Photo of Valerie Diamond

Valerie H. Diamond

Partner
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Biography

Valerie Diamond is chair of Baker McKenzie's Global Equity Services Sub Practice Group. She assists companies in the design and implementation of international employee stock plans and provides advice on the tax, securities law and exchange control compliance issues that arise when options, restricted stock or purchase rights are granted to employees. Valerie has been named a "Leader in the Field" by Chambers USA, which notes that "her international focus and expertise makes her a go-to attorney for large corporations in the US."

Practice Focus

Valerie assists companies in the design and implementation of international employee stock plans and advises on the tax, securities law and exchange control compliance issues that arise when options, restricted stock or purchase rights are granted to employees. She represents most of Silicon Valley's Fortune 500 tech companies, in addition to those in the pharmaceutical, biotech, alternative energy and food/beverage industries. She assists clients in meeting international compliance obligations relating to the repricing of options, the creation of data privacy waivers, the grant of stock options to expatriates and the issuance of restricted stock.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised Willis Group Holdings plc, an Irish public limited company, on the global share plan, executive compensation and employee benefits aspects of its merger of equals with Towers Watson & Co., a Delaware corporation, and its subsequent consolidation to form a new combined entity named Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NASDAQ: WLTW).
  • Advised Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. on the global stock plan and employee benefits aspects of the company’s combination with Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke AG into a new UK-based company, Coca-Cola European Partners Plc.
  • Advised on the international tax and legal implications on outstanding equity awards as a result of the acquisition of SanDisk Corporation by Western Digital Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation.
  • Advised Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. on the non-US tax and regulatory issues related to the cancellation, cash-out and replacement of outstanding equity awards in 24 jurisdictions in regard to their USD1.2 billion acquisition of Ruckus Wireless, Inc.
  • Advised Atmel Corporation in its acquisition by Microchip Technology with regard to the non-US tax and legal issues in 16 jurisdictions where equity awards were offered and assisted with the de-registration of the Atmel share plan in China.
  • Advised Liberty Global with regard to the legal and tax implications to outstanding equity awards and plan design considerations in the company’s redomestication from the United States to the United Kingdom and its combination with Virgin Media.
  • Advised a leading biopharmaceutical company on all aspects of the disposition and conversion of outstanding equity awards held by an Italian public company target.
  • Provided a detailed analysis of the tax and regulatory consequences of a REIT conversion on outstanding employee equity awards for one of the world's largest global interconnection platforms and data centers.
  • Provided counsel to a premier electronic measurement company on the adjustment of outstanding and implementation of new employee equity plans for a spin-off company operating in more than 60 countries.
  • Provided counsel to a global management consulting company on the design and implementation of a cutting-edge multijurisdictional long-term cash and equity deferral program in 33 jurisdictions.

Professional Honors

  • 10-year Service Award, National Association of Stock Plan Professionals 2017 
  • Top Woman Attorney in Northern California, Super Lawyers 2017
  • Recognized in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Transactions), Legal 500 US 2017
  • Recognized as a "Leading Lawyer" in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Chambers USA 2016 - 2017
  • Top Rated Employee Benefits Lawyer, Northern California Super Lawyers, 2014 - 2017
  • Named one of Silicon Valley’s "Incubators of Innovation" by The Recorder, 2015

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Global Equity Organization
  • National Association of Stock Plan Professionals - Advisory Committee
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Certified Equity Professionals Institute - Advisory Board

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit~United States (1993)
  • California~United States (1993)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California~United States (1993)

Education

  • University of San Francisco School of Law (J.D. magna cum laude) (1993)
  • California State University (Master of Arts) (1989)
  • California State University (B.A. Honors) (1985)

Languages

  • English