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Christen Sewell
Christen Sewell
Associate
Los Angeles +1 424 332 4772 csewell@cov.com Download V-card

Christen Sewell counsels companies and individuals on all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation, including tax-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, equity-based compensation arrangements, non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements, executive employment and consulting agreements, and mergers and acquisitions. She advises companies of all sizes (both public and private) in a diverse array of industries.

Ms. Sewell enjoys working with clients to keep their benefit programs competitive and to meet the changing needs of their diverse workforces. Due to the depth and breadth of her practice, she is well-positioned to advise companies on all of their benefit needs, including the day-to-day compliance issues that affect the full spectrum of their benefit programs; integration of employees and legacy benefits acquired through mergers and acquisitions; and strategic planning and implementation of new plan designs and benefit programs.

Tax-qualified Retirement Plans

  • Provide strategic advice to plan sponsors on defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans, including benefit plan design, implementation, administration, determination letter applications, voluntary correction procedure filings, plan loans, administrative procedures, and qualified domestic relations orders.
  • Advise clients in negotiating trust agreements and amendments.

ERISA and Fiduciary Issues

  • Advise plan fiduciaries regarding their obligations under ERISA, including resolution of benefit claims and their duties with respect to plan assets and expenses in defined contribution plans.
  • Provide fiduciary training and annual briefings for plan investment committees.

Health and Welfare Plans

  • Advise clients on tax treatment of health and welfare benefits and compliance with health reform, COBRA, and cafeteria plan rules.
  • Advise clients on modification of retiree medical plan benefits and transition to plan designs with private exchanges and HRAs.

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Advise clients on employee benefit matters arising from acquisitions of other companies, including qualified plan mergers.
  • Advise in all aspects of transactions, including due diligence review, drafting purchase agreements, retention agreements, severance arrangements, and post-closing integration.

Non-Qualified Plans, Equity Plans, and Severance Plans

  • Advise clients on and draft deferred compensation plans, employment and retention agreements, and bonus plans, including compliance with Sections 409A of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Advise clients on and draft stock options, restricted stock, and other equity-based arrangements for public and private companies.
  • Advise clients on and draft severance arrangements, including individual severance agreements, broad-based employee plans, and executive “top-hat” plans.