Company-Wide Employee Share Ownership: An International Comparison

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Event date: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - 12:00 to 14:00
Name of Organization: 
Ontario Bar Association
Contact Email: 
Toronto & Webcast

Governance and employee engagement remain two of the largest challenges facing businesses in the 21st century, no matter where you live.  As a solution, companies around the world are now looking carefully at the possibility of company-wide employee share ownership plans, including majority employee ownership of private companies.  Employee share ownership plans (ESOPs) are seen as an important tool in motivating employees, attracting and retaining staff, improving decision-making and innovation, and for private companies, a means of succession planning.  ESOPs can also be a powerful vehicle to assist young companies trying to manage exponential growth. 

But as powerful as they are, ESOPs bring legal challenges for those unfamiliar with designing, implementing and operating these plans.  How do we respond when our clients need our advice in designing and setting up an ESOP?   And how do companies manage the issues raised by the ESOP as the company expands internationally or sells a business? Join the discussion with a panel of lawyers from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom discussing how counsel from each of these countries structure arrangements and address common ESOP challenges, including:

  • The business case for ESOPs. Why do companies implement them in the first place? 
  • ESOPs and corporate governance. Are employees now voting for directors? 
  • The tax implications of ESOPs. What are the tax implications for a corporation and its employees?
  • ESOP and the employment contract. What are the implications for resignation, retirement and termination?
  • The impact of the ESOP. What is the impact of the ESOP on the sale of the company or if it goes public?

Register now to ensure your spot at this unique program with leaders in the area!


  • Warren Ragoonanan, Gardiner Miller Arnold LLP
  • Lisa Tan, Barrister and Solicitor


  • David E. Clark, Partner, Dale & Lessmann LLP(Canada)
  • Graeme Nuttall OBE, Partner Fieldfisher and the UK Government's first independent adviser on employee ownership (United Kingdom)
  • Loren Rodgers, Executive Director, National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)(United States) - participating remotely