We understand that your employees are crucial to the success of your business.
Ownership of shares has long been seen as a great way of attracting, incentivising and retaining key employees, even more so in current economic climate. Not only can share plans offer rewards for staff, they can be linked to the company’s underlying economic performance and can be aligned with shareholders and other stakeholders.
We can advise on different incentives to suit different stages of development, such as start ups, growing a company for exit or succession planning, throughout the whole lifecycle of the incentive plan from design and implementation through to maturity and vesting.
Our main work is for SMEs and private equity backed companies across a wide range of sectors.
We have an experienced multi-disciplinary team who advise on tax, company law, employment law and governance issues in connection with the following share incentives:
- enterprise management incentive options
- growth and hurdle shares
- company share option plans
- employee benefit trusts
- employee shareholder status (shares for rights)
- employee owned companies
- save as you earn share option plans
- share incentive plans
- unapproved share options
- phantom share option schemes
- nil paid shares
We can offer a stand-alone service or work with your existing advisers to deliver your share incentive objectives.
We also advise on the following share option issues including:
- setting up share plans and preparation of associated documentation including amending plan rules and advising on the ongoing operation of the plan, maturity and vestings
- impact of the disguised remuneration rules
- reporting requirements
- impact of corporate restructuring, takeovers and equity fund raisings on employee share options or employee shares
- availability of entrepreneurs’ relief
- employment related securities
- share buybacks
- compromise agreements involving employee shares
- corporate tax deductions for share option gains
Due to the nature of share option and incentive work, the majority of the work we do is highly confidential but the following gives some examples of our experience:
- implementing time and exit based EMI and unapproved share plans with scaled vesting targets (including turnover, exit proceeds and debt repayment targets)
- implementing hurdle share plans
- advising a venture capital backed high growth company where key executives held flowering shares which acquired a significant value if a certain exit value was achieved
Lupton Fawcett is a supporter member of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), a body which campaigns for and supports wider employee ownership in business.
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