Employee share incentives

When recruiting and retaining skilled, engaged employees is key, share incentives help businesses achieve their goals. Our specialist team helps you design the right plan for your business, and people. 

Fostering a growth culture and hiring highly-skilled, engaged employees are vital to business success today. Employee share schemes and incentives are a vital tool for companies in improving performance and standing out from competitors. 

Getting the design and implementation right is crucial. Our team of specialists will guide you through the complex issues of tax, company law and governance and contract law. We will work with you to design and implement the share incentives that will help grow your business, and allow your employees to share in that success in the most tax effective way.

Our lawyers

Our team of employee incentive, company law, employment law and trust law specialists have many years of experience in this field.

Our experience

We structure and implement a wide variety of share incentives, such as:

  • Tax-favoured option plans, including EMI options and HMRC “approved” share plans – CSOP, Sharesave and SIP
  • Long-term incentive plans and performance share plans
  • Employee benefit trusts

For employees, non-executive directors and consultants, we have successfully implemented growth shares or nil-paid share plans, as well as phantom share schemes and bonus schemes.

We have helped overseas companies adapt their share plans to allow grants to UK employees, and supported UK businesses to expand their incentive arrangements overseas. 

We advise on “mutual” type ownership structures and employee ownership trusts, allowing major shareholders to realise gains tax effectively while ensuring the long-term future of the business for the benefit of its employees.

Our work doesn't stop when the arrangements are implemented. We help with new grants of awards and how best to treat leavers. We have worked on many sales of companies, helping with the due diligence process and structuring the treatment of share incentives to ensure employees share in the growth they have helped create.

Our clients

We work for a wide variety of companies, both quoted and unquoted, and based in the UK and overseas. We also act for a number of VC-backed companies where share incentives are a key part of the longer term exit strategy.

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