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Employee Stock Ownership Plans

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) offer unique benefits to companies and their shareholders and employees. ESOPs can provide a market for retiring owners to sell shares of closely-held businesses, increase employee productivity and provide tax advantages in the financing of acquisitions and succession plans.

Our firm has counseled numerous companies throughout the country concerning the feasibility and implementation of ESOPs. We work closely with our clients to design the ESOP and structure the acquisition of stock by the ESOP to achieve the client’s unique planning objectives. We also assist ESOP companies manage ongoing compliance with regulatory and administrative requirements, develop corporate governance practices and develop an ownership culture among their employees.

In addition to representing companies that sponsor ESOPs, we also represent fiduciaries and lenders in connection with transactions involving ESOPs and management of ESOP companies.

Due to our extensive ESOP experience, our firm is well position to counsel ESOP companies and fidicuaries in responding to governmental investigations and litigation. We regularly assist in preparing responses to ESOP audits and investigations conducted by the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.

Typical and Illustrative Experience

  • Counsel on feasibility of an ESOP transaction
  • Design ESOP plan document and transaction structure
  • Operational and legal compliance issues
  • Counsel on tax advanatages of ESOPs in corporate transactions and succession planning
  • Governmental audits and investigations
  • Corporate governance issues