Employee incentives

Tailored equity incentives and bonus arrangements are critical for recruiting and retaining key talent. Our team are experts at designing bespoke remuneration structures to suit clients' specific objectives. Offering practical, commercial advice that respects market practice, we have a wealth of experience and are valued for our innovative approach. 
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts
What stands us apart from other practices is the diversity of our client base. We work with FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and AIM companies, long-established private companies, start-ups, management teams and individual executives to advise on all aspects of remuneration.

Our expertise includes:

  • designing and implementing share plans and bonus schemes
  • guiding our clients through the legal, tax and regulatory aspects of extending participation in such arrangements
  • advising on reporting requirements and compliance with various remuneration regulations, including those applicable to financial institutions
  • assisting with corporate governance.

So whether you're a well-established organisation or someone looking to start up a business and recruit some key players, we can provide expert advice on the best way to incentivise your work force.

As well as our core incentives practice, we work closely with our colleagues in the employment team to advise on a plethora of mandates including:

  • structuring contracts for executives which comply with company law and corporate governance
  • advising on appointments and terminations of senior executives
  • considering the tax aspects of international assignments.   
We also support our corporate practice on the share plan aspects of transactions, and have particular expertise in designing share plans suitable for companies who are seeking a listing on AIM.  

"The industry knowledge possessed by the team ranks as one of the best in London" 
The Legal 500 UK 2015

Financial services  

We advised a number of banks on the technical and practical implications of claw back, in particular in the context of new hires who are seeking to have their existing entitlements "bought out". 

easyHotel plc IPO

We advised on and implemented a bespoke share option arrangement appropriate for an AIM listed company and have subsequently put in place a tailored bonus plan. 

incadea plc

We advised on the first maturity of awards granted under a long term incentive plan and in relation to the impact of a takeover offer on outstanding awards. 

Estate agent 

We advised a well-known family owned estate agent on the introduction of a bespoke share plan to incentivise key employees, with a tailored exit strategy to enable award holders to realise value. 

Asset management group 

We assessed the merits of a judicial review claim in light of an HMRC challenge to the company's employee benefit trust. 


We assisted with a health check and update of ICAP's Sharesave Plan ahead of self-certification, and with the online registration of all of its share plans with HMRC. 

Diploma plc 

We advised Diploma on all aspects of its equity incentives, including guiding them through regulatory matters and the ongoing operation of their performance share plan.

Ariel Systems Group 

We advised the shareholders of Ariel Systems Group on its sale to ETX Capital. We advised on the unwinding of a complex incentive arrangement which had been put in place. 

Banking executives 

We advised a number of individuals employed in the financial services sector on the effect of a termination of employment on their bonus and incentives.  Also advising in the context of highly sensitive matters, including the impact of regulatory investigations.

Employee shareholder shares

We advised several clients on tax–efficient employee shareholder status shares including using growth shares.

Barbara Allen Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2231
M:  +44 7771 531 553 Email Barbara | Vcard Office:  London

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© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.