Pillsbury has added Keith Ranta as a partner in the firm’s growing Executive Compensation & Benefits practice. Ranta, who was previously with Cooley, will work closely with the firm’s East Coast Corporate lawyers and will be based in the firm’s Washington, DC and Northern Virginia offices.

Ranta operates a compensation and benefits practice, advising public and private companies across numerous stages of their life cycle. He works with early stage companies on equity plan design and administration, Section 409A compliance, and general compensation and benefits tax matters; advises on IPOs, including designing and administering equity incentive and employee stock purchase plans; and supports M&A transactions, including drafting Section 280G analyses, assisting with post-closing employee and benefits transition matters and management team representation regarding equity and employment arrangements. He also regularly represents public companies on equity plan and employee stock purchase plan support, Sections 162(m) and 409A compliance, executive compensation proxy disclosure and proxy advisory firm considerations.

“Keith’s vast experience, broad skill set and personable demeanor are an excellent match for Pillsbury,” said practice section leader Cindy Schlaefer. “He is an established practitioner—with an even brighter future ahead of him—whose arrival immediately enhances our Executive Compensation & Benefits offering on the East Coast.”

Prior to joining Cooley, Ranta spent three years in the Executive Compensation Branch at the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel. There, he was the primary drafter of guidance under Sections 409A and 457A of the tax code and other executive compensation guidance projects. He also worked with various divisions within the Office of Chief Counsel and the IRS on tax issues such as deferred compensation for both taxable and tax-exempt entities, incentive stock options and employee stock purchase plans, Section 162(m) and other executive compensation, retirement and health and welfare plan matters.

“Pillsbury has long stood out in my mind as having one of the finest Executive Compensation & Benefits groups around,” Ranta said. “The diversity of the work, the collegiality of the lawyers and the breadth of the clients they advise are all very appealing. What’s more, I have known and respected the executive compensation team at Pillsbury for many years and am thrilled at the prospect of working with them more closely.”

Recognized as a premier team nationally and internationally, Pillsbury provides comprehensive guidance on all aspects of executive compensation and employee benefits. Over the years, the firm has advised leading private, public, not-for-profit and governmental entities on many of their most significant and ground-breaking executive compensation and employee benefits transactions and disputes. The firm also represents individual executives in high profile employment agreement and exit arrangements.