Charles V. Stewart has extensive experience in advising business organizations with respect to the legal implications of deferred compensation, executive compensation, retirement, medical, life insurance and other welfare benefit programs provided by those business organizations to their employees in the areas collectively called “employee benefits” or “ERISA.”
Practice & Background
Mr. Stewart has designed, drafted and advised on the administration of qualified and nonqualified deferred compensation and stock compensation plans, stock option plans, early retirement window programs, cafeteria plans, other welfare plans, excess benefit plans, executive employment contracts, supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs), “rabbi” trusts, and other plans and arrangements providing similar types of benefits.
Mr. Stewart has advised employers on the recovery of mistaken contributions to multiemployer plans, as well as employers which are secondarily liable for a bankrupt employer’s withdrawal from such plans. He has worked with clients to determine and implement the best approach to employee benefits in corporate transactions. He has participated in negotiating collectively bargained employee benefits and handled employee benefit issues in connection with strikes. He has assisted multinational clients in solving problems relating to the provision of equity-based and other benefits in multiple jurisdictions, and problems arising from executive transfers. He has advised on litigation matters, including cutting-edge litigation on the scope of ERISA’s anti-cutback rule and ERISA’s prohibition against interference with protected rights. He has advised clients as to the appropriate structure of investments with regard to providing multiple services and avoiding ERISA fiduciary liability and the prohibited transaction rules involving party-in-interest dealings. He is familiar with, and in some cases has been responsible for obtaining, individual and class exemptions, information letters and advisory opinions issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. He has extensive experience working with the Internal Revenue Service to establish and maintain a plan’s tax-qualified status and is particularly familiar with the special rules applicable to governmental and nonelecting church plans.
From 1988 to 2000, Mr. Stewart was an associate and then counsel at another large law firm. Prior to that, he was an associate at a third firm.
Awards & Accolades
- Akin Gump’s labor and employment practice named as Law360 Employment Practice Group of the Year four times in the past seven years, including in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2016.