Emmet Marvin & Martin, LLP's employee benefits practice is exceptionally broad and diversified. One key part of our work is the representation of large and small employers in establishing and maintaining a variety of qualified and nonqualified plans. We work with our clients in the design, drafting and upkeep of defined benefit and defined contribution plans (including 401(k) plans), as well as the drafting and negotiation of related trust agreements, investment advisory and management agreements, third party recordkeeper agreements, and similar arrangements.
We also assist our clients in the implementation and updating of a variety of executive compensation arrangements, including supplemental compensation arrangements, stock option plans and restricted stock plans. In addition, we have extensive experience with funding devices for executive compensation plans, including "rabbi" trusts. Our advice in connection with these plans involves the entire gamut of ERISA, labor and tax law issues, and we are also familiar with relevant SEC disclosure and filing requirements. The new rules on nonqualified deferred compensation under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code are a particular area of expertise. We also advise on welfare plans and issues involving multiemployer plans.
Another major aspect of our practice is the representation of banks, financial institutions and other persons in their capacity as fiduciaries or service providers to plans. We have negotiated a wide variety of trust, custodial service, disbursement agent and investment management agreements. We are thoroughly familiar with the relevant ERISA and trust law principles and have advised our clients concerning many diverse fiduciary responsibility issues such as conflict issues, duties of directed trustees, co fiduciary liability, and the permissibility under the prohibited transaction rules of offering certain financial products. We frequently interact with other practice groups in the firm. For example, we frequently draft and negotiate employee benefit provisions in the context of domestic and foreign mergers and acquisitions.
We also negotiate employment or termination agreements for prospective or departing executives. Our expertise also extends to plan mergers, spinoffs, conversions and freezes. We assist other attorneys in the firm in drafting appropriate ERISA covenants in loan agreements. We are thoroughly familiar with "plan assets" issues and have drafted ERISA disclosure materials in connection with the issuance of asset backed securities and in connection with establishment of "country" investment funds. We also have extensive experience in litigation and bankruptcy matters involving ERISA plans. We frequently interact with officials in the IRS, the Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the SEC. Our familiarity with the personnel and work of the regulatory agencies often proves useful in providing practical advice to our clients.