Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
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Michael A. Lawson
michael.lawson@skadden.com

Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits

Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
Investment Management
Labor and Employment Law
Mergers and Acquisitions
Private Equity Funds
Structured Finance
Financial Institutions
Utilities Mergers and Acquisitions
Real Estate Investment Trusts

Michael A. Lawson is the leader of the Employee Benefits Group in the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps.  Mr. Lawson works on all facets of executive compensation and employee benefits matters, including:

  • stock options and other equity-based compensation plans,

  • tax-qualified and non-qualified pension plans,

  • fiduciary responsibility/prohibited transactions,

  • single and multi-employer plan liability matters,

  • severance agreements and ERISA-related issues in structured finance transactions,

  • bankruptcy proceedings, and

  • proxy contests.

He provides advice in the context of financings, cross-border transactions, private investment company matters and merger and acquisition transactions.

Mr. Lawson regularly advises boards of trustees of pension and other employee benefits funds and boards of directors of financial institutions and of companies sponsoring pension plans concerning their duty of care, fiduciary responsibilities, conflicts of interest and other statutory duties under state and federal laws.

His experience includes advising clients with respect to the structuring and offering of investment vehicles to pension plans and other institutional investors, as well as the fiduciary obligations of investment managers, trustees and other fiduciaries, including matters involving ERISA litigation, U.S. Department of Labor exemption requests and matters involving the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and other government agencies.

Mr. Lawson is consistently recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

J.D., Harvard Law School, 1978
B.A., Loyola University of Los Angeles, 1975

Member, Board of Directors, Constitutional Rights Foundation (2003-present)
Member, Board of Directors, The Advancement Project (2002-present)
Member, Board of Directors, Music Center, Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County (2004-present)
Member, Board of Airport Commissioners - Los Angeles World Airports (commencing 2005)
Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association on Diversity in the Legal Profession (2003-present)
John M. Langston Bar Association (1992-present)
Member, Board of Directors, New Roads School (2001-present)

"TARP Report: October 27, 2008 — Preferred Stock Investments Under the Capital Purchase Program," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, October 27, 2008
"Treasury Issues Further Guidance on Executive Compensation Under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, October 21, 2008
"Investment Managers of Offshore Funds No Longer Permitted to Defer the Taxation of Incentive Fees," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, October 7, 2008
"IRS Grants Transition Relief Under Code Section 162(m) Where Performance-Based Awards Are Also Payable on Terminations of Employment," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, February 25, 2008
"Much-Anticipated Guidance Extends 409A Relief to December 2008," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, October 23, 2007
"IRS Notice Provides Some 409A Transition Relief but Leaves Significant Work for 2007," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, September 12, 2007
"409A Compliance Deadline Fast Approaching," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, August 29, 2007
"IRS/Treasury Issue Final Deferred Compensation Regulations," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, April 25, 2007
"How Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Issues Affect the Sale of a Business," ALI-ABA Business Law Course Materials Journal, pp 5-21, April 2007
"SEC Adopts Amendments to Executive Compensation Disclosure Rules Relating to the Reporting of Equity Grants," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, December 27, 2006
"The Pension Protection Act of 2006 and Its Implications for Investment Funds and ERISA Fiduciaries," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, August 2006
"Proposed Regulations Issued Under New Deferred Compensation Rules," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, September 30, 2005
"Jobs Act Makes Significant Changes in the Treatment of Nonqualified Deferred Compensation," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, October 12, 2004
"New Proposed Golden Parachute Regulations," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, March 27, 2002
"New SEC Disclosure Rules for Equity Compensation Plans," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, February 5, 2002


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