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Employee Share Schemes

Companies frequently turn to employee share schemes to attract and retain top talent. Although tax and regulatory reforms in recent years have removed some of the impediments to operating employee share schemes, Australia remains a complex jurisdiction.

HWLE’s national employee share schemes and incentives group provides ongoing advice to a wide variety of clients, including senior level executives and directors, startup companies, privately owned corporate groups and Australian and multi-national publicly listed companies. Our lawyers advise on all aspects of the design and implementation of employee and executive compensation plans. The group also advises on the tax and commercial issues that arise in the context of major corporate transactions including takeovers, demergers, corporate restructures and securities transactions.

The group provides a broad range of legal and commercial advice on all aspects of employee share schemes and incentives, including taxation, corporate regulatory laws and employment laws.

EXPERIENCE
  • Executive remuneration and benefits, including LTIP arrangements (Performance Rights and Options), STI arrangement (Deferred Shares), sign-on shares and structuring of termination packages;
  • All-employee share and rights plans including share ‘matching’ plans, $5,000 salary-sacrifice plans and $1,000 tax exempt plans;
  • Employee share trust structures including making private ruling applications on behalf of trustees;
  • Bespoke share and rights plans for unlisted private groups and private equity;
  • Advice in relation to employee share scheme reporting obligations, payroll tax and fringe benefits tax;
  • Employee compensation aspects of M&A transactions, IPOs and other corporate transactions; and
  • Engagement with the Australian Taxation Office on emerging areas of tax risk and litigation of contentious employee share scheme matters in the Australian courts.