For Executives & Executive Teams


Our individual clients are C-suite executives, management teams and financial and hedge-fund professionals and other highly-placed members of management who seek confidential and complex advice.  

We offer:

  • Extremely confidential advice on individual executive compensation arrangements.

  • Complex negotiations on transactional aspects of M&A, equity rollovers in private deals, employment agreements, severance,  non-compete issues and navigating Section 409A and other tax issues.  

  • Personalized guidance on sophisticated equity plan and co-investment decisions.




For Employers


Our corporate clients consult us for practical legal advice to resolve compensation and employee benefit issues. 

  • Executive Compensation. Sophisticated incentive planning arrangements for employers. Simplifying complex topics, such as non-qualified deferred compensation (Section 409A or Section 457(f)) or selection of equity plan type.

    • Executive compensation attorney advice throughout senior management issues that arise during employment contract or merger negotiations, including managing U.S. golden parachute taxes (Section 280G).

  • Pensions and 401(k) Plans. Keeping qualified pensions affordable, navigating regulatory issues for employers, harmonizing benefits after mergers and acquisitions.

    • ERISA attorney advice on compliance, trouble-shooting and corrections for pensions and 401(k) plans and ESOPs, including fiduciary responsibility, avoiding prohibited transactions and navigating IRS audits.

    • Drafting and reviewing tax qualified and supplemental retirement plans.

    • Advising employers and plan fiduciaries when hiring or evaluating investment advisers and investment managers. We can assist in structuring your RFPs with the right questions, providing a detailed review of candidates (both individuals and firms), and reviewing and negotiating investment advisory and investment management agreements.

    • Cohen & Buckmann provides pension plan qualification opinions at a low fixed fee. Click here to review our program.

  • Employee Benefits.  We help employers assess compliance on employee benefits regulations and negotiate service agreements with employee benefit vendors.

  • Canada Cross-Border Employment.  Because of our many Canadian clients, we focus on Canada every day, and can help you navigate cross-border tax, pension and employment issues for U.S. employees and expatriates.





For Law Firms & Accountants


We are the employee benefits lawyers that other lawyers and accountants call for specialized employee benefits advice.  When other law firms need help to meet their clients' needs for U.S. executive compensation, tax law, employee benefits and pension advisory services, they call Cohen & Buckmann.  

  • We act as the employee benefits or ERISA department to small law firms or non-U.S. firms and we integrate seamlessly and confidentially into their client's transaction or client matter.

  • We can co-counsel on specific matters: pension disputes, stock option and equity plan design and decision making, profit-sharing plans.

  • Employment lawyers and other tax lawyers call us in for Section 409A advice on their clients’ compensation arrangements.

  • Cohen & Buckmann provides plan qualification opinions at a low fixed fee. Click here to review our program

  • We assist M&A lawyers with our employee benefits specialty advice in connection with the deal, such as pension plan due diligence, and golden parachute (280G) advice, or negotiating management transitions.

  • Assisting business transaction lawyers with ESOP startups, buyouts and plan terminations





For Investment Advisers and Managers


We assist investment advisers and managers and their clients:
Investment Advisers Act of 1940

  • Help you with new product launches: reviewing contracts, policies and procedures for registered investment advisers to conduct business with best practices; review marketing collateral and client communications for advertising rule compliance

  • Counselling on troublesome compliance and regulatory matters

  • Guidance through SEC examination or actions

  • Annual compliance reviews, as required by Rule 206(4)-7

  • Draft and review adviser compliance manuals and policies

ERISA Compliance & Fiduciary Counselling:

  • Negotiate or review services agreements to maximize protections

  • Develop best practices and good plan governance to limit your fiduciary liability exposure

  • Advise you how to structure investment funds to avoid fiduciary status

  • Help you qualify as a "qualified plan asset manager" (QPAM)