If I were a client, I’d really appreciate the fact that at Taylor English the person I e-mailed or called actually would do my work and would prepare my bills – which would mean that there would be a degree of accountability to me at Taylor English that I simply could not get at other large law firms.
Don Kohla is one of the founding members of Taylor English’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group.
Mr. Kohla has been focused for more than three decades on employee benefit and executive compensation matters, and his experience helps his clients, whether they are publicly traded or privately held, taxable or tax exempt, or even an individual executive, zero in on creative but workable alternatives to address their particular issues. For example, he has done the following:
- Designed and drafted a wide range of employee benefit plans, including equity compensation plans, executive-deferred compensation plans and change-in-control plans;
- Negotiated and drafted executive-employment agreements and severance packages;
- Represented compensation committees as well as committees that are responsible for investment decisions for the investment of the assets of employee benefit plans, including 401(k) plans;
- Participated in public and private company merger and acquisition transitions, providing advice on such diverse issues as golden parachute taxes, stock option assumptions and cancellations, employee benefit plan consolidations, and spinoffs and transition services agreements;
- Advised clients on health care compliance issues, including Obamacare and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) issues; and
- Successfully represented clients in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC).
Prior to joining Taylor English, Mr. Kohla was a partner at King & Spalding, where he was one of the founding members of its Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group.
Atlanta Bar Association
State Bar of Georgia
The Florida Bar
Southern Employee Benefits Conference, Former President
401(k) and Defined Pension Plans
Assisted client in freezing defined benefit pension plan and in satisfying the requirements to notify participants.
Amended and restated an individually designed 401(k) plan into a volume submitter plan.
Assist with merging 401(k) plans and preserving protected benefits under successor plan.
Provide advice to client regarding termination of its defined benefit plan and in the related approvals with IRS and PBGC.
Assist client in receivership with underfunded defined benefit pension plan and advise on steps to complete distress termination.
Prepared and made filings for clients under the IRS voluntary compliance program. For example:
- Failure to timely amend plan for legislative changes;
- Failure to properly operate loan program and correction of more than 100 defaulted loans;
- Failure to amend profit sharing plan for 30 years where no plan documentation could be found, filing of delinquent forms 5500 for such years, failure to make past minimum required distributions and to terminate and distribute ...
Assist clients on DOL’s fiduciary level service provider and participant related disclosure requirements.
Assist clients with amendment and restatement of 401(k) plans and pension plans and submission of such plans to the IRS for updated favorable determination letters.
Assist clients with IRS and DOL audits of 401(k) plans and pension plans.
Assist client with appointment of successor trustee and the related transfer of assets.
Conduct training for 401(k) plan committee with respect to its fiduciary duty to manage plan investments.
Health and Welfare
Successfully defended a client against a $150,000 claim by a health care provider for its treatment of end stage renal disease under a self-insured plan.
Provide guidance on compliance with Obamacare and HIPAA privacy and security policy requirements.
Prepare wrap health and welfare plans and summary plan descriptions for clients to cover all health and welfare benefits in one document.
Assist clients with preparation of summary benefit coverage documentation.
Assist clients in self-audit of ERISA required documentation for all benefit plans.
Provide client human resources department with Obamacare training sessions.
Assist client with amending and restating a severance pay plan.
Negotiated an employment agreement for the new CEO of a building products distributor public company.
Negotiated an employment agreement for the new CEO of a biopharmaceutical public company.
Negotiated an employment agreement for the new CEO of a leading full-service transaction processing public company.
Negotiated employment agreements for the senior management team of a homebuilding public company.
Negotiated a transition agreement for the out-going CEO of a financial services distributor public company.
Negotiated an employment agreement for the president of a private, non-profit university.
Negotiated an employment agreement for the new CEO of a private company in the casual dining restaurant industry.
Negotiated an employment agreement for the new CEO of a private furniture company.
Represented the management team of a public company in the medical device industry in a going private transaction.
Represented a church in the establishment of a compensation arrangement for the church’s senior pastor.
Represented a national food distribution cooperative in connection with negotiating the employment agreement for its new CEO.
Represented a CEO in connection with his employment agreement and equity rollover in the sale of his company to a private, foreign investor.
Represented the CEO of a company in connection with his separation from service following the $2.5 billion acquisition of his company by a large public company.
Served as counsel to an Atlanta-based construction company with operations in more than 40 states in the establishment of an ESOP and sale of its stock to the related Employee Stock Ownership Trust, drafting and negotiating all legal documents, working with the investment banker, and negotiating terms of sale with counsel for the Trustee and the senior lender. The matter involved a AAA strip-out, a stock purchase by the ESOP, bank loan, an exchange of all stock not sold ...
Served as counsel to a Georgia manufacturer with operations across the U.S. in the establishment of an ESOP and sale of its stock to the related Employee Stock Ownership Trust, drafting and negotiation of all legal documents, working with investment banker and negotiating terms of sale with seller’s counsel, senior lender’s counsel and Trustee’s counsel. The matter involved a bank loan, stock purchase by the ESOP, a subsequent refinance and warrant ...
Served as counsel to an Atlanta software company in the establishment of an ESOP and sale of its stock to the related Employee Stock Ownership Trust, drafting and negotiating all legal documents and negotiating terms of sale with Trustee’s counsel and Sellers’ counsel.
Served as counsel to the Trustee for the sale of shares of a manufacturing company valued at approximately $270 million to an Employee Stock Ownership Trust. Involved a pre-transaction AAA distribution and a simultaneous redemption and ESOP sale.
Served as counsel to an Atlanta-based construction company in a second stage ESOP transaction for the sale of additional shares to an Employee Stock Ownership Trust.
Represented Wilmington Trust Retirement and Institutional Services Company, Trustee of an Employee Stock Ownership Trust established by a large company in this transaction involving the sale of all of the common stock held by the ESOP to an outside party. Our ESOP team worked closely with ERISA and corporate counsel for the Company and with the ESOP Trustee and the Trustee's financial advisor to negotiate the terms and conditions of sale of the stock. The Trustee had ...
Represented Wilmington Trust Retirement and Institutional Services Company, Trustee of the Employee Stock Ownership Trust of a large company in a matter involving a large transaction under which the ESOP obtained 100 percent ownership of the Company. This was one of the largest ESOP transactions in the country in 2013, and it was one of two very large ESOP transactions closed by our firm in 2013. Our ESOP team negotiated the terms of the transaction and with Company ...
Represented Wilmington Trust Retirement and Institutional Services Company, Trustee of Martin Resource Management Corporation’s MRMC ESOP Trust (ESOP) in a complicated second stage ESOP transaction that resulted in approximately 100 percent ownership of the Company by the ESOP. We believe this transaction was one of the largest ESOP transactions in the country in 2013, and it was one of two very large ESOP transactions closed by our firm in 2013. Our ESOP team ...
- Panel, The Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters Educational ConferenceAugust 19, 2016
- December 18, 2014
- Health Care Summit, Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 18, 2014
- "Obamacare Employer Mandate," Presentation at J. Smith Lanier & Co., Columbus, Ga., Aug. 6, 2014
- Decision Makers Conference, Atlanta, Ga., April 24, 2014
- "Income, Estate and Gift Tax Developments," Tax Talks, Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 26, 2014
- "Obamacare: Employer Mandate, Individual Mandate, and Recent Developments," Presentation at Bennett Thrasher, Oct. 30, 2013
- "409A: Is There a 1,000-Pound Gorilla Hiding in Your Client’s Executive Compensation Arrangements?" Atlanta Bar Association, Tax Section, Sept. 24, 2013
- "Update: Health Care, Target Date Funds & Tax Issues in Settlements," Presentation to The Home Depot Inc. Legal Department, July 17, 2013
- "Obamacare in 60 Minutes," Atlanta, Ga., May 21, 2013
- "The Obamacare Buffet," Recipes for Restaurant Success, Atlanta, Ga., April 30, 2013
- “24 Taylor English Attorneys Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America,” Atlanta Patch and Atlanta CitybizlistSeptember 13, 2017
- January 25, 2017
- "17 Taylor English Attorneys Achieve Top Recognition in 2016 Super Lawyers Business Edition," Atlanta CitybizlistDecember 16, 2016
- December 16, 2016
- August 17, 2016
- August 17, 2016
- "Deadline Approaching for Obamacare Hammer to Come Down on Large Employers," Atlanta Business ChronicleOctober 30, 2015
- February 23, 2017
- December 15, 2016
- August 15, 2016
- February 19, 2016
- August 17, 2015
- February 20, 2015
- August 18, 2014
- February 21, 2013
- August 24, 2012
- Taylor English Expands Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice Group With Addition Of Highly Acclaimed Atlanta Attorney/ConsultantSeptember 8, 2011
- September 7, 2011
- January 27, 2017
- December 1, 2016
- November 8, 2016
- October 10, 2016
- August 4, 2016
- May 13, 2016
- April 22, 2016
- April 20, 2016
- March 4, 2016
- February 26, 2016
- January 14, 2016
- December 31, 2015
- December 8, 2015
- November 20, 2015
- October 21, 2015
- September 30, 2015
- September 23, 2015
- August 19, 2015
- August 11, 2015
- May 20, 2015
- March 26, 2015
- February 13, 2015
- October 23, 2014
- July 25, 2014
- June 30, 2014
- March 7, 2014
- February 25, 2014
- February 12, 2014
- November 1, 2013
- November 1, 2013
- August 29, 2013
- July 9, 2013
- July 3, 2013
- May 9, 2013
- March 7, 2013
- January 31, 2013
- January 3, 2013
- October 18, 2012
- August 28, 2012
- July 13, 2012
- July 2, 2012
- May 30, 2012
- April 19, 2012
- Corporate and Business
- Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
- Employment and Labor Relations
- Financial Institutions
- Health Care
- Higher Education
- Leisure and Hospitality
- Restaurant, Food and Beverage, and Licensing
- Youth-Serving Organizations
University of Florida, Levin College of Law, JD, with honors, 1972
New York University, LLM, Taxation, 1973
Harvard University, AB, cum laude, 1964
Georgia Super Lawyers, 2004-2011, 2013-2017