Laura R. Westfall is an Associate in King & Spalding’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice, resident in the New York office.
Ms. Westfall represents clients in the employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of mergers and acquisitions, financings, and other types of transactions, including due diligence, negotiations, and post-transaction benefits integration. In addition, she advises clients with respect to the design and operation of equity compensation arrangements, including all forms of stock compensation (such as stock option, restricted stock and phantom stock plans), partnership equity plans and long-term incentive plans, and the implications of Sections 162(m), 280G and 409A of the Internal Revenue Code on such arrangements. Ms. Westfall regularly represents both employers and senior executives in connection with the negotiation and drafting of executive compensation agreements, including employment, change-in-control, retention and severance agreements.
Ms. Westfall also counsels investment fund sponsors and investing plans on the fiduciary, prohibited transaction and other implications of ERISA. She provides advice to clients on all aspects of their employee benefit programs, including the design and implementation of tax qualified retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans, defined benefit plans and ESOPs), health, welfare and other fringe benefit plans (including medical, dental, disability, life insurance, cafeteria and consumer-directed health plans), as well as compliance with ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA and the Internal Revenue Code.
Ms. Westfall received her B.A. in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College in May 2003, and her J.D. from Widener University School of Law in May 2006. Ms. Westfall earned her LL.M. in Taxation, with distinction, as well as an Employee Benefits Law Certificate, from Georgetown University Law Center in May 2007. Ms. Westfall is an outdoors enthusiast and mountaineer, including summiting Kilimanjaro (5895m) in December 2009 and Aconcagua (6962m) in January 2012.
Awards & Recognitions
- 2012 New York “Rising Star” in Employee Benefits/ERISA, Super Lawyers magazine
- 2011 New York “Rising Star” in Employee Benefits/ERISA, Super Lawyers magazine
Publications & Speeches
- Moderator, “So, What Do You Need To Know About Employee Benefits? A Primer--and Update--on Employee Benefits and ERISA,” American Bar Association Section of Taxation Annual Meeting, May 2013
- Moderator, “Looking Beyond DOMA: Adapting the Code to the ‘Modern Family’,” American Bar Association Section of Taxation Annual Meeting, May 2013
- “Navigating the Changing Health Care Landscape,” Presentation for Fallon Benefits Group, Atlanta, Georgia, May 2013
- Contributing Author, Employee Benefits Law (Third Edition), Bloomberg BNA
- Moderator, “So, You Think You Want to Practice in EB?: A Primer on Employee Benefits and ERISA,” American Bar Association Section of Taxation Annual Meeting, May 2012
- Panelist, “The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Internal Revenue Code,” American Bar Association Section of Taxation Annual Meeting, May 2011
- Co-Author, “Pay Wall,” The Deal, September 17, 2010
- Panelist, “Roth IRA Conversions: Issues and Opportunities,” The Knowledge Group/The Knowledge Congress Webcast, May 2010
- Chair, DOMA Task Force, Diversity Committee, American Bar Association Section of Taxation (2012-2013)
- Young Lawyer Liaison, M&A Subcommittee of Employee Benefits Committee, American Bar Association (2012-2013)