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Share Options and Incentives

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
  • the impact of the disguised remuneration rules
  • reporting requirements
  • the impact of corporate restructuring, takeovers and equity fundraisings  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. 

For further information, please contact Julian Moran, Head of Tax at Lupton Fawcett or Jonathan Oxley, Director at Lupton Fawcett.

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Remember you can still call us on 0333 323 5292 or email us at corporate@luptonfawcett.law

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    Having Giles Clegg acting for us at director level, with this wealth of experience, meant that we were constantly several steps ahead of the other advisers.

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    Andrew and his colleagues at Lupton Fawcett were accessible and they provided us with excellent advice throughout the cross-border transaction. We would recommend the services of Andrew and his team to others.



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    Max is an excellent lawyer who knows my businesses inside out and always deal with my requirements promptly, efficiently and I can always rely on him to just 'sort it out' for me.

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