Arthur H. Kohn, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Janet Cooper, Tapestry Compliance LLP
Executive remuneration encompasses a diverse range of practices and is consequently influenced by many different areas of the law, including tax, employment, securities and other aspects of corporate law. We have structured this book with the intention of providing readers with an overview of these areas of law as they relate to the field of executive remuneration. The intended readership of this book includes both in-house and outside counsel who are involved in either the structuring of employment and compensation arrangements, or more general corporate governance matters. We hope that this book will be particularly useful in circumstances where a corporation is considering establishing a presence in a new jurisdiction and is seeking to understand the various rules and regulations that may govern executive employment (or the corporate governance rules relating thereto) with regard to newly hired (or transferring) executives in that jurisdiction.
The most fundamental considerations relating to executive remuneration are often tax-related. Executives will often request that compensation arrangements be structured in a manner that is most tax-efficient for them, and employers will frequently attempt to accommodate these requests. In order to do so, of course, it is critical that employers understand the tax rules that apply in a particular situation.
Beyond tax and employment-related laws, there are a number of other legal considerations that corporations should take into account when structuring employment and executive remuneration arrangements. Frequently, these additional considerations will relate to the tax or employment law issues already mentioned, but it is important they are still borne in mind.
Given the heightened focus in many jurisdictions on executive remuneration practices in recent decades – both in terms of public policy and public perception – the application of corporate governance principles to executive compensation decisions is crucial to many companies. Decisions about conforming to best practices in the field of executive remuneration may have substantial economic consequences to companies and their shareholders and executives.