Susan Serota is the leader of Pillsbury’s Executive Compensation & Benefits practice and a member of the ERISA Litigation Team. Ms. Serota has experience in all areas of pensions, employee benefits, executive compensation and stock options. She has significant experience in the compensation of senior executives, fiduciary matters relating to ERISA and other plans, international benefits, employee benefit aspects of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, welfare plans (health, life and severance), ERISA fiduciary litigation and securities law matters.
Ms. Serota’s assignments have included: negotiating and drafting executive compensation arrangements including stock option and other equity or performance award plans, golden parachutes and antitakeover devices; advising compensation committees of public boards of directors on executive and director compensation arrangements and disclosure of such programs; drafting employee pension, profit sharing plans; plan governance reviews; DOL advisory opinion requests; ESOP structuring and financings, acting as ESOP trustee counsel; advising US and non-US companies on tax and securities issues in global equity-based plans; advising on executive employment contracts; advising creditors in bankruptcy proceedings on PBGC issues; serving as company ERISA counsel and advising on ERISA fiduciary litigation; and providing expert testimony in litigation on breach of fiduciary duty and benefit claims. She is also an advisor to both foreign and domestic governmental entities, regarding pensions, deferred compensation and privatizing certain pension/social security/invalidity payment systems.
From August 2006-2007, Ms. Serota was the Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, the nation’s largest organization of tax lawyers. She is the past Chair of the ABA Tax Section’s Employee Benefits Committee and is a member of the Executive Compensation subcommittee of the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee of the ABA Section of Business Law where she has actively participated in issues relating to proxy disclosure of executive compensation. Ms. Serota was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to serve on the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Ms. Serota is also a director and the treasurer of the American Tax Policy Institute and a member of the Securities Law Committee of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals.
- New York's Women Leaders in the Law, ALM and New York Magazine (2014)
- Employment Lawyer of the Year Award, Chambers’ Women in Law US Awards (2013)
- Chambers USA, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation—National (2005-2015), Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation—New York (2013-2015)
- Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, Employee Benefits (2011)
- Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (for 25+ years)
- Legal 500 US, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation — Leading Lawyer (2012-2015), Labor and Employment and Executive Compensation (2007-2011)
- PLC Which Lawyer?, Labor & Employee Benefits—Employee Benefits & Pensions—New York (2007-2012)
- Guide to the World's Leading Labor & Employment Lawyers, Euromoney/Legal Media Group (2011, 2013)
- WEBA Achievement in Benefits Service Award, Worldwide Employee Benefits (2005)
Treasurer and Director, American Tax Policy Institute 2008-present
Fellow, American College of Tax Counsel, 1996-present, Regent for Second Circuit, 2000-2005
Charter Member, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, 2000-present, President 2004-2005, Director 2000-2005
Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 1999-present
Delegate, National Summit on Retirement Savings, 1998 and 2002
Co-Chair, ABA National Institute on Employee Plans in Mergers and Acquisitions, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996-2009
ABA—Section on Taxation, Chair, 2006-2007; Vice-Chair, Professional Services, 1999- 2001; Chair, Committee on Employee Benefits, 1992-93; Council Director 1994-1997.
ABA—Chair, Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, 1988-1989.
ABA—Section on Business Law, Member, Executive Compensation Subcommittee, Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities, 1995-present.
Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, Securities Law Committee, 2001-present.
New York State Bar Association, Executive Committee, Tax Section, 1988-1991.
International Pension and Employee Benefit Lawyers Association, Co-Chair 1993-1995.
Board of Directors
American Bar Retirement Association 1994-2004, President 1999-2000
ALI-ABA Employee Benefits Advisory Panel 2006-present
Center for Labor and Employment Law at NYU School of Law, January, 1999-present
Legal Momentum, 2002-present
Tax Management, Inc., 1995-present
Editor, ERISA Fiduciary Law, BNA Books 2nd Ed, 2006, Supplement 2009
Recent Articles and Speeches
“Serving on Today’s Compensation Committee” (PLI Compensation Committees 2010: Performing in the Spotlight, June 29, 2010)
“Sections 409A & 457A: What’s a Multinational Employer to Do?” (ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, April 21, 2010)
“HR Issues in Global Carve-Outs and Divestitures” (Ernst & Young/Pillsbury Executive Roundtable, February 25, 2010)
"Benefit Plan Fiduciaries Remain Vulnerable to Class Actions Based on Fees," Employee Benefit Review, March 2010 (with Frederick A. Brodie)
Employee Benefits Considerations in Joint Ventures (PLI Course Handbook, 6/08) (originally published 54 Tax Lawyers 477 (2001))
Equity Compensation in Mergers and Acquisitions (Tulane Tax Institute, 9/24/08; ABA-J.C.E.B. National Institute on Employee Benefits in Mergers & Acquisitions, 4/08 ABA-J.C.E.B. National Institute on Executive Compensation 11/07)
401(k) Investment Issues 404(c) and Other Issues (ABA Annual Meeting 8/8/08)
Global Stock Option Plans, Registration, Disclosure and Tax Issues (ABA National Institute on Compensating Executives and Directors, 11/08; NYSBA) (ABA-J.C.E.B. Teleconference, 9/07)
Data Protection in the United States of America (IPEBLA Conference, Madrid, Spain, 4/12/07)
Proxy Disclosure Requirements for Post-Employment Compensation (PLI Deferred Compensation, 9/06)
Deferred Compensation Issues for Employees of Multi-National Employers (IBA Annual Meeting, 8/06)