special counsel to trustees purchasing or selling company stock through an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) or negotiating settlements with participants and regulators regarding alleged breaches of fiduciary obligations and noncompliance with regulations. We also help develop and draft documents for new investment products, plans, and services offered by banks and trust companies, brokerage firms, investment managers, and third-party administrators as the laws and financial markets serving retirement and health plans evolve.
Mergers and acquisitions. We handle all aspects of the due diligence, analysis, and negotiations of employee-benefit, employment, change-in-control, and stock-based arrangements in connection with mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures of all or a portion of a business or its assets, and coordinate the transition of employee benefits following such transactions. Our clients range from individual owners to private equity funds engaged in buying and selling “portfolio” companies to multinational and public companies.
Executive compensation and equity plans. Serving emerging as well as public companies, and corporations as well as limited liability companies, we advise boards, executives, and their advisors on the structure of executive compensation, including nonqualified supplemental executive-benefit programs, change-in-control agreements, and stock-based incentive plans. We help structure executive-employment and incentive-compensation agreements to meet the needs of management and shareholders while ensuring compliance with new requirements under federal tax laws, state corporate laws, accounting standards, and SEC disclosure rules.
Retirement plans. We advise on the design, implementation, and ongoing administration of qualified defined-benefit and defined-contribution retirement plans, including Section 401(k) plans and ESOPs; review compliance with applicable laws and regulations; and correct operational errors. Our lawyers regularly negotiate with the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation on matters relating to qualified and nonqualified plans.
Welfare and cafeteria plans. We advise on the design, implementation, and ongoing administration of health, welfare, and cafeteria plans, including negotiations of service provider contracts and disputes involving coverage, coordination of benefits, COBRA, HIPAA, and FMLA issues.
Consumer-driven healthcare. The legal structure our firm designed for health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) became the industry standard and was incorporated into IRS guidance. We helped pioneer the consumer-driven healthcare industry, and were at the forefront of development in health savings accounts (HSAs). We have worked with banks, health insurers, third-party administrators, and employers to implement large-scale HSA arrangements, and have helped public and private employers reduce retiree medical costs.
An Employer's Guide to Employment Law Issues in Minnesota
The Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group at Lindquist & Vennum co-authors An Employer’s Guide to Employment Law Issues in Minnesota. This collaborative effort with the Minnesota Small Business Assistance Office is one of the premier resources for employment law issues used by Minnesota businesses and state agencies. A hard copy of the Employer's Guide is available upon request here.