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James Bristol


Trusted counsel for executive compensation and benefits, ERISA and ESOP transactions

James Bristol has more than 30 years of experience representing businesses, governmental entities and nonprofit organizations in all areas of executive compensation and benefits, including ESOPs and ERISA.

His vast experience includes advising healthcare companies, financial institutions and other entities on matters ranging from employment and separation agreements to complex ERISA litigation. Clients value his experienced and practical approach to resolving conflicts and complex issues.

From startup ventures to publicly traded companies, James advises clients on all types of compensation and benefits.

Well-versed in federal and state tax rules, ERISA, SEC disclosures, and the myriad regulations that surround benefits and compensation packages, James embraces the challenge of finding solutions that meet the client's goals. Clients who rely on the firm for a variety of corporate and litigation matters appreciate that James adds another layer of service. His experience includes:

  • Traditional benefit plans and equity compensation
  • Compensation packages for incoming executives and directors
  • Deferred compensation agreements, including 409A, SERPs, rabbi trusts and funding
  • Transitioning compensation programs following mergers or acquisitions
  • Severance packages for departing executives and directors
  • Advises business owners and trustees in ESOP transactions

A creative, convergent thinker, James recognizes that executive benefits issues are complex not only because of regulatory requirements but also because of the public relations aspect related to shareholder scrutiny. He has also served on several occasions as an expert witness on ERISA matters.

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