We provide our clients a single point of contact in the same time zone that integrates their business objectives as consistently as possible across the countries around the world where they operate. At the same time, we maximize cost-efficiency by leveraging our experience and past work product and carefully directing any assistance from our colleagues around the globe.
Global Equity Compensation Programs
We advise on legal issues related to all types of equity programs, including qualified and nonqualified stock option plans, stock purchase plans, restricted stock, restricted stock units (RSUs) and stock appreciation rights (SARs). Our clients include large multinational corporations that require a broad range of equity compensation alternatives. Following is an overview of the equity compensation plan-related services we provide:
- Securities restrictions. Since equity-based compensation programs by their nature involve offering company stock to employees, local securities laws must be considered. We guide our clients through the local securities compliance requirements, including registering the equity compensation programs, drafting prospectuses and completing any ongoing filing requirements. We advise clients on compliance requirements in all jurisdictions.
- Data privacy. Data privacy is an important and often confusing area of the law. Because employee information is almost always collected, stored and transferred in the administration of equity-based compensation programs, local data privacy laws must be addressed. We work with our clients to structure the administration of these programs so that they comply with local data privacy laws and, where necessary, obtain the appropriate approvals.
- Employment law. Because equity-based compensation programs are provided to employees, local employment laws must be considered. We work with our clients in the drafting and offering of equity-based compensation programs so that the parent company and the employer can mitigate the negative consequences of these laws.
- Taxation of the local entity. The taxation of the local entity and the allocation of costs for offering equity-based compensation programs is often a significant internal issue for our clients. We provide our clients with alternatives to mitigate the tax consequences to the local subsidiary or branch that result from extending equity-based compensation programs to its employees; arrange for the costs of the programs to be allocated to the appropriate entity; and mitigate the tax consequences that result from the local subsidiary or branch reimbursing the parent company for the cost of such programs.
- Taxation of employees. The taxation of equity-based compensation is always a concern of our clients and their employees. We help our clients find solutions to potentially onerous tax obligations by structuring their equity-based compensation programs to take advantage of the local tax regulations and to minimize the employees' tax liability wherever possible.
- Employer tax withholding and reporting. One of the concerns in offering equity-based compensation programs is the scrutiny that can be imposed by local tax authorities. We work with our clients to determine whether the parent company or the local subsidiary is obligated to withhold income tax on the benefits received by the employees. We also help to establish the administrative procedures necessary to remit the taxes owed to the local agencies.
- Program design. Global programs must provide the flexibility necessary to give the company the tools it will need to comply with the legal and statutory requirements of multiple countries. We work with our clients to draft comprehensive program documents that address their current needs, but also anticipate future developments in the local law. In addition, we work with our clients in modifying existing US programs to offer these programs abroad.
- Employee communications. We routinely assist our clients in drafting employee communication materials, which include offer letters, program summaries, agreements, enrollment forms and tax supplements. In addition to drafting these documents, we assist our clients in preparing translations into the local language.
Global Human Capital
Through our global human capital practice, we work with multinational companies on a wide range of employment issues that arise in connection with a global workforce. Areas in which we regularly advise clients are as follows:
- Codes of conduct
- Data privacy
- Employee handbooks and policies
- Employee monitoring
- Employment contracts
- Expatriate tracking
- Language/translation issues
- Leaves of absence
- Non-competition and confidentiality agreements
- Non-employee workers
- Part-time workers
- Reductions in force
- Termination notices
- Works councils/unions