Adanwimo "Ada" Okafor—an attorney who helps organizations design, implement, and manage employee benefit plans—has joined Ballard Spahr in its Philadelphia office, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today. Ms. Okafor is of counsel in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group.

Ms. Okafor's background in benefits-related litigation informs her transactional practice, in which she helps clients keep pace with the continually changing legal landscape of employee benefits and executive compensation. She advises on plan setup and administration as well as regulatory compliance under state and federal laws, including ERISA, ACA, HIPAA, COBRA, and the ADA.

Ms. Okafor has deep experience with the benefits issues that arise in transactions, including tax considerations in mergers and acquisitions. Her practice aligns with Ballard Spahr's comprehensive, proactive approach to benefits and compensation counsel, including the firm's experience with such issues in acquisitions, divestitures, and corporate reorganizations.

"Ada's addition reinforces our commitment and ability to provide outstanding counsel in a crucial area of business," said Brian M. Pinheiro, leader of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group. "A lot rides on a company's employee benefits program and how it handles the inherent legal and business challenges. Ada's experience and energy will help clients rest assured they are in good hands when it comes to their employees."

Ms. Okafor's experience encompasses qualified retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, governmental and church benefit plans, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation arrangements. She applies knowledge from her years as an employee benefits litigator to advise on plan implementation, qualification, design, eligibility, vesting, contributions, distributions, loans, and investments.

In her executive compensation practice, Ms. Okafor drafts employment agreements, incentive compensation plans, equity compensation plans, severance plans, and retention plans. She assists with disclosure of executive compensation under U.S. securities laws, from initial public offerings to ongoing and periodic disclosure obligations. She also advises on Institutional Shareholder Services guidelines to determine their potential effect on say-on-pay shareholder votes.

"Ballard Spahr's benefits law attorneys are well-known for their effectiveness and exceptional attention to client service," Ms. Okafor said. "I feel my background fits well with this national platform, and that my contributions will make a great team even better."