Equity Compensation

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Finds That Purpose Of Stock Rights Plan Matters

Most equity award plans that I come across include a statement of the plan’s purposes. I haven’t tended to give these provisions a whole lot of thought, but an opinion issued yesterday by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal...more

FASB modifies accounting rules for stock-based compensation

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting, which amends ASC Topic 718, Compensation – Stock Compensation. ...more

A Short Summary of Qualified Small Business Stock Tax Benefits and Requirements

Many startups, investors, clients and friends have recently asked about the tax benefits associated with having stock qualify as qualified small business stock (QSBS). This is an important issue that investors, founders and...more

FASB Improves Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting

As part of an ongoing Simplification Initiative, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “Board”) recently issued an Update to Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 718, which deals with stock-based...more

Surviving the Strife: How Start-Up Founders Can Ensure That Inevitable Friction and Departures Won't Sink the Company

History is all too often repeated when start-up founders fail to plan for when (not if) they don’t see eye-to-eye. Relationship breakdowns and messy founder departures are common root causes of start-up failures. Common...more

In Case You Missed It: Launch Links - April 2016 #3

Some interesting links we found across the web this week: - Postscript: Bill Campbell, 1940-2016 - He may not be the most globally famous person who passed away this week, but Bill Campbell’s quiet influence on...more

Court Finds All of a Taxpayer’s Work for His Employer to be Personal Services in a Real Estate Business

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas recently held that all of a taxpayer’s work for his employer, a property management company, counted toward the taxpayer’s satisfaction of the material...more

Allocating Founder Equity

There’s no legal definition for “founder,” but it is one of the most important roles in a startup. Designating someone a founder means a lot for the long-term future of the company and for that individual; it is the founders...more

Beefing Up Director Compensation Disclosures

With calendar year companies currently in the midst of drafting their proxy statements, it is time to consider the often overlooked director compensation disclosures. Changes in director compensation...more

Non-Equity Incentive Plans

We previously discussed the benefits of equity incentives. When it comes to compensating a start-up’s key people, equity incentives are often the best way to align interests with the founders. Sometimes, however, non-equity...more

House Passes Encouraging Employee Ownership Act

On February 3, 2016, the House passed H.R. 1675, the Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2015. The bill directs the SEC to revise regulations to require an issuer to furnish investors with additional specified disclosures...more

A Not So Frequently Asked Question – When Is An Event Infrequent?

Last January, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which is better known as the FASB, issued Accounting Standards Update 2015-01. The update eliminates the concept (and definition) of “extraordinary item”. According to...more

2016 Proxy Advisory Firm Voting Guidelines: Canadian Highlights

As an early step in preparing for the upcoming proxy season, issuers should familiarize themselves with the Canadian proxy voting guidelines recently published by Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass Lewis...more

ISS Issues 2016 FAQs and Addresses Proxy Access

ISS has issued a U.S. Equity Compensation Plans FAQ, U.S. Executive Compensation Policies FAQ and a U.S. Policies and Procedures FAQ. Here is a rough comparison of the 2015 U.S. Compensation Policies FAQ to the 2016 U.S....more

2016 Compensation Committee Handbook

The Executive Compensation and Benefits Group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is pleased to provide you with this second edition of its Compensation Committee Handbook. This edition reflects developments in...more

How to Prevent Poaching of Your Startup's Employees

Employee “poaching” is a fact of life in many industries. Such employee recruiting is not intrinsically illegal, as a matter of public policy the law generally favors the ability of employees to freely switch employers....more

Five Tips for a Successful Exit

Any number of factors can trigger a tech company’s exit: worn-out founders, anxious investors, industry consolidation, or wild, Instagram-like success. As tech founders and executives contemplate the possibility and timing of...more

International Tax Alert (US): Tax Court Invalidates Cost Sharing Regulation on Stock-Based Compensation. Now What?

The Tax Court in Altera Corp. v. Commissioner, 145 T.C. No. 3 (2015) has determined that Treas. Reg. §1.482-7(d)(2) requiring related taxpayers to share stock-based compensation (SBC) in a cost sharing arrangement (CSA) is...more

5 Bad Hiring & Firing Ideas Every Startup Entrepreneur Should Avoid

Five common employment-related mistakes startups make when launching their business (and why to avoid them before things get costly)....more

ISS Commences 2016 Proxy Voting Policy Survey

ISS has commenced its 2016 proxy voting policy survey. Some of the issues ISS seeks comment on include: - Is it appropriate to use non-GAAP or adjusted GAAP metrics for compensation programs? - What types of equity...more

Know Your Limits! Section 162(m) and Excess Equity Grants

In the past few years there has been an uptick in stockholder derivative litigation related to equity compensation granted to named executive officers that exceed the plan share limits. The claims against the companies...more

When It Comes To Director Compensation, California Is Not Delaware

Yesterday, I wrote about my disagreements with the approach to director compensation adopted by the Delaware Court of Chancery in Calma v. Templeton, 114 A.3d 563 (Del. Ch. 2015) and Seinfeld v. Slager, 2012 Del. Ch. LEXIS...more

Calma v. Templeton, C.A. No. 9579-CB (Del. Ch. Apr. 30, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss a claim challenging grants of compensation to non-employee directors pursuant to a compensation plan that had been approved prospectively by stockholders. The...more

Successful Planning and Exit Strategies for Government Contractors in 2015 and Beyond

In This Presentation: - How To Position Your Business To Reap The Benefits Of A Liquidity Event - How To Position Your Business To Reap (Internal Review And Check-Up) - Strategic And Structuring...more

Blog: Delaware Chancery Court Applies Entire Fairness Standard Of Review To Director Compensation

What is the judicial standard of review applicable to an award of compensation by directors to directors under an equity incentive compensation plan that has been approved by the shareholders? That was the question before...more

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