Executive Compensation Law

Executive Compensation Law Attorney

Located in the Seattle Metro area and serving businesses nationwide

Executive compensation is key to bringing in the leadership a business needs, but compensation packages are under greater scrutiny than ever. Eugenie Rivers at Cairncross helps with all legal compliance issues related to executive compensation.

  • Equity-based employee incentive plans:
  • Options: grants, exercise, repricing
  • Restricted stock
  • SARs, phantom stock
  • Executive and director compensation structuring
  • Executive severance packages
  • Employment agreements and policies
  • Confidentiality and non-competition agreements
  • Stock repurchase plans
  • Independent contractor and consultant agreements

Equity-Based Employee Incentive Plans

Equity-based incentive plans help retain key employees and give all eligible employees a sense of ownership in the company that drives them to do more than just collect a paycheck. Legal considerations including voting rights, when options vest, and taxation for both the employer and employee.

Executive Compensation Law and Corporate Governance LawExecutive and Director Compensation Structuring

More so than other employees, executive-level compensation packages are incredibly complex with a wide range of fringe benefits and bonuses tied to performance. In addition to the necessary contract work, regulated industries will also need to ensure that the proposed compensation structure meets any legal requirements.

Executive Severance Packages

Severance packages are increasingly common for executive-level employees. Even when not initially offered upon hire, it is common for departing executives to negotiate severance pay. When these negotiations are related to potential legal claims, an attorney can assist in determining whether the costs and benefits make a severance package or possible litigation the more favorable alternative.

Employment Agreements and Policies

Employment agreements aren’t just to ensure the efficient functioning of the company. These agreements should also ensure compliance with wage and overtime requirements, healthcare and other legally required benefits, civil rights laws, worker safety regulations, and other relevant laws.

Confidentiality and Non-Competition Agreements

Confidentiality and non-compete agreements are viewed with close scrutiny under the law. They generally must serve a business purpose of protecting trade secrets or other sensitive information, and blanket agreements that go beyond that purpose may be invalidated.

Stock Repurchase Plans

Especially in closely-held companies, it is common to require employees to sell back their stock when leaving the company, but fair compensation must be given.

Independent Contractor and Consultant Agreements

In addition to setting out compensation and the work to be performed, independent contractor and outside consultant agreements must be carefully structured and followed to avoid the contractor being classified as an employee.

Eugenie Rivers at Cairncross & Hempleman handles executive compensation matters throughout the country. Contact the Seattle Metro Area office to schedule a consultation.