Laura Westfall

Senior Associate

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Laura Westfall

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Laura R. Westfall is a senior 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 a mountaineering enthusiast having summited two of the famed “Seven Summits,” - Kilimanjaro (19,341’) and Aconcagua (22,901’) and participated in expeditions on Rainier (14,411’) and Elbrus (18,510’).

Awards & Recognitions

  • New York “Super Lawyer” in Employee Benefits/ERISA, Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2014

  • New York “Rising Star” in Employee Benefits/ERISA, Super Lawyers magazine, 2011-2012

Publications & Speeches

  • Author, “IRS Provides Guidance on Retroactivity of DOMA Decision for Qualified Retirement Plans,” Employee Benefit Plan Review, Vol. 69, No. 2, August 2014

  • Presenter, “Implementation of the Affordable Care Act for Employers,” University of Texas Law School Labor and Employment Law Conference, May 2014

  • Panelist, “Often Overlooked Issues in the M&A Due Diligence Process,” American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Taxation Annual Meeting, May 2014

  • Moderator and Panelist, “Post-Windsor Decision Health, Welfare and Retirement Plans Guidance from Treasury and IRS,” ABA Section of Taxation Webinar, March 2014

  • Presenter, “The Impact of the Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling on Employee Benefits,” SHRM 2014 Employment Law & Legislative Conference, March 2014

  • Author, “United States v. Windsor and Federal Tax Law,” GPSolo magazine, ABA Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division, Vol. 31, No. 1, January/February 2014

  • Moderator, “Post-Windsor Decision Health, Welfare and Retirement Plans Guidance from Treasury and IRS,” ABA Section of Taxation Midyear Meeting, January 2014

  • Presenter, “Healthcare Reform: A Deep Dive Into the Affordable Care Act,” American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), January 2014

  • Presenter, “Employee Benefits Post-DOMA: How U.S. v. Windsor Affects Your Plans,” K&S University e-Learn Seminar, January 2014

  • Panelist, “Benefits Issues You Should Be Thinking About When Working End of Year Deals,” ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Webinar, December 2013

  • Author, “Looking Beyond DOMA: The Effects of United States v. Windsor on Federal Tax Law,” ABA Section of Taxation NewsQuarterly, Vol. 33, No. 1, Fall 2013

  • Moderator, “Tax Implications for Same-Sex Couples After DOMA,” ABA Section of Taxation Fall Meeting, September 2013

  • Co-Author, “Healthcare Reform for Employers 101: What Needs to Be Done Now,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, July/August 2013

  • Moderator, “So, What Do You Need To Know About Employee Benefits? A Primer--and Update--on Employee Benefits and ERISA,” ABA Section of Taxation Annual Meeting, May 2013

  • Moderator, “Looking Beyond DOMA: Adapting the Code to the ‘Modern Family’,” ABA Section of Taxation Annual Meeting, May 2013

  • Presenter, “Navigating the Changing Health Care Landscape,” 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,” ABA Section of Taxation Annual Meeting, May 2012

  • Panelist, “The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Internal Revenue Code,” ABA 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

Professional Associations

  • Co-Chair, M&A Subcommittee, Employee Benefits Committee, ABA Section of Taxation (2014; Associate Vice Chair, 2012-2014)

  • Co-Chair, New Employee Benefits Attorneys Forum, Employee Benefits Committee, ABA Section of Taxation (2013-2014)

  • Chair, DOMA Task Force, Diversity Committee, ABA Section of Taxation (2012-2014)
L.L.M., with distinction, Georgetown University Law Center
J.D., Widener University School of Law
B.A., Mount Holyoke College

New Jersey
New York