Managing Counsel, Global Benefits and Compensation:
Merck USA

Merck USA
Kenilworth New Jersey
Requisition ID: COR000205

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.
The Managing Counsel, Global Benefits and Compensation will independently manage and lead a legal group comprised of one attorney, two paralegals and one administrative assistant and provide legal support and counseling, together with strategic and business advice, to all levels of the organization on a broad range of compensation and benefits matters with respect to the company’s global compensation and benefit plans, including its qualified and non-qualified pension and savings plans, health and welfare plans, severance plans and cash and equity incentive compensation plans and programs.

  • Lead Global Compensation and Benefits Legal Group
    • Manage 1 attorney, 2 paralegals and 1 administrative assistant
    • Manage budget
  • Provide legal advice and counsel together with strategic and business advice to all levels of the organization, including senior executives, managers and others in Human Resources and Finance, on all issues relating to global compensation and benefit matters
    • Provide advice and counsel on both qualified and non-qualified plan issues with respect to company-sponsored U.S., Puerto Rico and international health and welfare, pension, savings, life insurance, severance and disability plans, fringe benefit plans and programs and global long-and short-term cash and equity incentive plans and programs
    • Provide executive compensation advice and guidance with regard to all issues under the Internal Revenue Code (including Sections 409A, 162(m), 79 and 280G)
    • Provide guidance on all aspects of SEC reporting and disclosure requirements under item 402 of Regulation S-K, drafting of the Compensation and Disclosure Analysis with respect to the company’s proxy filing and assistance in drafting SEC Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K
    • For U.S. and global plans and programs, draft plan documents and amendments and review employee benefit related communications, including annual enrollment materials and summary plan descriptions
    • Handle all aspects of legal compliance with respect to the company’s U.S. and Puerto Rico health and welfare, severance, qualified and non-qualified pension/savings plans and global cash and equity incentive plans, including compliance with federal law under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA and, where applicable, compliance with state law
    • Assist with drafting materials in connection with the Board of Directors Compensation Committee meetings, including all Committee resolutions and governance materials
    • Support global benefit plan design committees
  • Provide assistance to Labor Relations Team with regard to collective bargaining requirements under the company’s benefits and compensation programs
    • Draft language for the applicable collective bargaining agreements and memorandum of understandings
    • Interpret legal requirements based on the plan terms and conditions
  • Coordinate and supervise all aspects of ERISA benefits claims/appeals and related litigation
    • Work with internal benefit review committees to respond to severance, savings and pension claims and appeals
    • Supervise and manage relationship with outside counsel on any benefits related litigation in an efficient and cost effective manner
  • Handle all employee benefits and compensation related issues with respect to U.S. & Ex-U.S. mergers and acquisitions
    • Coordinate due diligence reviews
    • Negotiate deal terms and conditions with regard to compensation and benefits related issues
    • Draft language for the merger agreement and applicable employee matters agreement
    • Support the post-acquisition integration of acquired companies into company plans and programs
  • Report to Vice President of Corporate Transactions Legal

Education Minimum Requirement:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Graduate of an accredited US law school, with admission to the Bar of New Jersey or another state


  • Ten (10) or more years of compensation and benefits legal experience in a law firm or corporate setting
  • Broad experience in global compensation (including Executive Compensation) and benefits area
  • Ability to form effective working relationships at all levels of an organization
  • Ability to exercise judgment to drive decisions on routine and non-routine matters within area of practice
  • Ability to further business objectives and appropriately balance divisional/function/corporate business objectives and legal risks on global compensation and benefits issues
  • Excellent teamwork, communication (written and oral) and analytical skills, and a high degree of business acumen
  • Experience in managing a significant workload, with the ability to juggle multiple matters simultaneously
  • Ability to work independently with high degree of initiative and intellectual curiosity


  • Experience as an in-house attorney supporting compensation and benefits issues
  • Experience managing people
  • Experience managing a budget
  • Demonstrated ability to advise and influence senior management teams and senior leaders
  • Leadership skills; excellent judgment

Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to [email protected].
Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully: 
Merck & Co., Inc. is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity.  Please, no phone calls or emails.  All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Merck via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Merck.  No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Merck as a result of the referral or through other means.
Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.
For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:
            EEOC Poster
            EEOC GINA Supplement

Job: Corporate/Employment Law
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 10 % of the Time
Number of Openings:
Shift (if applicable):
Hazardous Materials:
Company Trade Name: Merck
Basic Qualifications