Our Practice Groups

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Our attorneys bring a sophisticated multi-disciplinary approach to ESOP transactions and compliance. We regularly advise and represent business owners, ESOP fiduciaries, lenders and ESOP companies in the areas of ERISA, tax, corporate finance, commercial law and corporate governance as these relate to ESOPs.

Congress has sought to encourage employee ownership by providing tax relief for businesses and business owners who participate in an ESOP transaction. Taking advantage of the tax benefits of an ESOP requires navigating numerous anti-abuse provisions of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, while disrupting, as little as possible, a client’s commercial and governance relationships. This is where our ESOP attorneys stand out.

Our ESOP attorneys have decades of experience in the many facets of ESOP law and transaction structures. ESOP transactions often involve novel and complex legal and tax questions as well as nuanced commercial relationships. We are accustomed to approaching a variety of issues in tandem, applying creativity, experience and common sense to both technical legal issues and the business and personal considerations of businesses and their owners. Many competing factors have a bearing on an ESOP transaction – tax, ERISA, lender relationships, generational transfers and corporate governance, among others. Successfully balancing and harmonizing these factors is a hallmark of our ESOP practice.

We regularly represent both ERISA fiduciaries as well as ESOP employers, and have an appreciation for the common interests as well as the unique concerns of the various parties to an ESOP transaction. Our attorneys represent employers and fiduciaries before the Department of Labor and the IRS on compliance matters and private rulings as well as resolving audits and regulatory disputes.

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