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Employee Incentives

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CMS has the largest number of partners dedicated to employee share plans in a City law firm, with over forty years’ combined experience as partners in their field. Our team stands out for the range of work it does. We each advise FTSE100 and multinational companies on their share plans and the related public company M&A work that goes with that, but also advise start-ups, particularly in the tech and life sciences sectors and other companies which are private equity owned. We will work with you to maximise the opportunities to reward employees in the most tax-effective way possible and deliver their rewards cost-effectively for your business.

Each of our partners is anchored in the firm's sectors. When clients approach us, they want common sense advice based on our experience and what is right for their business at their particular stage of development.  As part of the wider CMS network, we are also quickly able to draw upon the overseas expertise of our international offices.

We pride ourselves on giving clear advice. We ensure our clients are aware of the commercial opportunities and pitfalls they may face, as well as (in appropriate cases) the changing tax and corporate governance environment.

Quoted companies

  • IPOs
  • M&A activity
  • All-employee plans
  • Executive remuneration in the public glare
  • Listing Rule compliance

PE owned and other private companies

  • Tax-efficient remuneration, including EMI options
  • How to create opportunities for employees (especially leavers) to sell shares
  • Appropriate structure for the size of company

Financial services

  • Compliance with the various Remuneration Codes put in place by the PRA and FCA

Employee trusts

  • Setting up and operating employee trusts
  • Winding them up

Some highlights of our experience

High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence in Em­ploy­ee In­cent­ives in the UK
Some high­lights of our ex­per­i­ence me­di­um
Law-Now: Em­ploy­ee In­cent­ives
Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary
Ad­vising the Board


CMS bol­sters Em­ploy­ee In­cent­ives team with part­ner hire in Lon­don
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS is strength­en­ing its mar­ket lead­ing Em­ploy­ee In­cent­ives prac­tice with the ad­di­tion of new part­ner, Jaspal Pachu, who joins the firm in Lon­don. Jaspal’s re­cruit­ment will take...
CMS and ShareReport­er launch leg­al and tax com­pli­ance app for glob­al em­ploy­ee...
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS is pleased to an­nounce the launch of Share | Com­pli­ance, an app that helps com­pan­ies with leg­al and tax com­pli­ance in re­la­tion to the op­er­a­tion of their glob­al em­ploy­ee share...
If you op­er­ate a cross-bor­der em­ploy­ee share plan, you un­der­stand the com­plex­ity of track­ing leg­al and tax com­pli­ance re­quire­ments across mul­tiple jur­is­dic­tions, and the need to stay ahead of crit­ic­al...
Ex­ec­ut­ive Re­mu­ner­a­tion
Re­mu­ner­a­tion is fun­da­ment­al to the suc­cess and strategy of any busi­ness. At­tract­ive and sus­tain­able com­pens­a­tion struc­tures can in­crease pro­ductiv­ity and prof­it­ab­il­ity, whilst also help­ing to at­tract...
Olswang ad­vises Hubert Burda Me­dia on ac­quis­i­tion of the UKs Im­me­di­ate...
This art­icle was pro­duced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.In­ter­na­tion­al tech­no­logy, me­dia and tele­coms law firm Olswang has ad­vised Mu­nich-based tech­no­logy and me­dia com­pany Hubert...
All change for UK tax of ex­pat em­ploy­ee share awards
Nich­olas Stretch, Part­ner at CMS, dis­cusses the chan­ging UK tax­a­tion and na­tion­al in­sur­ance con­tri­bu­tions (NIC) treat­ment of share op­tion gains and oth­er em­ploy­ee share awards held by in­ter­na­tion­ally...