Our legal counsel for hedge funds with U.S. and non-U.S. clients on all aspects of employee benefits programs and executive compensation issues, including plan design, relevant tax issues, compliance with ERISA’s fiduciary and other requirements, satisfying the tax, securities and corporate law requirements for executive compensation arrangements, addressing issues raised by such programs in transactional contexts and managing litigation related to compensation and benefits. Our role as counsel has ranged from representation of a U.S. investment advisor and financial services company in the structuring of equity incentive arrangements for U.K. citizen/resident executives of its U.K. operations to representation of the Ministry of Tourism of a Caribbean nation in the structuring of a retirement program for its U.S.-based representatives. Other engagements include assisting a Japanese investor in U.S. hotels in the negotiation of its withdrawal from a U.S. multi-employer pension plan, as well as advising a U.K.-based telecommunications company in the negotiation of its participation as a contributing employer in a U.S. multi-employer pension plan incident to performance of a contract with the U.S. government. Our lobbying efforts in this area have included advocating on behalf of a consortium of 20 U.S. employers seeking to amend U.S. tax laws related to contributions to non-U.S. pension plans and comments on related proposed regulations.
Environmental and Other Regulation of Business Activities. As for other regulation of business activities, we counsel our clients concerning strategic planning and compliance, as well as matters related to obtaining access to the U.S. or other markets for goods or services. For example, we often are called upon to advise both U.S. and non-U.S. clients that are concerned about their potential liabilities under current and proposed environmental rules, including the developing ISO 14000 series of international standards. Our lawyers advised a French insurance company in connection with proceedings before a state insurance board concerning the proposed acquisition by the French client of a U.S. company. We have assessed environmental liability risks for lenders financing the acquisition of industrial facilities in a number of countries. We provided counsel to the Government of Canada with respect to U.S. extraterritorial law enforcement, including Helms/Burton and other jurisdictional issues. We have represented U.S. corporations in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters. Other examples of our comprehensive regulatory counseling appear throughout this document.
Personal Tax Matters and Representation. Non-U.S. investors doing business in the United States and U.S. investors abroad, as well as non-U.S. persons living in the United States and U.S. persons living abroad, have unique taxation and estate planning concerns and opportunities. Our qualified lawyers have broad expertise in dealing with such cross-border tax matters as they affect our clients’ affairs. We have represented non-U.S. investors in the United States in the structuring of their U.S. investments so as to minimize U.S. estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes, and to protect against risks of political instability, governmental appropriation and confiscatory taxation. We also have advised non-U.S. citizens (whether or not residing in the United States) and their spouses in creating estate planning documents which dispose of U.S. situs assets, or which benefit U.S. residents, in a manner designed to minimize, defer or eliminate United States estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes and which adjust to future changes in domicile. We have coordinated with non-U.S. counsel on global estate plans for multinationals with U.S. investments or U.S. resident family members, whether or not residing in the United States. In addition to counseling non-U.S. grantors and beneficiaries of U.S. trusts and U.S. grantors and beneficiaries of non-U.S. trusts in satisfying U.S. tax reporting requirements, we also have advised estates of non-U.S. citizen decedents in connection with the U.S. estate taxation of their U.S. situs assets and related reporting requirements.