Howard Pianko is the head of Seyfarth Shaw’s New York benefits practice and the national chair of its Fiduciary Advisory Services practice group. During his more than thirty-five years of experience in employee benefits law and executive compensation, he has counseled both domestic and international clients on matters running the full benefits gamut. His current practice focuses extensively on fiduciary and plan governance matters, executive compensation (including both domestic and cross-border equity and incentive plans) as well as benefit and employment considerations in M&A transactions, including post-transaction implementation and restructuring.
He is a Charter Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and a founding member of the International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association. He has been recognized for his professional expertise by, among others, Chambers, Legal 500 and Best Lawyers in America and also designated as a BTI Client Service All-Star. He co-chairs the basic ERISA fiduciary program as well as the more advanced PLI Pension Investment Program intended for more advanced practitioners in this area.
Alicia C. McCarthy is Counsel in the Executive Compensation and Benefits Department at Wachtell Lipton. Ms. McCarthy advises clients with respect to executive compensation and employee benefit matters involving mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, joint ventures, financings, litigation as well as plan compliance. Her experience includes ERISA’s fiduciary rules and the investment of plan assets with an extensive background representing financial institutions, fund sponsors and ERISA investors. She also advises on executive compensation matters including performance-based compensation plans, nonqualified pension plans, and employment, severance and change in control agreements.
Ms. McCarthy chairs the Committee of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She speaks frequently on executive compensation and ERISA topics for the Practicing Law Institute where she co-chairs the ERISA Investment Fiduciary Basics program. She is the recipient of the Pro Bono Publico Award (2010, 2011 and 2014) for her services to The Legal Aid Society. She is also recognized in Best Lawyers of America (2012-2019) in Employee Benefits (ERISA) law and New York Super Lawyers (2013-2018). She recently co-authored the articles “Sun Capital Redux: Private Equity and Pension Liability,” The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (April 5, 2016); “Counting to 80,” Private Equity Manager (August 2013); and “New Ways to Manage Old Pension Liabilities,” Law 360 (June 17, 2013).
Ms. McCarthy received her B.A. in 1981 from Georgetown University and her J.D. cum laude in 1984 from Brooklyn Law School, where she was a member of the Journal of International Law.