Adam B. Cohen

Adam B. Cohen: Attorney with Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP AV stamp icon
  • Partner at Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP (436 Attorneys)
  • 700 Sixth Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001-3980
    View Adam B. Cohen's office location
  • Adam B. Cohen
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Attorney Awards

Biography

Adam Cohen develops practical solutions to the complex issues of employee compensation, benefits, retirement and pensions. He has more than 20 years of experience representing public companies, closely held businesses and tax-exempt organizations.

A member of Eversheds Sutherland (US)'s Tax Practice Group, Adam provided advice on employee benefits and equity compensation for the largest corporate spin-off in business history and has advised on international and billion-dollar mergers, acquisitions and dispositions. His extensive experience includes the design and implementation of tax-qualified retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans and 409A compliance, executive compensation arrangements, executive employment and separation agreements, fringe benefits and compensation clawbacks.

Additionally, Adam is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he currently teaches “Retirement Plan Qualification Requirements.”

Client Tools

•409A Law

Selected Experience

Lead counsel for British Nuclear Fuels plc in the $5.4 billion auction sale of its U.S. subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric Company, to Toshiba Corporation.
Counseled clients on unusual structures and other issues in qualified plans.
Advised a global reinsurer on the redesign of its equity compensation program.

Awards and Rankings

Recognized by Chambers USA: Guide to Leading Business Lawyers in the area of employee benefits and executive compensation (2011-2012, 2014-2018)

Named a Nolan fellow by the Tax Section of the American Bar Association, recognizing outstanding service

Recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the area of tax: employee benefits and executive compensation (2011, 2015-2018); and employee health and retirement plans (2017)

Publications

“Employee benefits affect everyone, from health care to retirement plans. When you go beyond just reciting the rules and try to understand the why behind the policies, you can develop creative solutions and, if necessary, look at how the rules could be changed.”

Legal Alerts

Legal Alert: 2018 in review - ERISA guidance (March 7, 2019)
In broad scope, the guidance issued in 2018 by the Department of Labor (DOL) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), extended a trend established over the ...

Legal Alert: IRS cracks open the window for retiree lump sums (March 7, 2019)
On March 6, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2019-18 (Notice), announcing that it is retracting its previous position that prohibited pension plan sponsors from offering ...

Legal Alert: Proposed Regulation BI coverage of retirement investors (March 5, 2019)
There is some debate about the intended scope of proposed Regulation BI (Best Interest) coverage in the case of retirement investors.The SEC explicitly contemplated that the proposal would be ...

Legal Alert: The best interest standard under FINRA’s suitability rule (February 26, 2019)
In connection with the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed Regulation Best Interest, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has asserted (with some case law support from the ...

Legal Alert: Broker-dealers selling annuities - preparing for the best interest standard under New York’s amended Insurance Regulation 187 (February 14, 2019)
Broker-dealers selling annuity products in New York will soon need to comply with New York's recently amended Insurance Regulation 187 ( Suitability and Best Interests in Life Insurance and Annuity ...

Legal Alert: Treasury and IRS issue interim guidance on executive compensation excise tax under section 4960 (January 18, 2019)
Introduction On December 31, 2018, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2019-09 (Notice) providing comprehensive interim guidance ...

Legal Alert: Texas v. United States decision could impact employer-sponsored health plans (January 4, 2019)
On December 14, 2018, a Texas District Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement that certain individuals maintain a minimum level of health coverage, often referred to as the ...

Legal Alert: IRS formalizes and provides relief for section 403(b) “once-in-always-in” part-time rule - immediate action required (December 17, 2018)
In Notice 2018-95, released on December 4, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) formally announced a “once-in-always-in” interpretation of the section 403(b) participation exclusion for part-time ...

Legal Alert: DOL considers important efficiencies for the retirement system (November 14, 2018)
In the last three weeks, the Department of Labor (DOL) undertook two initiatives that have the potential to improve the efficiency of the retirement system and the retirement security it provides to ...

Legal Alert: When your hardship comes in-Treasury proposes hardship withdrawal regulations (November 12, 2018)
On November 9, 2018, the US Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations addressing statutory changes to the section 401(k) hardship distribution ...

Articles

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy review and update: Looking back on 2018 and planning ahead for 2019 (March 1, 2019)
From the implementation of the GDPR to the passage of the CCPA, the year 2018 proved to be a monumental one for cybersecurity and data privacy. Regulators from around the world responded to ...

White paper: Employee benefits in the Supreme Court (2018 update) (October 2, 2018)
The US Supreme Court has decided an astonishing 129 employee benefits cases in its 43 terms following the effective date of ERISA. We’ve updated our groundbreaking survey of these cases with the ...

Defined Contribution Plans in the US and the UK: Lessons From Across the Pond (February 12, 2018)
Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that it has published a paper-“DC Plans in the US and the UK: Lessons From Across the Pond”-which addresses the differences between defined contribution ...

Lessons From Across the Pond: Defined Contribution Retirement Plans in the US and the UK (Fall 2017)
Partnering Perspectives
The US and the UK face similar challenges with respect to the critical role of defined contribution plans in retirement planning. In their article for the Fall 2017 edition of Partnering ...

White Paper: Employee Benefits in the Supreme Court (October 19, 2017)
In conjunction with the start of the Supreme Court’s new term, Eversheds Sutherland took a look back at the Court’s work in employee benefit cases since the enactment of ERISA. We found an ...

A New Legal Precedent: Insurance Agents As Employees (August 16, 2017)
Law360
On August 1, 2017, the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio held that insurance agents working under independent contractor agreements with an insurer were employees for purposes of ...

DOL Fiduciary Rule: A To-Do List for Plan Sponsors (Fall 2016)
Partnering Perspectives
In their article for the Fall 2016 edition of Partnering Perspectives, Sutherland attorneys Adam Cohen, Mark Smith and Brittany Edwards-Franklin provide a to-do list for service providers and ...

Multinationals Should Optimize Executive Compensation, Benefits and Taxes for Long-Term Assignments to the United States (August 23, 2016)
TerraLex Connections
The United States is known for having minimally-restrictive executive compensation requirements. However, this generally employer-friendly work environment has idiosyncrasies and limitations that ...

The Final Rule: DOL’s Expanded Definition of Investment Advice Fiduciary Under ERISA and Revised Complex of Exemptions (April 12, 2016)
Just less than a year since its proposal, and just more than six months after receiving thousands of pages of commentary, petitions and hearing testimony, the Department of Labor finalized its ...

It's Curtains for Some Lump Sum Programs (July 22, 2015)
Law360
On July 9, the Internal Revenue Service released Notice 2015-49 to announce it intends to prohibit retirees who are receiving annuity payments from a defined benefit pension plan from electing a lump ...

Newsletters

Eversheds Sutherland International Pensions Agenda (November 2018)
For many companies, pension issues are a global concern, and keeping up with developments in multiple jurisdictions is a challenge. The Eversheds Sutherland International Pensions Agenda offers a ...

Partnering Perspectives: Insights from Inside and Outside the Corporate Law Department (Fall 2017)
With the US poised to decrease regulation and the outcome of Brexit unknown, multinational institutions face a great deal of unpredictability in the regulatory landscape. We are pleased to present ...

Eversheds Sutherland Global Tax Brief (May 2017)
The Eversheds Sutherland Global Tax Brief is a collection of tax developments from our attorneys across the globe. We hope you enjoy this issue of the Brief and look forward to sharing more updates ...

Partnering Perspectives: Insights from Inside and Outside the Corporate Law Department (Fall 2016)
Partnering Perspectives
Sutherland is pleased to present the Fall 2016 edition of Partnering Perspectives, which provides insight into a number of regulatory hurdles and preventive measures that may benefit legal practices ...

Presentations

“In today’s increasingly global business market, more and more companies are figuring out ways to compensate executives that move between the U.S. and other parts of the world.”

Presentations

Fiduciary Committee Best Practices (October 1, 2018)
In-House Benefits Counsel Network
Eversheds Sutherland (US) Partner Adam Cohen presents, “Fiduciary Committee Best Practices,” at the In-House Benefits Counsel Network National Forum on October 1, 2018, in New York, New York.

Atlanta International Employment and Pension Law Breakfast Roundtable (November 2, 2017)
Eversheds Sutherland hosts an International Employment and Pension Law Breakfast Roundtable at the Eversheds Sutherland Atlanta office on November 2, 2017. This interactive presentation focuses on ...

New York International Employment and Pension Law Breakfast Roundtable (October 31, 2017)
Eversheds Sutherland hosts an International Employment and Pension Law Breakfast Roundtable at the Eversheds Sutherland New York office on October 31, 2017. This interactive presentation focuses on ...

Webcast: Not Shy and Not Retiring: The Supreme Court’s Recent ERISA Decisions Affecting Retirement Plans (June 23, 2015)
In the past 12 months, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two significant decisions delineating the scope of a retirement plan fiduciary's duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ...

Employee Benefits Executive Compensation, Fringe Benefits and Federal Securities Law Update (May 8, 2015)
ABA Section of Taxation
Sutherland Partner Adam Cohen presents a Employee Benefits Executive Compensation, Fringe Benefits and Federal Securities Law Update at the ABA Section of Taxation May Meeting in Washington, DC on ...

Tax Considerations of a Global Workforce (February 17, 2015)
TEI Atlanta
Sutherland Partners Robert S. Chase and Adam B. Cohen present Tax Considerations of a Global Workforce at TEI Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia on February 17. In this presentation, Robb and Adam discuss ...

Sutherland Tax Roundtable Silicon Valley (October 9, 2014)
Sutherland’s Tax Team hosts the Sutherland Tax Roundtable Silicon Valley on Thursday, October 9, at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley in East Palo Alto, California. The roundtable will take an ...

Tax Considerations of a Global Workforce (October 9, 2014)
Sutherland Tax Roundtable - Silicon Valley
Sutherland Partners Robb Chase and Adam Cohen along with Sutherland Counsel Charlie Kearns present Tax Considerations of a Global Workforce at the Sutherland Tax Roundtable in Silicon Valley on ...

Employee Benefits Executive Compensation, Fringe Benefits & Federal Securities Law Update (September 20, 2013)
2013 Joint Fall CLE Meeting
This panel will discuss the latest trends and issues in drafting equity, bonus and omnibus plans. There will also be a group discussion regarding selected emerging issues, including the impact of the ...

TEI Annual Conference (October 30-November 2, 2011)
Tax Executives Institute
Sutherland is pleased to be a Platinum Sponsor of the TEI Annual Conference, which takes place Sunday-Wednesday, October 30-November 2, 2011. The conference, hosted by the Tax Executives Institute, ...

News

In the News

Employee Benefits in The Supreme Court (October 20, 2017)
Law360
Eversheds Sutherland’s videocast on the employee benefits in the Supreme Court is featured in Law360. In this video, Eversheds Sutherland Partners Adam Cohen and Gail Westover discuss key data points ...

Deferred No Longer: Treasury and IRS Issue Long-Awaited 409A Guidance (September 2016)
Lexis Federal Tax Journal Quarterly
Sutherland’s legal alert, “Deferred No Longer: Treasury and IRS Issue Long-Awaited 409A Guidance,” is featured in the September 2016 edition of Lexis Federal Tax Journal Quarterly.

Law360 Names Attorneys Who Moved Up The Firm Ranks In Q2 (July 12, 2016)
Law360
In this Law360 article, Sutherland Partners Adam Cohen and Ram Sunkara are mentioned for their election to the firm’s Executive Committee.

Business - Newsmakers (May 8, 2016)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC)
In the Sunday edition of the AJC, Sutherland Partners Adam Cohen and Ram Sunkara are mentioned in the Newsmakers section for their election to the firm's Executive Committee.

Washington-Area Appointments and Promotions for April 25, 2016 (April 24, 2016)
The Washington Post
Sutherland Partners Adam Cohen and Ram Sunkara are mentioned in this article by The Washington Post for being elected to the firm’s Executive Committee.

People on the Move - Adam Cohen (April 21, 2016)
Washington Business Journal
Sutherland Partner Adam Cohen is featured in this Washington Business Journal for being elected to the firm’s Executive Committee. The article notes that, with more than 20 years of experience, Adam ...

Polsinelli Snags Real Estate Partner From Seyfarth; and Other ‘On the Move’ News (April 20, 2016)
Daily Report
Sutherland Partners Adam Cohen and Ram Sunkara are mentioned in this Daily Report article for being elected to the firm’s Executive Committee.

Experts Dissecting Fiduciary Rule's Carve-outs (May 18, 2015)
Pensions & Investments
Sutherland Partner Adam Cohen is quoted in a Pensions & Investments article discussing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently proposing fiduciary rules regarding carve-outs. “Some ERISA ...

Lawyers Weigh in on High Court ERISA Ruling (May 18, 2015)
Law360
Sutherland Partner Adam Cohen is quoted in a Law360 article discussing the U.S. Supreme Court recently vacating a Ninth Circuit ruling regarding Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims. “The ...

Slow Your Roll(over): New IRS Rule Poses Trap for Lawyers and their Clients (July 16, 2014)
Virginia Lawyers Weekly
Partner Adam Cohen was quoted in a Virginia Lawyers Weekly article regarding the U.S. Tax Court’s interpretation of the tax code to limit the frequency of transactions on individual retirement ...

Press Releases

Eversheds Sutherland Represents Great-West in proposed sale of its individual life insurance and annuity business (January 25, 2019)
NEW YORK - Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that it is representing Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company in the proposed sale of its individual life insurance and annuity business ...

18 Eversheds Sutherland Practice Areas, 68 Attorneys Named Among Nation’s Best in 2018 Legal 500 United States (May 30, 2018)
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is pleased to announce that 18 practice areas and 68 attorneys have been recognized in the 2018 edition of The Legal 500 United States, a comprehensive survey of legal ...

19 Eversheds Sutherland Practice Areas, 59 Attorneys Named Among Nation’s Best in 2018 Chambers USA (May 3, 2018)
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is pleased to announce that 19 practices and 59 attorneys have earned recognition in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Chambers ...

16 Eversheds Sutherland (US) Attorneys Named 2018 Washington DC Super Lawyers and Rising Stars (April 23, 2018)
WASHINGTON-Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is pleased to announce that 10 of its attorneys based in Washington DC have been selected as top attorneys in the District of Columbia by Super Lawyers . ...

Defined Contribution Plans in the US and the UK: Lessons From Across the Pond (February 12, 2018)
Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that it has published a paper-“DC Plans in the US and the UK: Lessons From Across the Pond”-which addresses the differences between defined contribution ...

Four Eversheds Sutherland Attorneys Named Lawyer of the Year; 80 Lawyers Recognized in 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America (August 15, 2017)
Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that four attorneys have been selected as “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective fields by The Best Lawyers in America, and 80 attorneys have been ...

Eversheds Sutherland (US) Elects Two New Executive Committee Members; Partner Cynthia Krus Elected to Leadership Position (June 5, 2017)
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is pleased to announce the election of two new members to the firm’s Executive Committee: Partners Ling Ling and Rocco E. Testani. Additionally, Partner Cynthia M. Krus, ...

19 Eversheds Sutherland (US) Practice Areas, 58 Attorneys Named Among Nation’s Best in 2017 Legal 500 United States (May 31, 2017)
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is pleased to announce that 19 practice areas and 58 attorneys have been ranked in the 2017 edition of The Legal 500 United States. Legal 500 is a comprehensive survey ...

20 Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP Practice Areas, 56 Attorneys Named Among Nation’s Best in 2017 Chambers USA (May 26, 2017)
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is pleased to announce that 20 practices and 56 attorneys at the firm earned recognition in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. ...

17 Eversheds Sutherland (US) Attorneys Named 2017 Washington DC Super Lawyers and Rising Stars (April 25, 2017)
WASHINGTON-Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is pleased to announce that 10 of the firm’s attorneys based in Washington DC have been selected as top attorneys in the District of Columbia by Super ...

Multimedia

Videocast: Deductibility of client meals under the new tax law (June 26, 2018)
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted at the end of 2017, changed the federal tax rules governing the deductibility of client meals and entertainment. This Bottom Line videocast considers the following ...

Videocast: Employee benefits in the Supreme Court (October 10, 2017)
Since 1975, the Supreme Court has issued opinions in a stunning 128 employee benefit and ERISA cases. Our team has assembled a white paper, which we believe to be the first of its kind, taking a ...

Webcast: Not Shy and Not Retiring: The Supreme Court’s Recent ERISA Decisions Affecting Retirement Plans (June 23, 2015)
In the past 12 months, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two significant decisions delineating the scope of a retirement plan fiduciary's duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ...

Areas of Practice (3)

  • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
  • Tax
  • Business Development Companies

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
202.383.0167  Phone
www.eversheds-sutherland.com
University Attended:
University of Virginia, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa
Law School Attended:
Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude
Year of First Admission:
1996
Admission:
1996, Maryland; 1997, District of Columbia
Memberships:

Professional Activities

Past Chair, Executive Compensation Subcommittee, Tax Section, American Bar Association
Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

Birth Information:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 7, 1971
ISLN:
912032717

Peer Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (106)

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

Washington, District of Columbia

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