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James L. Hauser

James L.  Hauser

James L. Hauser



James L. Hauser



Jim Hauser focuses on executive compensation and ERISA related matters. Jim has substantial experience in drafting and negotiating executive employment, retention and change in control agreements and advising clients on tax issues related to golden parachute rules, deferred compensation rules under Section 409A, equity compensation and the deductibility of compensation under Code Section 162(m). He is experienced in advising clients on the design and administration of their qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans and equity compensation plans.

He has been recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation and is recognized by Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law.


  • Advises compensation committees of both public and private companies on executive compensation and ERISA matters.
  • Advises private equity investors on executive compensation agreements and plans for their portfolio companies.
  • Advises high-tech start ups, including several foreign companies, with respect to equity compensation and employment matters including the design and administration of their stock option and other equity incentive plans.
  • Prepares and negotiates IRS and DOL submissions for voluntary compliance programs and determination letter filings.
  • Advises both private and public corporations on ERISA matters including plan terminations and mergers, fiduciary issues and plan administration issues.
  • Drafts and negotiates executive compensation agreements for senior executives of both tax-exempt and for-profit employers.
  • Advises creditors and bankrupt companies on pension plan and other post-employment benefit issues in corporate restructurings.


  • Co-author, “Going Broke? Not until you pay me,” Corporate Counsel, December 1, 2012
  • Q&A, "Talking Points: Preparing For Change-In-Control Agreements," Corporate Board Member, April 24, 2012
  • Co-author, “Treatment of Withdrawal Liability Claims in Bankruptcy,” Benefits Law Journal, Vol. 25 No. 1, Spring 2012
  • Co-author, “Crucial Issues Arise for Retirement Plans During Bankruptcy,” The National Law Journal, Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy: A Special Report, July 18, 2011
  • "Pension Plan Issues in Bankruptcy", Benefits Law Journal, Vol. 22 No. 3, Autumn 2009
  • “New Tax Law for Deferred Compensation Plans Casts a Wide Net,”  Benefits and Compensation Digest, Vol. 43 No. 1, January 2006
  • “Distress Terminations of Underfunded Pension Plans,” The Bankruptcy Strategist, Vol. 23 No. 1, November 2005
  • “New Tax Law Results in Changes to Design, Administration of Deferred Compensation Plans,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, May 16, 2005
  • “Strategies for Addressing Underfunded Pension Plans in Bankruptcy,” Benefits Law Journal, Vol. 17 No. 2, Summer 2004
  • “Partial Plan Terminations: An Unintended Consequence of Reductions in Force,” Benefits Law Journal, Vol. 16 No. 3, Autumn 2003
  • “The ERISA Implications of Pension Plan Investments in Venture Capital Funds,” Benefits Law Journal, Vol 16. No. 1, Spring 2003
  • Co-author, “HIPAA Raises Administrative Concerns Surrounding FSAs,” Boston Business Journal, December 12, 2003
  • “Techniques for Avoiding or Mitigating the Golden Parachute Rules,” Journal of Mergers and Acquisitions, Vol. 3, No. 7, November 2002
  • Co-Author, “When to Pass Out the Parachutes,” Financial Executives Newsletter, May 2002
  • “The Stock Option Repricing Dilemma,” Journal of Compensation and Benefits, Vol. 17, No. 6, December 2001
  • “Tax Exempt Organizations:  When Does ERISA Apply to Their Retirement Plans,” Journal of Deferred Compensation, Fall of 1998
  • “Notice 98-1 and the Nondiscrimination Testing Rules,” CCH Benefit Plan Compliance Newsletter, May 1998


  • Panelist, Association of Corporate Counsel, "Executive Compensation 101," September 10, 2013
  • Presenter, Boston Bar Association program, “A Primer on Executive Compensation,” May 18, 2010
  • Presenter, Thomson Publishing Group Teleconference, “Conducting a Lay-Off?  What You Need to Know About the WARN Act Before Proceeding,” May 7, 2009
  • Presenter, International Foundation Of Employee Benefits – Boston Chapter, “Employee Benefit Plan Issues in a Recession,” March 11, 2009
  • Panelist, Boston Bar Association program, “Nonqualified Deferred Compensation under Code Section 409A:  What Transactional Lawyers Need to Know,” February 12, 2008
  • Panelist, seminar series co-hosted with Grant Thornton, presenting on “Deferred Compensation Tax Issues Arising from the American Job Creation Act of 2004”
  • Global Equity Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, “Impact of U.S. Corporate Governance Reform on Global Equity Compensation Plans”
  • MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, Spring Workshop, "Ask the Experts Panel," May 4, 2002


  • Member of the Tax Section and Employee Benefits Subcommittee of the American Bar Association and Boston Bar Association
  • Global Equity Organization
  • The National Association of Stock Plan Professionals
  • Editorial Advisory Board for Benefits Law Journal


  • Member, Saint Anselm College Board of Trustees
  • Past Co-Chair, Boston Bar Association’s ERISA Committee


  • Massachusetts
  • US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • US Tax Court
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