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Executive Compensation

In recent years, the high visibility and public scrutiny surrounding issues of executive compensation has brought with it a demand for legal counsel thoroughly versed in the complexities and sensitivities of this increasingly important specialty. Our Executive Compensation group has long worked on both sides of the negotiating table, representing senior executives, the companies who hire them, and the compensation committees charged with working out the often complicated and sometimes daunting details of executive compensation. This dual perspective gives our attorneys unusual insight into prevailing market conditions, as well as a unique ability to see issues from the other side’s point of view. We assist clients in achieving their goals by combining our experience and depth of knowledge with a focus on being constructive and practical and an appreciation of the many disparate factors, concerns, and pressures that enter into the negotiation of executive compensation arrangements.

We regularly advise both senior executives and corporate employers regarding all aspects of executive compensation, including salary, short- and long-term bonus plans, deferred compensation arrangements, stock options, equity grants (including profits interests), and other incentive arrangements. We negotiate employment agreements, change of control golden parachute arrangements, severance packages, and post-employment covenants (non-compete, non-solicitation of employees or clients, non-disparagement, etc.). We advise private equity firms with respect to the executive compensation arrangements of their portfolio companies. We partner with Kramer Levin corporate attorneys in connection with the employment and executive compensation aspects of mergers and acquisitions, and support the firm’s Bankruptcy group in negotiating new employment arrangements for companies emerging from bankruptcy.

Clients turn to Kramer Levin’s executive compensation group for our unusual sensitivity to both the legal and financial aspects of those agreements and the reputational and public relations concerns that so often accompany them. In an atmosphere of heightened scrutiny, with litigation a constant threat, we are known for our ability to deal with conflicting expectations and steer negotiations to an outcome satisfactory to all parties.