Employee Benefits and ESOPs

  • Our employee benefits and ESOP practice advises on the full range of employee incentive schemes. The firm's multidisciplinary team advises on how best to structure, establish and operate employee incentive arrangements in compliance with Israeli employment, tax, companies and securities laws. As part of our service, we help determine the most tax-efficient manner of remunerating and incentivising individuals through the use of employee incentive and share option schemes.

     

    Our expertise includes obtaining the necessary tax rulings for operating an ESOP in Israel and, where necessary, rulings from the Israeli Securities Authority. We also act as trustee of many local and foreign ESOPs.

     

    Many of our clients are international corporates (listed on NASDAQ, NYSE, LSE as well as other exchanges) for whom we have extensive experience adapting the rules of their international incentive arrangements and option schemes in order to take into account Israeli tax, employment laws, securities laws and other regulatory issues.

     

    We also handle all ESOP-related issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, including due diligence of ESOP schemes, assessing the effect of a merger on employee incentive arrangements, cash-out agreements, conversion of options into options of the acquirer and obtaining the necessary tax authorities and securities authorities pre-rulings in order to effect any accelerated vesting, cashing out or issue of new options.

    • Representing Flying Cargo, the local franchisee of FedEx, in a variety of matters, including the following:

     

    (i) claims filed by courier employees claiming entitlement to overtime.  This claim was opposed on the ground that as employees whose activities were largely unsupervised, the relevant statutory overtime obligation did not apply to them;

    (ii) opposing claims filed by courier employees that a general extension order governing the transportation services sector should apply to them; and

    (iii) claims by self-employed contractors that they should be treated as employees for the purpose of benefits due to them upon termination of the relationship

     

    • Providing on-going advice to Photomedex Inc & Radiancy (Israel) Ltd., including the drafting of addenda to employee benefit plans and advising in relation to shares and options granted to Israeli employees
    • Advising Ladbrokes plc regarding its employee benefit plan, including the drafting of an addendum in order that the benefit plan would comply with the requirements of the Israeli Income Tax Ordinance
    • Providing on-going advice to a number of major companies regarding various employee benefit plans, including Morgan Stanley, Johnson & Johnson, UBS and Assa Abloy AB
    • Advice to the Final Group and to Rakuten, one of the world's largest e-commerce providers, regarding the preparation of custom incentive plans for employees
    • Negotiating termination agreements, severance benefits and employee reassignments on behalf of international corporations closing down their business activities in Israel
    • Advising Pace Plc and Vered International Inc. regarding the issuance of options to employees, including the drafting of an addendum in order that the benefit plan would comply with the requirements of the Israeli Income Tax Ordinance