Terrence J. Briggs


Terry Briggs concentrates his practice on executive and equity compensation, ERISA, and employee benefits matters. Terry counsels for-profit and non-profit entities—including manufacturers, hospitality institutions, health care providers, colleges and universities, museums, independent schools, craft brewers, and social services agencies—on executive compensation, ERISA compliance, and employee benefits matters. He works closely with finance and human resource leadership to thoughtfully and expeditiously install new plans or modify existing ones.

His expertise extends to employment agreements, stock option and incentive plans, employee stock purchase plans, defined benefit, 401(k), 403(b) and supplemental retirement plans, employee health and welfare plans, reduction in workforce planning, early retirement offerings, golden parachute issues, and mergers & acquisitions. He works with employers on matters involving both qualified and non-qualified retirement plans and welfare benefit plans. He works frequently with family-owned and closely held businesses on ESOPs and other transition issues.

Terry also represents individual executives and management teams of public and private companies with respect to negotiating and documenting employment agreements, incentive compensation, and equity compensation arrangements. He relies on his extensive mediation experience to efficiently resolve disputes while obtaining favorable outcomes for his clients.

Terry frequently speaks before industry groups on issues such as employee stock ownership plans and negotiating executive and head of school employment and compensation agreements. He is a frequent contributor to Bowditch & Dewey’s Craft Brewery Legal Blog, LGBTQ Legal Issues Blog, and Campus Counsel Blog and monthly newsletter.

Prior to attending law school, Terry owned and managed a family business. Before that, he worked in Massachusetts and Washington state governments.

Admitted to Practice: 

  • Massachusetts
  • Maine

Representative Experience:

  • Advised on and installed supplemental retirement arrangements under Code sections 457(b) and (f)
  • Drafted and negotiated employment agreements for senior executives
  • Gathered data for, drafted, and submitted successful applications for relief under the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System for errors involving retirement plan operational errors relating to eligibility, vesting, definition of compensation, and plan contributions
  • Submitted Voluntary Fiduciary Compliance Program applications for late forwarding of plan contributions
  • Advised on preparing for the retirement plan annual independent audit
  • Analyzed and defended against a controlled group claim by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
  • Reviewed and advised on service agreements from providers of retirement and welfare benefit plan services
  • Designed and drafted an early retirement window program
  • Advised on the fiduciary responsibilities of a retirement plan’s investment advisory committee
  • Interpreted the COBRA rules related to the effect of Medicare entitlement on COBRA eligibility
  • Assisted counsel for a divorcing employee with a QDRO for our client’s defined benefit pension plan
  • Advised on and assisted in the merger of the 401(k) plan of a newly acquired entity into the 401(k) plan of a client

Speaking Engagements:

  • "The 8th Annual Federal and State Employment Law Update,” Bowditch & Dewey, Worcester/Newton/South Hadley, Massachusetts, January/February 2017
  • Seminar: Let's Talk: Experts Discuss Head of School Employment Agreements in the Real World, before the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, February 2016
  • Seminar: Head of School Employment Contracts: Analysis and Examples, before the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, February 2016
  • Seminar: Head of School Employment Contacts: Understanding What Things Mean, before the California Association of Independent Schools, January 23, 2016
  • Seminar: Point-Counterpoint: Understand that Head of School Employment Contract, before the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools 2016 North Carolina Conference, January 2016
  • Seminar: What Does Being a Fiduciary Mean?, with Peter Martin, before Eliot Community Human Services, October 28, 2015 

 Professional/Community Affiliations:

  • President, Board of Directors, Center for Living & Learning
  • President, Board of Directors, East Quabbin Land Trust
  • Member, Massachusetts, Maine and American Bar Associations
  • Member, National Association of Independent Schools