Sandra W. Cohen, Esq.
Sandra works with leaders across the professional spectrum, helping them navigate significant events in their career trajectory.
Her breadth of knowledge and ability to consistently resolve matters successfully have made her one of the leading executive compensation and employee benefits attorneys in North America. Clients and attorneys seek her practical advice and business-oriented approach to complex tax and employee benefits issues. She is known for deal-making and pragmatic problem-solving on private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, employment contract negotiations and development of incentive and deferred compensation strategies.
"She is very smart and has really strong technical skills and just an amazing bedside manner. She is able to make sure difficult situations get handled. She is a combination of analytically excellent, business-savvy and with an adept personal touch." - Client comment in Chambers & Partners USA Guide
Sandra has a wide range of industry experience from compensation of financial professionals, private equity partners, top business executives, university presidents, to entertainment industry producers of television and film, and globally mobile executives with international assignments, a specialty area that requires an understanding of the position. Her practice includes advice and counsel to employers on employee benefits matters and tax-qualified retirement plans, as well as non-qualified deferred compensation.
She has more than two decades of employee-related advisory experience, as a human-resources professional earlier in her career and later as an attorney advisor in executive compensation. Sometimes known as the "Section 409A Whisperer," she is the tax lawyer that other employment lawyers call when they encounter complex NQDC issues. In addition, Sandra is a highly sought-after speaker and author.
Prior to founding Cohen & Buckmann, Sandra led the U.S. Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits practice in the New York office of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. She was previously an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, handling mergers and acquisitions and employee benefits cases.
Sandra is an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University Law School, teaching Taxation of Employee Benefits in NYU's graduate tax program.
Lauren M. Paxton, Esq.
Lauren is a Partner with Calcagni & Kanefsky. She focuses her practice on litigation and internal investigations, concentrating on all matters of employment law.
A seasoned trial attorney, Lauren has vast experience in federal, state, and regulatory matters, as well as arbitration. She regularly handles employment litigation, workplace investigations, government inquiries, high-stakes workplace disputes, and C-suite employment negotiations.
Lauren is adept at identifying litigation risk in the workplace and crafting custom-tailored solutions to mitigate exposure. She provides training, prepares legally compliant workplace policies and procedures, and counsels her clients throughout the employee lifecycle, from onboarding through performance management, dispute resolution, restructuring, and terminations. Lauren is often called upon to structure and negotiate employment agreements, restrictive covenants (including non-competition clauses), separation agreements, and executive compensation arrangements.