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Brian Kopp heads up Nixon Peabody’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice. He advises employers on the variety of legal issues that impact employee benefit plans and executive compensation programs.

What do you focus on?

My practice focuses on providing sophisticated, practical advice on issues affecting my clients’ retirement and welfare benefit plans and executive compensation programs. I have over 20 years of experience in helping publicly traded and privately held employers design, implement and deliver cost-effective benefits programs to their employees. This counseling includes advising clients on the federal and state laws that apply to benefit plans, such as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and its fiduciary duty, prohibited transaction, reporting/disclosure and withdrawal liability rules.

I also have substantial experience with executive compensation issues. For example, I have drafted, implemented and provided advice on non-qualified deferred compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans, severance plans, change-in-control agreements and stock-based compensation plans, including plans that grant options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, stock appreciation rights, performance shares and other equity-based awards.

For nonprofit employers, I have extensive experience with 403(b) and 457(b) plans, as well as the unique deferred compensation rules that apply to tax-exempt employers.

What do you see on the horizon?

The regulatory environment for employee benefit plans and executive compensation programs will only get more complex. For example, Health Care Reform has added thousands of new regulations governing medical plans. Additionally, executive compensation practices will draw increased scrutiny from regulators and shareholder activist groups. In this challenging environment, employers need to find cost-efficient solutions to their benefits issues.

Media Clips

  • Don't Miss It: Hot Deals & Firms We're Following This Week
    Law360 | July 10, 2014
    Gannett Co., Inc.’s acquisition of seven Texas television stations from London Broadcasting Company for $215 million is highlighted among the top deals this week. Nixon Peabody represented Gannett. The deal team noted in the coverage includes Public Company Transactions practice group leader John Partigan, Labor & Employment partners Brian Kopp and Michael Hausknecht, Tax partner Christian McBurney, Antitrust partner Gordon Lang and counsel Alycia Ziarno, and associates Tiana Butcher and Pierce Han.
  • Versar picks up J.M. Waller
    The Deal | July 2, 2014
    Client J.M. Waller Associates’ sale to Versar, Inc. is highlighted in this piece. The coverage notes J.M. Waller’s legal team led by securities practice group leader John Partigan and includes partners Brian Kopp and Christian McBurney; associate Pierce Han; and paralegal Alicia Rotella.
  • ACA, Health Insurance Exchanges and the Future of COBRA
    Law360 | June 18, 2014
    Rochester Labor & Employment attorneys Jo Ann Butler, Brian Kopp and Kate Saracene authored this column discussing two recent government announcements that aid employers’ ability to steer COBRA-eligible individuals, discuss the future role of COBRA and explore proactive ways that employers might encourage COBRA-eligible individuals to elect marketplace coverage.
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  • Questions Arise on Future of Domestic-Partner Benefits
    Buffalo Business First | March 15, 2013

    Labor & Employment and Employee Benefits partner Brian Kopp discusses if and how the expansion of benefits through marriage will impact domestic partnership policies among opposite-sex couples.




Brian Kopp