- Harvard Law School, LL.B., cum laude
- Amherst College, B.A., magna cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi)
- District of Columbia
David Foster has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016 in the fields of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law and Tax Law. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1995. He was the recipient of the Exceptional Service Medal from U.S. Treasury. David has also received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating™ from Martindale Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for ethics and legal ability.
San Francisco Tax Club (Board member; former president)
Member of American Bar Association (Tax Section; Employee Benefits Committee)
District of Columbia Bar Association
California State Bar Association
San Francisco Bar Association
Western Pension and Benefits Conference
American College Of Tax Counsel (Fellow)
DAVID S. FOSTER
David Foster is a tax partner who focuses primarily on employee benefits and executive compensation. His clients include privately held and publicly held companies in a wide variety of industries. He also represents tax-exempt companies, governmental instrumentalities and individuals. His secondary focus is on international taxation.
What do you focus on?
I have extensive experience with ERISA and other employee benefits and executive compensation matters, including:
I advise with respect to stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, severance plans, employment contracts, nonqualified deferred compensation plans and change in control programs. A particular current focus is section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, which imposes strict conditions on nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
Employers seek my advice with respect to 401(k), 403(b), 457, profit-sharing and defined benefit pension plans. I focus in particular on 401(k) plans. Withdrawal liability from multiemployer pension plans is currently a hot topic due to significant underfunding.
Health and Welfare Benefits
I work in all areas of health and welfare benefits, but my current focus is on health care reform.
I work on employee benefits issues in connection with corporate transactions.
I also focus on international taxation, including in particular the interpretation of income tax treaties.
What do you see on the horizon?
My area of the law changes almost every day, through changes in statutes, regulations and court cases. The principal current changes are in the area of health care reform, which will continue to have broad implications for employers.
- “Section 409A Is Still Hot: Don’t Get Burned,” Happy Tenth Anniversary, Section 409A, San Francisco Tax Club, November 13, 2014.
- “Section 409A is Hot; Don’t Get Burned,” Silicon Valley Chapter of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), April 23, 2014
- “The Challenge Presented By The Changing Tax Rules & The Changing Health Care System,” Silicom Ventures, May 28, 2013
- “A Primer on Section 409A,” Webinar, May 21, 2013
- “San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance Webinar,” December 21, 2011
- “Health Care Reform,” Breakfast Briefing for Clients and Friends, November 10, 2010
- "Recent Developments Affecting Compensation," Northern California HR Association, October 5, 2010
- "Converting IRAs and 401(k) Accounts to Roth IRAs,” Silicom Ventures, March 18, 2010
- "Stock Option Repricing,” Financial Executives International Roundtable for CFO/Senior Finance Executives of Private/Venture Backed Companies, July 14, 2009
- “Hot Issues & Recent Regulatory Updates,” E*TRADE Directions 2009, Executive Forum on Equity Compensation, May 13, 2009
- “The Retirement Sky is Falling! What Can an Employer Do?” Western Pension & Benefits Conference, April 23, 2009
- Coauthor, “Remarkable Constitutional Challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” March 2011 editions of Bender’s Labor and Employment Bulletin (Matthew Bender/Lexis Nexis), Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin, and Emerging Issues Analysis, LexisNexis, and reprinted in Matthew Bender/LexisNexis’s two-volume March 2011 book, Health Care Reform Special Alert and in LexisOne
- Coauthor, "Constitutional Challenges to Health Care Reform," Law 360, February 7, 2011.
- Coauthor, “Special Alert: New Federal Health Care Reform Legislation—Its Impact on Employers and Employee Benefit Plans,” May 2010 editions of Bender’s Labor and Employment Bulletin (Matthew Bender/Lexis Nexis), Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin, and Emerging Issues Analysis, LexisNexis, and reprinted in Matthew Bender/LexisNexis’s two-volume May 2010 book, Health Care Reform Special Alert and in LexisOne.