Morris Manning & Martin, LLP


Morris, Manning & Martin's Employment Practice understands that the most valuable asset a company has is its employees. We also understand that effective management of human resources allows a business to achieve its objectives. We try to understand our clients’ goals in order to provide effective employment advice. With business priorities clearly in mind, we help clients effectively manage their human resources. Our excellent service and skills are evidenced by the practice’s ranking in Chambers USA, a leading legal services ranking publication.

Compliance-focused Counseling

On a daily basis, our lawyers help companies comply with employment laws. Our pragmatic approach, combined with our knowledge of best practices, allows us to provide creative and cost-effective solutions. We have developed solution sets to avoid common employment law pitfalls, training modules to educate managers, and checklists to help avoid liability. Our Employment lawyers understand that proactive, preventive counseling can avoid employment disputes, lawsuits, and investigations.

Resolving Disputes

While employment counseling may prevent many disputes, it cannot prevent all disputes. When litigation ensues, our Employment lawyers seek to obtain a favorable result as quickly and as efficiently as possible. We provide an up-front assessment of the case including settlement possibilities, the chances of prevailing on a dispositive motion and appropriate staffing of the case. We defend the full gamut of employment cases. While many of our cases are resolved before trial, our Employment lawyers are also skilled trial lawyers who have litigated employment cases of every size and type.

Enabling Corporate Evolution

The Employment Practice also supports the firm’s significant Transactional Practice. Our lawyers assist in various corporate transactions including corporate restructurings and mergers and acquisitions. In such complex transactions, we work with the firm’s Transactional lawyers to provide effective counseling and management of employment issues.

Key Services:

  • Compliance audits
  • Corporate restructurings
  • Employment counseling
  • Employment litigation
  • Executive compensation
  • Internal investigations
  • Restrictive covenants

Areas of Focus

Benefits & Compensation

Meet the Team »

Human resources today involves a complex set of laws and regulations. In our Benefits & Compensation Practice, intricate rules are navigated and legal issues are resolved daily for business clients.

Human Resources Support

Your human resources goals and objectives are met through our advisory and compliance services. Whether that means drafting employment contracts or structuring an executive compensation package, our lawyers provide a veteran resource to keep your firm protected and in compliance with constantly changing federal and state laws and regulations. We regularly guide client companies through complex corporate transactions. We monitor the current trends in benefits and compensation and work with our clients on a daily basis to plan and implement effective and innovative compensation arrangements.

Litigation and Regulatory Results

Our lawyers regularly represent clients in administrative matters before the U.S. Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Internal Revenue Service and other federal and state governmental agencies. We handle cutting-edge litigation involving benefits issues, such as defined contribution healthcare for employers seeking to cut costs, and merger and acquisition issues with professional employer organizations. Senior management and human resources professionals draw on our extensive experience with ERISA and other relevant laws for solutions to a host of benefits and compensation matters.

Interdisciplinary Excellence

Members of the Benefits & Compensation practice work closely and efficiently with members of the Employment practice with respect to employment agreements, executive contracts, and severance and separation release agreements to ensure our clients' needs are met. Employee benefits and compensation matters involve a wide range of legal intricacies, including federal and state securities, tax, healthcare, labor and insurance issues, as well as federal and state disability, age, race, sex and other nondiscrimination laws. We call on our skilled lawyers from these disciplines to work together to resolve our clients’ employee benefits issues as they arise. At Morris, Manning & Martin, we have the range of experience necessary to address all types of compensation matters, regardless of the size or the issues involved. We deploy these broad resources wisely, efficiently providing the most relevant legal expertise to each client’s particular need. Whether a Main Street business or a Fortune 50 multinational firm, clients trust the Benefits & Compensation group to deliver human resource counseling excellence.

Key Services:

  • Benefits for Governmental and Tax-Exempt Entities
  • Bonus & Supplemental Compensation
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Employment Contracts & Executive Compensation
  • Governmental Audits, Assessments & Administrative Appeals
  • Leased Employees, Independent Contractor & PEO Arrangements
  • Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation and Section 409A
  • Pension & Welfare Benefits - Design, Administration & Taxation
  • Planning & Design of Pension & Welfare Benefit Programs
  • Stock Options, Restricted Stock, Stock Appreciation Rights, Restricted Stock Units & Other Equity-Based Compensation
  • Taxation of Benefits & Compensation Plans

Executive Compensation

Meet the Team »

Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP's Executive Compensation Practice provides advice and guidance to clients on all aspects of compensation and benefits impacting executives and senior management. We work closely with the most senior executives and board members of our clients—public and private, Fortune 500 to start-ups, biotech to high-tech—helping them navigate the critical and complex issues involved in negotiating, analyzing, designing, and implementing executive compensation arrangements.

Advisors and Advocates

We routinely represent employers and senior executives in the negotiation and implementation of employment agreements, including compensation and bonus structure, separation pay, and post-termination restrictions (non-competition, non-solicitation, non-recruit, and non-disclosure covenants). In addition to individual compensation arrangements, we regularly advise employers when implementing broader-based retention, bonus, and severance programs.

Comprehensive Counseling

Our experience encompasses the design and implementation of deferred compensation arrangements, and together with our colleagues in our Tax and Securities groups, we participate in all facets of developing and executing equity-based compensation arrangements, including stock options, restricted stock, stock appreciation rights, performance shares, stock equivalents, and all other equity-based programs. We advise on tax, corporate, employment, and securities law aspects of these arrangements, as well as coordinating with our client's accountants and compensation consultants on related issues.

Interdisciplinary Excellence

We also serve as a regular and essential component of major corporate transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, initial public offerings, buyouts, and bankruptcies, providing both executive compensation and employment law analysis and advice. Our experience in these transactions includes assessing the impact of proposed transactions on executive employment agreements, separation agreements, and change-in-control agreements, performing due diligence regarding compensation and benefit arrangements, designing and implementing change-in-control arrangements, advising with regard to equity-based compensation, and analyzing tax implications and costs of "golden parachute" arrangements.

As the scrutiny applied to executive compensation continues to intensify, our Executive Compensation Practice provides the tools and guidance necessary to navigate the most challenging issues facing our clients.

Key Services:

  • Bonus Plans
  • Change-in-Control Agreements
  • Corporate Transactions
  • Deferred Compensation and Retirement Plans
  • Equity-based Compensation
  • Executive Employment Agreements
  • Retention Programs
  • Separation Agreements