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About me

My practice focuses on executive compensation, employee pension and welfare benefits, equity compensation, corporate governance and taxation. I regularly provide advise concerning all aspects of executive compensation and employee benefit plan compliance, including non-qualified plans, 409A, 401(k)s, Cafeteria Plans, HRAs, ESPPs, ERISA, COBRA, EESA/ARRA, equity compensation and other tax issues.

I manage pension and benefit plan compliance in the merger and acquisition context, including qualified and non-qualified arrangements, plan interpretation, termination, and mergers, as well as executive benefit issues under Code Sections 280G (parachute payments) and 409A (non-qualified deferred compensation). I also provide advise on the executive compensation restrictions under EESA/ARRA and the Dodd-Frank Act for financial institutions. I have expertise in executive benefit plan packages, including equity-incentive plans and supplemental executive benefit plans, non-qualified deferred compensation, and executive employment agreements. I also work on qualified plans, assisting clients with plan design, ongoing compliance, plan corrections, mergers and terminations.


Practice areas


  1. Employee Benefits: 50%
  2. Corporate: 20%
  3. M & A: 20%
  4. Tax: 10%

Attorney endorsements

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  • Richard Alex Repp

    Lara has a great depth of knowledge regarding employee benefits and executive compensation issues. She is not afraid to dig into a spreadsheet and tackle the complex analysis required for benefit calculations and she is also has a great ability to explain difficult concepts in plain English.


    Richard Repp Securities offerings Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

Sterling Savings Bank

111 N. Wall
Spokane, WA, 99201


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Associate General CounselSterling Savings Bank2011 - Present
AttorneyWitherspoon Kelley2001 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
Northwest Autism CenterSecretary of the BoardN/A
Spokane Estate Planning CouncilMembership CommitteeN/A
Spokane Chapter National Institute of PensionAdministrator and Board MemberN/A
Washington Women Lawyers (Spokane County chapter)MemberN/A
Spokane County Bar Association, Young Lawyers DivisionDivision Board of Trustees2002 - 2006
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Sterling Financial Corp's Acquisition of Klamath First Bancorp, Inc.Acquisition completed.
Sterling Financial Corp's Acquisition of FirstBank NorthwestAcquisition completed.
Sterling Savings Corp's Acquisition of Golf Savings BankAcquisition completed.
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Washington School of LawTaxationLL.B - Bachelor of Laws2001
University of Washington School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2000
University of WashingtonN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1993
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
National Institute of Pension Administrators (Spokane Chapter)At Long Last, the Final 403(b) Regulations2008
Women's Business CenterChoice of Entity Consideratons for Small Business Owners2005
Spokane Estate Planning CouncilFiduciary Duties: Fiduciaries Around Every Corner2005
Management of Medical Records in WashingtonAdvanced Directives Under the New Privacy Rules2005
Gonzaga Non-Profit Board TrainingLiability and Legal Issues of Non-Profit Board of Directors, Officers and Others, Non-Profit Board Development2005
Business Professionals of Spokane LuncheonTax Update - Employee Benefits2005
SHRM Employment Law SeminarFSA / HRA / HSA2004
SHRM Employment Law SeminarPension and Benefits Recent Developments2004
SHRM Employment Law SeminarThe Legal Landscape of Administering Your Benefit Program2004
Cafeteria Plan SeminarSection 125 Cafeterial Plans - Legal Definitions and Compliance Requirements2004
WA Women's Lawyers Tax CLEQualified Plan Update: Roth versus Traditional Retirement Accounts2003
Dentist Association SeminarBusiness Transition Planning2003
Certified Financial Planner ClassEmployee Benefits Section of CFP Certification Court2003
Cafeteria Plan SeminarSection 125 Cafeteria Plans - Legal Definitions and Compliance Requirements2003
B&O Tax SeminarWashington State Business & Occupation Tax2003
Advanced DirectivesHealth Talk - Advanced Directive2003
Lorman Health Law Seminar - HIPPAA Practical Guide to Compliance Under The HIPPA Security Regulations2002
HIPPA Seminar at CHASA Practical Guide to Compliance Under The HIPPA Security Regulations2002