Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits
Tonkon Torp helps organizations navigate the complex world of employee benefits and executive compensation. Our attorneys can assist in the design and implementation of effective plans, programs and individual agreements that meet legal requirements, and that reflect current best practices. We have experience working with businesses across a variety of industries and we understand the specific management needs of all business types — privately held, publicly traded and nonprofit. Our attorneys stay up-to-date on legislation and regulations, advising employers on how to plan for and best address compliance issues.

Tonkon Torp’s executive compensation and employee benefits attorneys assist clients with performance-based incentive programs, equity-based plans, tax-qualified retirement plans, and supplemental retirement plans. We work closely with client management and human resource teams to design optimal programs, prepare required documents and advise on ongoing administration or termination of complex programs.

When compensation and benefits matters are triggered during mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and other major business transactions, we guide clients in protecting their interests and ensuring the integrity of the transactions. Clients faced with benefits-related litigation, including claims under ERISA, also have access to Tonkon Torp's labor and employment litigation team for counsel and effective, experienced representation.

Our experience covers a range of matters, including:
  • Stock-based compensation plans
  • Tax-qualified retirement plans
  • Non-qualified deferred compensation and supplemental retirement plans
  • Health and welfare benefits plans, including compliance with ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA and other statutes
  • Cafeteria plans and fringe benefits plans
  • Change of control and severance plans and agreements
  • 403(b) and 457 plans for nonprofit organizations

Tonkon Torp Guides Pacific Foods through Oregon’s Largest Acquisition of 2017

Tonkon Torp led Oregon's largest M&A transaction in 2017, the $700 million acquisition of Tualatin-based Pacific Foods of Oregon LLC by Campbell Investment Company. Pacific Foods is an iconic, nationally distributed organic food brand founded in 1987.

What Does the Trump Order on Tax Deferrals Mean for Employers?

On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to allow employers a temporary deferral on withholding, collecting, and remitting certain employment taxes. This is not a tax forgiveness, at least at…
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The Fleischer Case: IRS Challenges Ahead for Insurance Producers?

A 2017 Tax Court decision, Fleischer v. Commissioner, may call into question a tax planning strategy commonly used by commissioned brokers and salespersons in many industries. This Alert looks at the impact of the decision on insurance brokers and…
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Federal District Court Invalidates the DOL's Overtime Rules

A federal judge in Texas issued an order on August 31, 2017, invalidating the Final Rule to the so-called "White Collar Exemptions" promulgated by the United States Department of Labor (DOL). Under the Final Rule, the minimum salary level for exempt…
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Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 – What Should Employers Be Doing Now?

On June 1, 2017, the Governor signed into law the Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 (the Act), expanding the current law's protection against wage disparities among employees. Currently, Oregon prohibits discrimination "between the sexes in the payment of…
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DOL Fiduciary Rule Delayed for 60 Days

Today, April 7, 2017, the Federal Register published the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) final rule extending the applicability date of the ERISA Fiduciary Rule from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017. A copy of the final rule is available here. Other…
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Temporary Guidance for Fiduciary Rule Compliance

On Friday, March 10, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a field assistance bulletin (FAB) adopting a temporary enforcement policy regarding compliance with the ERISA Fiduciary Rule. The ERISA Fiduciary Rule is set to go in effect on April 10…
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Federal Judge Halts DOL's New Overtime Rules

On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction halting the United States Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its new rules related to the so-called "White Collar Exemptions," which were to be…
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DOL Major Changes to Fiduciary Investment Adviser Definition and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions - Part 3

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (the "DOL") issued final regulations expanding the definition of who is a fiduciary and what constitutes fiduciary advice to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans, as well as a new fiduciary adviser…
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Major Changes to DOL Fiduciary Investment Adviser Definition and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (the "DOL") issued final regulations redefining fiduciary investment advice for ERISA-covered employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts ("IRAs"). The final rule significantly expands the…
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Employers Can't Discontinue Health Insurance During OFLA Leave

With so many sweeping changes to Oregon employment laws taking effect in 2016, one minor but important change to OFLA has the potential to be overlooked. Until this year, employers were free to cease providing employment benefits if an employee was…
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U.S. News "Best Law Firms" Publication Ranks 37 Tonkon Torp Practice Areas for 2021

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® has released its 2021 edition of "Best Law Firms." Tonkon Torp is once again ranked among the nation's best for five business law categories and is top-ranked in the metropolitan Portland market in 37 practice areas.
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Kate Roth Joins Tonkon Torp from U.S. Tax Court

Tonkon Torp LLP welcomes Kate Roth to the firm as an associate in its Tax and Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits practice groups. Roth joins the firm from the United States Tax Court where she was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable…
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Best Lawyers in America® Includes 49 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2021 List

Forty-nine Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 36 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021. A majority of attorneys have been named to the peer-review list in past years, and most have been recognized for more…
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Tonkon Torp Practice Areas Ranked in 2020 U.S. News "Best Law Firms" Publication

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® has released its 2020 edition of "Best Law Firms." Tonkon Torp is once again ranked among the nation's best for six business law service categories including Land Use & Zoning Law, Securities Regulation, Commercial…
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2020 List for Best Lawyers in America® Includes 48 Tonkon Torp Attorneys

Forty-eight Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 39 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020. A majority of attorneys have been named to the list in past years, and most have been recognized for more than five…
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Tonkon Torp Practice Areas Ranked in 2019 U.S. News "Best Law Firms" Publication

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® has released its 2019 edition of "Best Law Firms." Tonkon Torp is once again ranked among the nation's best for six business law service categories including Land Use & Zoning Law, Securities Regulation, Commercial…
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Best Lawyers in America® Names 51 Tonkon Torp Attorneys to 2019 List

Fifty-one Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 41 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019. Nearly all attorneys have been named to the list in past years, and have been recognized for more than five years
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Tonkon Torp Practice Areas Ranked in 2018 U.S. News "Best Law Firms" Publication

The U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers has released its 2018 edition of "Best Law Firms" and Tonkon Torp is once again ranked among the nation's best for a broad swath of business law services including Land Use & Zoning Law, Commercial Litigation…
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Best Lawyers in America® Names 49 Tonkon Torp Attorneys to 2018 List

Forty-nine Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 39 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018. Nearly all attorneys have been named to the list in past years, and have been recognized for more than five years…
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Michael Millender Reviews Incentive Compensation at January Tonkon Talk

At the January 4 Tonkon Talk, attorney Michael Millender spoke to startup companies about incentive compensation plans. He covered stock option and phantom stock plans, restricted stock awards, and factors a company should consider in choosing an…
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Darcy  Norville
Practice Area Chair

Darcy Norville

Partner