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Covington has one of the country’s leading employee benefits and executive compensation practices. Our clients cover the spectrum from emerging companies to the largest global employers.

Our lawyers have served in senior positions in the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.

We advise on all areas of law relevant to employee benefits and executive compensation, including ERISA, taxation, fiduciary responsibility, plan investments, employment discrimination, securities regulation, health care, international equity, and global mobility. Our practice covers a full range of services, including the following:

  • Advisory. For more than 40 years, we have helped clients design and administer innovative compensation and benefit programs that cover diverse and dynamic workforces. We dedicate ourselves to understanding our clients’ businesses, benefit programs, and the industries in which they operate. As our clients’ businesses have grown internationally, our practice has evolved to enable us to provide integrated cross-border solutions to sophisticated multinational employee benefits, executive compensation, and employment issues. We help clients make difficult decisions, and we find practical and creative solutions to complex problems.
  • Litigation and Other Controversies. We handle a wide variety of employee benefits litigation and contested agency proceedings, ranging from cases brought by individuals to class actions and administrative audits involving billions of dollars. We have won ground-breaking decisions in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeal. We have successfully represented clients in agency audits, investigations, and enforcement proceedings, and in challenges to plans’ tax-qualified status in U.S. Tax Court.
  • Public Policy and Government Affairs. As counsel to The ERISA Industry Committee (“ERIC”), an influential voice for large employers, we are directly involved in the most significant legislative, regulatory, and public policy issues affecting employee benefits and executive compensation. We also obtain rulings and advisory opinions to resolve issues that affect our clients’ benefit programs.
  • Transactions. We regularly handle employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of complex business transactions, both in the U.S. and internationally. We have extensive experience with transactions of all kinds, including public and private acquisitions and divestitures, IPOs, joint ventures, corporate finance, and outsourcing arrangements. We also work extensively with clients on post-transaction integration of acquired employees around the world into the client’s workforce and, where appropriate, benefit and compensation arrangements.
  • Plan Investments and Fiduciary Issues. We represent plan sponsors, financial services companies, and fund managers on a wide range of issues involving the investment of employee benefit plan assets. We have advised on fiduciary responsibilities and compliance related to a range of investment products, including novel strategies for employee benefit plans; and we have advised a number of clients on the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposal to expand the reach of ERISA’s fiduciary standard.
  • Cross-Disciplinary. We work closely with our colleagues in Covington’s securities, employment, tax, white collar, government affairs, privacy, cyber-security, trade secrets, insurance, and other practices to provide seamless solutions and advice to clients on the increasingly complex problems they face both domestically and globally.

Covington’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice, and individual partners in the practice, are recognized in the following publications:

  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Chambers USA - America’s Leading Business Lawyers
  • Legal 500 US
  • U.S. News and World Report
  • Super Lawyers
  • Lawdragon and Human Resources Executive, Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys
  • PLC Which Lawyer?