L. Gerald Rigby

Family controlled businesses– organization, financing, taxation, operations, acquisitions, divestitures, succession and estate planning. Employee benefits, including executive compensation planning and all types of tax-advantaged compensation and fringe benefit plans, including pension, profit sharing, 401(k), 403(b), ESOP, cross-tested, new comparability, Keogh, SEP-IRA and IRA plans, cafeteria plans, Rabbi Trusts, Secular Trusts, Qualified and Non-Qualified Stock Option Plans, Qualified and Non-Qualified Annuity Plans, Qualified and Exempt 457 Plans, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor Audits, Appeals to the U.S. Tax Court, for Pennsylvania Board of Finance and Revenue, Commonwealth and Supreme Courts, Philadelphia Tax Review Board.

Gerry represents a diverse group of family controlled businesses, which present a gamut of legal and tax issues. Gerry advises such businesses on issues from the proper choice of entity, the advantage of different capitalization structures, relations among owners, financing asset and real estate acquisitions, mergers, divestitures, and passing the business to the next generation.

Gerry also concentrates his practice in employee and shareholder compensation and benefit planning. He has significant experience in developing tax advantaged programs and strategies to compensate owner-employees, executives and rank and file employees. This includes the special needs of tax-exempt, governmental and charitable employers. Gerry interacts on a regular basis with the employee plans/exempt organization branch of the Internal Revenue Service and the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor.

As a result of his involvement in compensation and benefit planning, Gerry is often called upon to assist closely held family businesses in planning for the transfer of ownership and control of the business from one generation to the next. This often involves working with the Estate Planning department of the Firm to coordinate the business succession with the overall Estate Plans of various family members. Gerry also works with Financial Planners to implement and fund various aspects of succession plans. This often involves coordination with other members of the Corporate Department in structuring appropriate buy/sell or shareholder agreements. Gerry regularly assists with the benefit issues encountered in M & A transactions.

Representative Experience

  • Designing a defined benefit plan that allocates 94% of the contribution to the shareholder/executive of a small business
  • Amended a new comparability plan to improve the permitted discrimination in favor of the highly compensated shareholder/members of a medium sized professional service business
  • Implemented incentive stock option and phantom equity plans to incentivize employees of growing high-tech software developers.
  • Obtained reinstatement for a missionary society in the Cumulative List of Exempt Organizations of the IRS and obtained exemption from the obligation to file the annual Form 990
  • Obtained a Private Letter Ruling for the Section 457 Plan of a governmental organization
  • Obtained Closing Agreements from the IRS to correct operational and Plan document failure of qualified retirement plans.
  • Guided a 450 participant 401(k) plan through an IRS office audit.
  • Guided a major educational institution in updating its 403(b) Plan to comply with new operational and documentary requirements.
  • Negotiated incentive compensation plans for various executives in for-profit and non-profit entities.

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Gerry has served as a Director of the Union League of Philadelphia and Chairman of The Board of Trustees of the Youth Work Foundation of the Union League of Philadelphia. He actively works with the Northlight Community Center, which serves the Roxborough/Manyunk section of Philadelphia.
  • Board of Directors for Educating Communities for Parenting.
  • He is a member of the State and Local Tax Committee and the Employer Benefits Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association.
  • Gerry has been an attorney and shareholder with Archer since 1988. He earned his law degree from the New York University School of Law in 1970 and received an advanced Masters Degree in Taxation from NYU in 1979. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in History with Honors from the University of Rochester in 1967. Gerry has also written and published a number of articles on various tax topics.

Articles and Presentations

  • Contributed to “Pension Parlance” for the N.J. Business Magazines (Jan. 2012)
  • Presenter, Retirement Plans for Non-Profit, United Way of Camden County, Fall 2011 Symposium.


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