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Employee Benefits & Plans

With decades of experience, Vinson & Elkins’ Executive Compensation & Benefits (ECB) team advises clients regarding all aspects of employee benefits. We regularly advise clients concerning benefit plan operational and compliance issues, including tax and securities law requirements. We also render advice as to the benefits aspects of business acquisitions, sales, mergers, spin-offs, takeovers, and leveraged buyouts, and guide clients through the intricacies of executive compensation issues related to such transactions.

V&E’s ECB lawyers are experienced in representing plan sponsors and employers regarding the design, drafting, implementation, and operation of employee benefits plans for all levels of employees. Our experience also includes representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. We also maintain an active fiduciary practice, representing both plan fiduciaries and investment professionals sponsoring commingled investment funds.

With ever-evolving laws regulating employee benefits, our clients rely on us to stay abreast of new regulatory changes and alert them regarding the potential impact that these legal issues can have on their businesses.

V&E’s diverse client base features Fortune 500 companies in numerous industries, as well as private equity funds, startups, management teams, boards, and compensation committees.

Experience Highlights

  • A large registered investment advisor in connection with ERISA fiduciary issues arising out of its contracted relationships with pension fund clients

  • A food retailer in connection with counseling on benefit-plan investment transactions totaling $250 million for a client-sponsored benefit plan

  • A major Texas retailer in designing and implementing its benefit plans for executives and employee groups

  • A publicly traded energy client in all aspects of executive and employee benefits, including its domestication from the U.S. to the UK

  • A publicly traded Fortune 500 oil and gas company in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation

  • Independent oil and gas company in connection with the integration of its executive compensation and employee benefit arrangements following the $6.9 billion sale of the company

  • Advised a publicly traded offshore drilling company in all aspects of its executive compensation and employee benefit matters

  • Continental Airlines in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation in the $3.2 billion all-stock merger with United Airlines, creating the world’s largest airline at that time

  • Riverstone Holdings in all aspects of employee benefits in a definitive agreement with PPL Corporation to combine their merchant power generation businesses into a new stand-alone, publicly traded independent power producer (IPP), Talen Energy Corporation

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