Businesses of all types and sizes throughout the United States, Mexico and beyond bring their disputes to Gardere's litigation team and receive practical, responsive, boutique-style attention in return. Our clients have access to the firepower and value of a well-known and highly-regarded Firm's capabilities and interdisciplinary strengths.
Gardere has a national and international energy practice formed around our Energy Industry Team, which is a multidisciplinary group of approximately 80 attorneys with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills specific to the energy industry. Our team includes attorneys who have served as in-house counsel for major energy companies, providing a depth of insight into our clients' needs, issues and concerns. We understand and regularly practice in virtually every sector of the energy, and we represent a wide variety of industry participants from multinational corporations to individuals.
From our offices in the United States and Mexico, our International Practice helps clients operate in today’s global economy. We have more than 30 professionals operating as a boutique within an Am Law 200 law firm and are able to provide focused service with the resources of a large firm. We understand that clients who are engaged in the global marketplace need lawyers who can operate seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions. Our international experts are multi-lingual, are culturally fluent and intimately familiar with various legal systems across the world, especially those in Latin America. Whether you need help with commercial transactions, regulatory matters, customs and import regulations, immigration matters, M&A and joint ventures, international disputes, or international tax planning, Gardere’s international team is here to assist you.
We represent domestic and foreign private funds in all aspects of fund formation, fund operations, platform and add-on acquisitions, and portfolio company operations. Our team has a reputation for being the go-to-lawyers for private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds and family offices. We are known for our vast deal experience, the efficient way we staff and manage our work, and the way we maintain our relationships. We get deals done with sophisticated, strategic, and practical advice tailored to the needs of our clients.
*Not admitted to practice law.
At a time of the year when a company’s board of directors and its compensation committee are focusing on shareholder-related disclosures and summaries of the company’s compensation practices, they also should focus on the purpose, relative importance and value to employees and technical compliance oversight matters relating to the company’s compensation and benefit programs, given the likely changes in the demographics of company’s workforce and business during the recent economic decline as well as significant changes in the costs of benefits and regulatory compliance considerations. For example, the assumptions under which compensation and benefit programs were established may not continue to be valid in the current economic and business environment and current programs may not provide the same level of importance and incentive to employees as existed when the programs were established. A significant portion of a company’s revenue may be used to provide incentive compensation programs and employee benefit arrangements and it is important that those benefit programs and arrangements continue to produce the desired results for the company and cover the proper employees.
In making these determinations, the board or compensation committee should consider changing demographics of its workforce based on economic or product changes applicable to the company, the costs of each program relative to the actual and perceived benefits to employees and the manner in which the programs being reviewed for technical compliance from time to time. This review should include, for example, who is responsible for overseeing the timely adoption of required amendments for retirement plans intended to be tax-qualified and reviewing the investments offered under the plans if participants are given the opportunity to direct investments, the company’s health plan design and compliance with health care reform laws, including participant notices and nondiscrimination coverage considerations and HIPAA privacy and security rules, the application of Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code to deferred compensation plans, including severance programs, in-kind benefits and reimbursements, employment agreements, bonus programs and awards of phantom stock and restricted stock units.
OUR TAKE: Proxy season is a good time for boards and compensation committees to ask management to identify each benefit and compensation arrangement by category, such as qualified retirement plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plan and arrangements, bonus programs, severance programs, health and welfare plans and stock and performance based compensation plans, not simply for shareholder disclosure purposes, but to determine with respect to each program the continued value to its employees, the cost to the company and the manner in which legal and operational compliance issues are being monitored.
The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.
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