Employee Share Plans

We advise on the full range of employee share plans. Our clients include FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, family offices, a large number of private equity-owned businesses, start-up ventures and the trustees of employee benefit trusts. We also advise senior executives on the negotiation of their remuneration packages.

Our services include:

  • the design, implementation and operation of equity-based incentive plans;
  • tax advice, including the use of statutory tax-favoured plans (CSOP, SAYE, SIP and EMI), growth shares and joint ownership arrangements;
  • structuring incentive plans and deferred bonuses to comply with FCA/PRA regulatory requirements;
  • advice on the impact of transactions, including M&A, IPOs and private equity exits;
  • the establishment and operation of employee benefit trusts and employee ownership trusts;
  • establishing international all employee arrangements; and
  • advice on multi-jurisdictional share plan issues.

What people are saying


"The Macfarlanes team is a technically rigorous and commercially-focused employee share schemes group."

Chambers UK 2023

"In my experience some law firms give advice without thinking through how it will be applied practically. Macfarlanes is different – they collaborate between teams i.e., share schemes, corporate and tax, to ensure that the advice given is comprehensive while being pragmatic; making it easy to apply in a real-life situation."

The Legal 500 2023