Joseph (Joe) K. Urwitz focuses his practice on employee benefits, executive compensation and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary matters. He advises clients on a wide range of issues, including fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions, employee benefit matters arising in mergers and acquisitions, benefits issues unique to nonprofit entities, deferred compensation arrangements, equity award and bonus plan design, employment and severance arrangements, and qualified plan work.
Joe has extensive experience advising clients in the health care, technology and private equity industries. Among other engagements, he:
Advises for-profit and nonprofit hospitals on structuring their compensation plans to take maximum advantage of Internal Revenue Code rules permitting deferred recognition of income, and counsels these organizations on benefits issues arising in equity and asset sales and affiliations
Counsels technology companies of all sizes and at all stages on establishing appropriate cash and equity compensation programs, bonus plans and employment arrangements, and assists publicly traded companies with compensation-related Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing requirements
Assists private equity companies in structuring funds to mitigate or eliminate risks associated with accepting commitments from benefit plan investors and in transitioning portfolio companies’ post-acquisition benefits arrangements for officers and employees
Joe consults on a variety of retirement and compensation topics for national media outlets such as Forbes, and his legal writing in the field recently won the prestigious Burton Legal Writing Award at the Library of Congress. His pieces have appeared in trade media such as SHRM.org, the website of the Society for Human Resource Management, and in professional periodicals such as the National Law Review, Bloomberg BNA Pension & Benefits Daily, the Benefits Law Journal, Employee Benefit Adviser and Modern Healthcare. He also has presented for national audiences on topics such as executive-level deferred compensation arrangements subject to 409A, 401(k) plan design and legal challenges to several plans’ status as “church plans.”
Advises a Fortune 100 company on complex questions concerning qualified and nonqualified plan design and administration, and whether particular investments under consideration for inclusion in its multibillion-dollar defined benefit plan are ERISA-compliant
Prepared revised severance and equity incentive plans for a top-20 privately held company as it welcomed a large number of new officers to its ranks
Recommended an organizational structure to limit ERISA exposure for a hedge fund affiliate of an investment firm managing $900 million in equity investments
Provided advice on ERISA risk-mitigation strategies for six funds of a private equity client with several hundred million dollars in committed capital
Prepared an equity award plan and agreement for a technology client’s $800 million initial public offering, and continues to provide advice regarding its SEC filing obligations
Advises a nonprofit client on benefit issues arising from its affiliation with another nonprofit, including terminating the target’s 403(b) plan and transitioning the target’s employees to the client’s plans
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