Chris Rylands' practice covers the full range of employee benefits and executive compensation issues from design and implementation of employee benefit plans and executive compensation programs, ongoing compliance with the tax and other rules related to such plans and programs, up to and including termination of such plans and programs.
With regard to health and welfare plans, Mr. Rylands has aided clients in compliance with the varying array of health and welfare-related laws including HIPAA and COBRA compliance. Mr. Rylands has conducted HIPAA training and advised clients on requirements for notification of breaches under the HITECH Act. He has also advised clients and made multiple presentations on the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as “health reform”). Mr. Rylands has extensive experience counseling clients on the rules governing cafeteria plans under section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code and nondiscrimination rules applicable to health and welfare plans.
In the retirement plan arena, Mr. Rylands has counseled clients with regard to issues associated with maintaining 401(k) and defined benefit pension plans. He also has assisted clients in using employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) as both a retirement planning and corporate finance tool. Mr. Rylands has represented clients in front of the IRS and Department of Labor in reviews and examinations of their retirement plans by those agencies.
Mr. Rylands’ executive compensation experience includes the drafting and negotiating of a wide variety of executive compensation arrangements, including, in particular, extensive experience with executive employment agreements. Mr. Rylands has advised clients with regard to the tax implications of their various arrangements under Sections 162(m) (deduction limitations), 280G (golden parachute rules), and 409A (deferred compensation rules) of the Internal Revenue Code. Mr. Rylands also has assisted clients with employee benefits and executive compensation issues in mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Rylands' previous professional experience includes work in the areas of data compilation and analysis at the University of Oklahoma and Southern Regional Education Board.
Bar and Court Admissions
Vanderbilt University, J.D., 2005
Oglethorpe University, B.A., magna cum laude, 2001
Civic Involvement and Honors
- Oglethorpe University - Trustee