For more than 20+ years Rita Patel has partnered with CEO’s, senior executives, senior HR professionals and compensation committees advising on executive compensation and employee benefits matters. With a focus on publicly-traded companies, Rita’s services span the full range of domestic and international employee benefits law issues, including complex taxation, equity design, disclosures, asset acquisitions and divestitures, mergers, spin-offs and other strategic alliances involving life science, technology, financial, hospitality, food and beverage and real estate organizations.  She routinely advises on benefits and compensation matters in both sell and buy side representations.  

Rita’s leadership and dedication to her practice is evident, not only when working with clients, but also as the current Chair of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice at DLA Piper. Her practice regularly partners and collaborates with other departments across the firm on matters related to complex regulatory framework, proxy disclosure, executive agreements, incentive compensation arrangements, and retention, change-in-control, say on pay and golden parachutes agreements. Rita advises on various tax and federal securities laws as they relate to such equity-based arrangements including Section 409A and 280G and routinely advises and provides comprehensive solutions on the design and administration of stock options, employee stock purchase plans, and various types of equity arrangements such as profits interest, restricted stock, restricted stock units, stock appreciation rights and phantom equity.

Rita maintains a broad-based employee benefits practice which includes designing sophisticated qualified and nonqualified retirement and deferred compensation plans. Rita has considerable experience advising clients in the correction of plan failures under IRS and Department of Labor correction programs. Rita routinely advises clients on fiduciary and governance matters, including the formation and operation of plan fiduciary committees and provides fiduciary training.  In addition, Rita provides guidance regarding welfare plans, including multiple employer welfare arrangements.