Mona Ghude assists both publicly-held and private employers with broad-based employee benefit, equity compensation and deferred compensation matters. She is vice-chair of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group.
Mona’s experience spans a variety of industries, including manufacturing, services and retail industries, as well as special issues relating to union employees (such as withdrawal liability), foreign employees (with respect to participation in U.S. qualified and nonqualified plans) and issues resulting from employee classification (or misclassification). She has also represented high-level executives in negotiating and drafting employment, deferred compensation, change of control and severance agreements.
Mona’s core practice includes drafting qualified plan documents and amendments and identifying and resolving operational and documentary issues relating to defined contribution and defined benefit plans. She assists employers with tailoring qualified plan benefits to employees at different subsidiaries while staying within the confines of the applicable coverage and nondiscrimination rules, advising employers on changes to benefit plan design, and submitting qualified plans for IRS approval on a periodic basis.
Mona designs and drafts various types of defined contribution and defined benefit nonqualified plans including supplemental executive retirement arrangements, severance agreements and change of control agreements. She has assisted employers with identifying and resolving documentary and operational compliance issues under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).
For private and public companies, she has designed and drafted equity and equity-based plans. In the case of public companies, Mona advises employers on governance and shareholder approval issues with respect to performance-based compensation, shareholder approval issues under the incentive stock option and the stock exchange rules and with the preparation and review of the compensation description and the change of control table in proxy statements.
In the area of benefits issues in transactions and credit agreements, she has reviewed benefits representations and warranties in deal documents and credit agreements. She manages the benefits aspects of transactions by identifying and resolving potential issues that may impede a deal and coordinates with the seller’s and/or buyer’s counsel to transfer sponsorship of benefit plans and integrate of the seller’s benefit plans with the buyer’s benefit plans. Mona also coordinates with foreign counsel to identify and resolve foreign benefit plan issues, identifying benefit plan risks from a creditor’s standpoint, and advising on golden parachute issues.
Mona has also provided training to plan fiduciaries (such as retirement plan committees) to assist them in meeting their fiduciary obligations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, as well as to avoid potential prohibited transaction issues under ERISA and the Code. She has advised employers on matters relating to the engagement of service providers and the negotiation of service provider agreements. Mona has also worked with with hedge fund clients on reviewing fund offering documents from an ERISA and Code standpoint and on issues relating to the application of the plan asset rules under ERISA.
- University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1999
- Osmania University, B.Com., 1990