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John Ludlum


222 South Main Street, Suite 2200, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

John concentrates his practice on advising private and public entities on employee benefits and equity compensation matters in normal operations and mergers and acquisitions.

From Fortune 100 companies to start-ups, John assists clients with creatively structuring tax-effective and practical incentive arrangements that meet operational goals. 

Employee Benefits Advisor: John counsels employers how to design and implement compensation plans current with market practices. His focus on clients and understanding of company life-cycle business needs maximizes benefits for employees and executives while minimizing tax and administrative burdens.

Tax Advice in Mergers and Acquisitions: John proactively identifies and analyzes the tax risks associated with transitioning all types of benefits and employment arrangements. He ensures that proposed transactions comply with tax and securities laws affecting employees and equity compensation.

Prior to joining Holland & Hart, John practiced for over 11 years at two Silicon Valley-based firms, Fenwick & West LLP, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC. He has represented a wide variety of individual clients, from founders to highly compensated public executives, during his legal career.


Employee Benefits Law

John’s clients look to him for guidance on navigating the benefits development process:

  • ERISA pension welfare plans
  • Equity compensation
  • Employment and separation agreements
Tax, Benefits, and Private Client Law

John advises clients during corporate transactions to ensure compliance with rapidly changing regulatory requirements:

  • Deferred compensation under Code Section 409A
  • Golden parachute rules under Code Section 280G
  • Securities registration exemptions

Client Results

Labor and Employment Law
  • Assisted Utah-based corporate executive team to obtain tax-effective, lucrative employment contracts in connection with sale of company. Addressed transaction-based tax issues under golden parachute rules and negotiated through the private company shareholder approval process to avoid millions of dollars in potential tax liability.

  • Advised Utah company with diverse business operations how to develop incentive structures for executive team and designed package to meet needs for company-wide benefits and appropriate executive incentives.

  • Design and advise private companies and related entities on tax and securities compliance for cash and equity-based incentive programs.



Speaking Engagements


Bar Admissions


  • Utah Business Magazine, Utah Legal Elite, Tax, 2017, 2018, 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Tax Law, 2019-2021

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • National Association of Stock Plan Professionals, Member

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