Howard J. Levine is a partner in, and chair of, the firm's Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice Group. He focuses his practice on pension, profit sharing and 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), executive employment agreements and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, equity and non-equity based executive incentive plans, the employee benefits aspects of corporate acquisitions, divestitures, and reductions in force and ERISA governance and fiduciary matters. He also represents plan sponsors before the Internal Revenue Service in connection with plan audits and correction programs, and provides advice related to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) actions.
In the ESOP area, Howard has extensive experience representing plan sponsors, selling shareholders and independent trustees in the design, implementation, operation and termination of ESOPs. He also counsels clients in connection with the sale of ESOP companies and in the use of ESOPs as an acquisition tool.
In the area of executive compensation, Howard advises clients on the implementation and operation of equity compensation arrangements, including stock options, restricted shares, restricted share units and phantom stock plans. He also advises clients with respect to all aspects of nonqualified deferred compensation plans, including Code Section 409A compliance, executive employment and separation agreements, Code Section 162(m) issues and golden parachutes.
Howard is recognized as one of Chambers USA’s “Leaders in their Field” for Employee Benefits (2008-2012), and has been named a “Super Lawyer” in the field of Employment and Labor, Employee Benefits/ERISA by Chicago magazine (2007-2011).