Picture of Nicholas Stretch

Nicholas Stretch


CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English

Nicholas Stretch is a partner who has specialised in employee incentives for almost 20 years.

Nicholas advises quoted and unquoted companies (including start-ups) on employee equity and cash bonus arrangements, taking into account tax, company and employment law issues, as well as related corporate governance aspects. In addition, he regularly advises on employee trust issues, including advising trustees.

Over the last few years, he has also advised firms in the financial services sector on how to comply with Remuneration Codes. He is actively involved in the Life Sciences and Financial Services sector groups.

Nicholas is highly rated by clients in both Chambers and Legal 500. He was until recently chairman of the Quoted Companies Alliance Share Schemes Experts Group, which focuses on issues for smaller quoted companies, and is chairman of the Tax Committee of Share Plan Lawyers.

Nicholas writes frequently for PLC magazine and sits on its Incentives Advisory board. He is the author of the Employee Issues chapter in Butterworths 'Takeovers: Law and Practice'.   

more less

"his knowledge and commerciality make him stand out. He has the ability see through the detail to things that really matter in the field."

Chambers UK

"personable" and "consistently praised for his technical expertise".

Legal 500

Relevant experience

  • Royal Mail on its all-employee plan on IPO and subsequently.
  • Eli Lilly on its all-employee plan in the UK.
  • Parmenion on its employee incentives on its acquisition by Aberdeen Asset Management.
  • Advanced Computer Software on the employee share scheme aspects of its takeover by Vista.
  • White Stuff on employee incentive awards in a private company.
  • Lloyds Development Capital on its sale of Uswitch to Zoopla, which involved an employee cash bonus arrangement.
  • Employee trusts on their position in transactions, including the Boots employee trust on the takeover by Walgreens and the IPOs of Poundland and McColl’s.
  • Numerous banks and other financial institutions on their compliance with Remuneration Codes.
  • Various management teams on their arrangements with employers and buy-out houses, including on spin-outs.
more less


  • 1989 – B.A. Exeter College, Oxford
more less


  • Chair, Tax Committee, Share Plan Lawyers
  • Former Chairman, Quoted Companies Alliance, Share Scheme Experts Group
more less


  • Butterworths’ Takeovers: Law and Practice (Employee Issues Chapter) 2015
more less


Show only
9 May 2017
Em­ploy­ee Share Schemes
Re­vised UK Cor­por­ate Gov­ernance Code - Re­mu­ner­a­tion as­pects
The Fin­an­cial Re­port­ing Coun­cil (FRC) yes­ter­day pub­lished a draft up­dated Cor­por­ate Gov­ernance Code (the Code) for pub­lic con­sulta­tion. This Law-Now just con­cen­trates on the key re­mu­ner­a­tion as­pects. A Law-Now on the re­main­ing as­pects of the pro­posed new Code,.
Em­ploy­ee Share­hold­er Status – Opt­ing out of UK Stat­utory...
Tax­a­tion of Ter­min­a­tion Pay­ments – An Up­date
Changes to the tax and Na­tion­al In­sur­ance Con­tri­bu­tions (NICs) treat­ment of ter­min­a­tion pay­ments are due to come in­to ef­fect from 6 April 2018. In sum­mary, and the le­gis­la­tion is com­plic­ated, the key changes are that all pay­ments dir­ectly or in­dir­ectly cov­er­ing.
CMS ad­vises LDC, For­ward Private Equity and the man­age­ment...
Re­vised In­vest­ment As­so­ci­ation re­mu­ner­a­tion guidelines pub­lished
The In­vest­ment As­so­ci­ation (the IA) has pub­lished its Re­mu­ner­a­tion Prin­ciples for 2018 to­geth­er with a let­ter to Re­mu­ner­a­tion Com­mit­tee chair­men. Key changes in its ex­pect­a­tions for ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or re­mu­ner­a­tion in lis­ted com­pan­ies in 2018 are: An­nu­al.
All change for UK tax of ex­pat em­ploy­ee share awards
Gov­ern­ment Cor­por­ate Gov­ernance Pro­pos­als – Ex­ec­ut­ive Re­mu­ner­a­tion...
On 29th Au­gust 2017, the Gov­ern­ment pub­lished its pro­posed im­prove­ments to the cor­por­ate gov­ernance re­gime in the UK, fol­low­ing a con­sulta­tion pa­per is­sued in Novem­ber 2016. Over­all, the pro­pos­als it now in­tends to im­ple­ment - wheth­er on re­mu­ner­a­tion or oth­er­wise.
Gov­ern­ment Cor­por­ate Gov­ernance Pro­pos­als – Ex­ec­ut­ive Re­mu­ner­a­tion...
On 29th Au­gust 2017, the Gov­ern­ment pub­lished its pro­posed im­prove­ments to the cor­por­ate gov­ernance re­gime in the UK, fol­low­ing a con­sulta­tion pa­per is­sued in Novem­ber 2016. Over­all, the pro­pos­als it now in­tends to im­ple­ment - wheth­er on re­mu­ner­a­tion or oth­er­wise.
Con­ser­vat­ive mani­festo - ex­ec­ut­ive pay and em­ploy­ees on boards
The Con­ser­vat­ive mani­festo in­cludes the fol­low­ing pro­pos­als: “The next Con­ser­vat­ive gov­ern­ment will le­gis­late to make ex­ec­ut­ive pay pack­ages sub­ject to strict an­nu­al votes by share­hold­ers and lis­ted com­pan­ies will have to pub­lish the ra­tio of ex­ec­ut­ive pay.
Up­dated re­mu­ner­a­tion guid­ance from the PRA and FCA
Over the last month, both the Pruden­tial Reg­u­la­tion Au­thor­ity and Fin­an­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity have pro­duced fi­nal ver­sions of up­dated guid­ance on re­mu­ner­a­tion. This fol­lows the form of the FCA’s draft guid­ance pub­lished for con­sulta­tion last year and the PRA’s.
The end of LTIPs and bring­ing em­ploy­ees onto re­mu­ner­a­tion com­mit­tees?
While there is still some time to wait be­fore the Gov­ern­ment pub­lishes its own pro­pos­als on dir­ect­ors’ pay in quoted com­pan­ies, the House of Com­mons Busi­ness, En­ergy and In­dus­tri­al Strategy Com­mit­tee achieved head­lines last week with its own pro­pos­als on the.
Em­ploy­ment tax as­pects of the Spring 2017 Budget
Every year, a con­tro­ver­sial as­pect of the Budget emerges. This year’s battle­ground seems to be the in­crease in NIC rate for the self-em­ployed from April 2018. Al­though not dir­ectly re­lated to em­ploy­ment tax, it is an­oth­er sign of a likely trend over the next.
Em­ploy­ee in­cent­ives - Budget an­nounce­ments
In this week’s Budget, the main news for em­ploy­ee in­cent­ives is that the Gov­ern­ment has con­firmed that it is pro­pos­ing to con­tin­ue with the En­ter­prise Man­age­ment In­cent­ive (EMI) scheme. EMI EMI share op­tions can be gran­ted by SMEs over up to £250,000 of.
Spring Budget 2017
At lunch­time today, Philip Ham­mond will de­liv­er his first Budget. As we did with the Au­tumn State­ment, the tax de­part­ments of CMS, Nabarro and Olswang, who are com­bin­ing on 1 May 2017, are giv­ing a joint com­ment­ary on the day’s an­nounce­ments.
Gender Pay Gap Re­port­ing and Em­ploy­ee Share Plans
As com­pan­ies pre­pare to take their first snap­shot on Gender Pay Gap Re­port­ing, com­pan­ies are now in­creas­ingly look­ing at the de­tail of what they need to in­clude. This Law-Now looks at how re­mu­ner­a­tion re­ceived through em­ploy­ee share plans should be in­cluded.
HM­RC is­sues guid­ance on bo­nus claw­back pay­ments by em­ploy­ees
Over the last few years, quoted com­pan­ies and com­pan­ies in the fin­an­cial sec­tor have come un­der pres­sure from in­vestors and reg­u­lat­ors to in­tro­duce pro­vi­sions re­quir­ing seni­or ex­ec­ut­ives to lose or re­pay bo­nuses where there has been mis­con­duct, risk fail­ings.
Un­paid PAYE on em­ploy­ee shares - HM­RC con­firm an ad­di­tion­al tax charge...
HM­RC has re­cently pub­licly con­firmed that if an em­ploy­ee has giv­en an in­dem­nity for PAYE tax on shares, this stops a fur­ther tax charge arising on any un­der­paid PAYE. Un­der­paid PAYE on shares can arise in a num­ber of cases.