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Maura Ann McBreen

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On April 12, 2024, Treasury and the IRS published proposed regulations on the 1% excise tax imposed by Internal Revenue Code Section 4501 on the value of stock repurchased by a US public corporation or a 50% affiliate. The proposed regulations elaborate on and clarify compensation-related issues that arose in Notice 2023-2, December 27, 2022 (addressed in our prior blog post), including: how to value repurchased stock for purposes of calculating the amount subject to the…

The short answer is “no.” Typically the enforceability of non-compete clauses has been subject to state law and more recently, many states have imposed limitations on the enforceability of non-competes. Some states, like California, North Dakota and Oklahoma, ban them entirely. However, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) on January 5, 2023 issued a proposed rule that would significantly restrict the use of non-compete clauses between employers and employees as a matter of federal law. The…

There has recently been a great deal of interest in the grant of a profits interest. A profits interest is a beneficial form of incentive for an individual who performs services for a partnership or other pass-through entity, like a limited liability company. Bottom line, a profits interest (also commonly known as a “carried interest”) is a non-capital interest in the profits of a partnership or a membership interest in a limited liability company taxed…

The Baker McKenzie global pensions team is delighted to announce the launch of the Global Pensions Heatmap. The heatmap sets out key information and principal pension issues that companies should be aware of in over 40 jurisdictions across the world and provides a snapshot of Baker McKenzie’s international transactional pensions presence and expertise. Organisations are able to identify the type, complexity and transaction requirements of pensions funds across multiple jurisdictions all in one place by…

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting all facets of business, this webcast focuses on the implications for employers and their pension arrangements. Increased economic pressure, new legislation and recent government guidance is impacting how employers are navigating these changes across the globe. With a spotlight on the UK, US and Australia, we discuss key pension issues and practical steps employers should be taking moving forward. Click here to watch the podcast.

Proxy advisors (e.g., Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) and Glass, Lewis & Co (“Glass Lewis”)) have played a substantial role in the design of executive compensation for many years.   This has been due to the strong reliance of institutional investors (as well as investment advisors) on the proxy voting recommendations of firms such as ISS and Glass Lewis.  Some commentators have viewed the proxy advisors as being quasi-regulators without any formal oversight of their potential conflicts…

Last week, the IRS issued Notice 2018-68 containing initial guidance on the amendments to section 162(m) made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), including the transitional relief for written binding contracts. On balance, the guidance is not particularly favorable to taxpayers, as it takes a narrow view of the grandfathering relief for arrangements in effect under prior law, particularly for arrangements with negative discretion, and a broad view of the new group of…

Now is the time to consider opportunities to manage global pension cost and risk. Many employers have already frozen their defined benefit plans and implemented defined contribution plans.  Of course, such cost-reduction strategies may raise employment law issues in non-US jurisdictions because of the Acquired Rights Directive in EU jurisdictions and similar legislation elsewhere.  In considering any such change, an employer has to consider how such change will be communicated to employees and employee representatives,…

Many US-based global employers can lose sight of compliance matters connected with employee benefit plans managed by their non-US operations as often non-US plans are statutory plans, maintained by a governmental agency, where the employer’s only obligation is to make the required contributions. As the first quarter of 2018 comes to a close, now is a good time to review your company’s global pension compliance. Delinquency Red Flags The local non-US affiliate may be delinquent in completing…

On January 11, 2018, the IRS issued Notice 1036, which provides the percentage method tables for income tax withholding in 2018. Key developments include: The flat withholding rate on supplemental wages, such as equity awards, of $1 million dollars and under a year is now 22% – down from 25%. As anticipated, the mandatory supplemental withholding rate for compensation in excess of $1 million is now 37% – down from 39.6%. The backup withholding rate…