Brian D. Robbins is a Partner at the Firm and the Head of the Firm’s Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Practice. He has extensive experience in the areas of executive compensation, employee benefits and ERISA and routinely advises the Firm’s corporate clients in connection with compensation and employment matters and has represented numerous high-profile senior executives in connection with the negotiation of employment and termination agreements. Senior executive advisory roles have included representing the compensation committee or executive involving:
Brian’s practice has included participation in numerous complex mergers and acquisitions, securities, and commercial banking transactions involving issues arising under Title I and Title IV of ERISA and related provisions of the Internal Revenue Code; the structuring and implementation of management equity arrangements, deferred compensation, and other executive compensation, employment and severance programs; advice with respect to tax, accounting and securities law issues related to the implementation of qualified and non-qualified compensation arrangements; and experience with respect to Title I fiduciary, plan assets, and prohibited transaction concerns arising in connection with venture capital investments and corporate transactions.
Representative merger and acquisition transactions include:
- Blackstone in its acquisition of assets from three of GLP’s U.S. funds for a purchase price of $18.7 billion – the largest-ever private real estate transaction
- Genesee & Wyoming Inc. in its proposed $8.4 billion sale to affiliates of Brookfield Infrastructure and GIC
- A consortium comprised of funds advised by Apax Partners, together with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, in its $6.725 billion announced sale of Acelity, Inc. and its KCI subsidiaries worldwide
- L3 Technologies in its $33.5 billion business combination with Harris Corporation
- Waste Management in its announced $4.9 billion acquisition of Advanced Disposal Services, Inc.
- Office Depot in its merger of equals transaction resulting in a new business owned by the public shareholders of Office Depot and OfficeMax
- Apax Partners in its $6.3 billion acquisition of Kinetic Concepts, Inc.
- Northwest Airlines in its stock-for-stock merger with Delta Airlines
- China National Corporation in its $43 billion acquisition of Syngenta AG
- Mars, Incorporated in its $23 billion acquisition of The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
- Eaton Corporation in its $11.8 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries
- The compensation committee of DirecTV in connection with DirecTV’s $48.5 billion merger with AT&T
Brian works closely with the Firm’s numerous private equity and leveraged buyout fund clients in order to assure qualification as “venture capital operating companies,” “real estate operating companies” or “under 25% funds” to avoid ERISA fiduciary and potential prohibited transaction concerns and advises clients on compliance with ERISA and Internal Revenue Code requirements when managing “plan assets.”
Representative private equity fund representations include funds sponsored by:
- American Industrial Partners; Apax Partners; Blackstone; Carlyle; CVC Capital Partners; Cypress; EQT; Evercore Capital Partners; First Reserve; Hellman & Friedman; J.E. Robert; Lexington Partners; Lightyear; Macquarie; Morgan Stanley; New Mountain Capital; Northwood Investors; Oaktree Capital Management; Palladium Equity Partners; Patria Investments Limited; Platinum Equity; Quadrangle; Ripplewood; Silver Lake Partners; and Strategic Partners.
Brian has been a speaker at professional and private seminars and conferences relating to executive compensation and employee benefits matters and a participant in the Harvard Roundtable on Executive Compensation. He has been included in Best Lawyers in America — Employee Benefits section and The New York Area’s Best Lawyers — Employee Benefits Law and has been included in the New York Times Super Lawyers of New York Metropolitan Area, and New York Magazine New York Area Best Lawyers. He was recently recognized by Best Lawyers as the “2018 Lawyer of the Year in Employee Benefits in New York.”
Brian is consistently ranked by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading individual in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation in New York (Band 1), as well as nationwide, and has been recognized by The Legal 500 United States as a “Hall of Fame” leading lawyer in the nation for Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation. In recent editions, Brian has been described by clients as a “very smart and very accomplished lawyer” and as a “tirelessly hard worker” who is “one of the cornerstones of the practice.”
Brian also serves as a member of the Firm’s Investment and Pension Committee and is a member of the Firm’s Diversity Committee.
Brian received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1985 and his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law in 1988, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an editor of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems.