The primary focus of Emily Mao’s practice is on design, compliance and operational issues for tax-qualified and non-qualified plans. Emily advises employers and plan administrators on a wide variety of retirement plan matters, including plan redesign projects, pension investments, plan governance, plan operations and administration, benefit claims and appeals, plan corrections, compliance with IRC Section 409A and IRS and Department of Labor audits. In addition, Emily counsels public and private companies on employee benefits matters arising from corporate mergers, acquisitions, outsourcings and restructurings. Emily also advises employers on issues affecting health plans, cafeteria plans, severance plans and other employee benefit arrangements, including compliance with tax, ERISA and other federal laws. Recently, she has advised employers on changes required by the Affordable Care Act.
Emily’s practice also includes advising employers on executive compensation matters, including compliance with IRC Section 409A, review of executive employment agreements and drafting and design on non-qualified deferred compensation plans.
- Counsel to public and private companies regarding employee benefit and executive compensation issues in mergers and acquisitions.
- Counsel to public and private employers on Internal Revenue Code and ERISA matters that impact the design, implementation, operation, modification and termination of tax-qualified retirement plans.
- Counsel to public and private employers on ERISA, tax and fiduciary issues that arise during the retirement plan redesign process.
- Counsel to a wholly-owned, U.S. subsidiary of a large multinational company in connection with an IRS audit of the subsidiary’s 401(k) and pension plans under the IRS Employee Plan Team Audit (EPTA) program, which focuses on plans with at least 2,500 participants and involves an intensive review by the IRS of the retirement plan’s form and operation.
- Counsel to public and private employers on compliance with Code Section 409A and on the design of non-qualified deferred compensation plans, employment agreements and severance arrangements.
- Prepared and negotiated numerous self-correction filings with the IRS under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System for qualified retirement plans to minimize penalties and prevent plan disqualification.
- Prepared a fiduciary compliance training manual for the employees of a large employer who serve as trustees of multi-employer plans on behalf of the employer.
- Co-chair of the Diversity Committee for the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. In 2010, she received Alston & Bird’s Diversity Leadership Award in recognition of her outstanding dedication and influential service to the firm’s long-standing diversity initiatives.
- Member of the firm’s Diversity Steering Committee and the Hiring Committee.
- Member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Washington, D.C.
- Member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- Former member of the board of directors of the non-profit organization Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, located in the District of Columbia.