Sandra W. Cohen

Executive Compensation and 409A Attorney


Sandra's Experience:
Sandra is the co-founding partner of our firm.  She is one of the leading executive compensation attorneys in North America.  Clients and other attorneys seek her advice due to her practical and business oriented approach to complex compensation tax issues.   She is known for deal-making and practical problem-solving on private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, employment contract negotiations and development of incentive and deferred compensation.

 She has developed a wide range of industry expertise, from compensation of financial professionals, private equity partners, top business executives, university presidents, to entertainment industry production for t.v. and film,  and especially, globally mobile executives with international assignments.  Sometimes known as the "Section 409A Whisperer", she is a popular speaker and author. 

Sandra has been recognized:

  • Super Lawyers Magazine 2011 – 2019, annually: Employee Benefits/Mergers & Acquisitions

  • 2019 Edition of Best Lawyers in America

  • Super Lawyers spotlights The Top Women Attorneys in the New York Metro Area in the December 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 issue of The New York Times Magazine.

  • American Bar Association, Co-Chair (Emeritus), International Subcommittee, Employee Benefits Committee

  • Who's Who Legal: Labor, Employment and Benefits 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 ; Who's Who Legal Compendium 2017 -2019

Selected Speaking Engagements and Publications:

Speaker, "Demystifying Tax Issues in Employment Agreements", Panelist March 2016, American Bar Association, Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee Winter Conference

Treatise Co-Author: Cohen, S. & Diamond, V., Global Share Plans: Issues for Multinational Employers, T.M. 322-1st, Bloomberg BNA  (2016)

 Speaker, “Trends in Executive Compensation and Employee Perks,” Benefits Without Borders, Global Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Conference, Chicago, June 23rd, 2014.

Granting Restricted Stock in the U.S.? Section 83(b) Election ; 2011

The Section 409A Handbook - Foreign Plans Chapter Author (BNA Books, by Regina Olshan, Erica Schohn; (2010; updated 2016) 

Sandra has over two decades of employee-related advisory expertise, originally as a human resources professional and subsequently as an attorney advisor in executive compensation.  For more than ten years, she led the U.S. Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits practice area in the New York office of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.  Prior to that, she practiced law in mergers and acquisitions and employee benefits at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York City.

Yale Law School - J.D. 1998
Columbia University - M.A. 1995
Washington University in St. Louis - B.A. 1989