Santa Clara University


Laura G. Thatcher, Alston & Bird LLP, Partner, Atlanta Office

Laura Thatcher heads Alston & Bird's executive compensation practice. She developed executive compensation as a separate specialty area of the firm’s tax practice in 1995 and now works exclusively in that area. Ms. Thatcher serves as special executive compensation counsel to many U.S. and international publicly traded companies.

Ms. Thatcher co-authored the Compensation Committee Handbook, 3rd edition (John Wiley & Sons, 2007), which serves as a single-source guidebook to executive compensation strategies and practices, addressing a full range of functional issues facing compensation committees of public companies, including organizing, planning, compliance and sound corporate governance.

Ms. Thatcher serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Deferred Compensation (Aspen Publishers) and is the Chair Elect for the Advisory Board of the Certified Equity Professional Institute of Santa Clara University. She previously served as Chair of the Board of Review for a multi-disciplinary initiative spearheaded by the Certified Equity Professional Institute to create and seek public comment on a series of “white-papers” that together will provide universally accepted industry guidance as to areas of risk and appropriate controls in equity compensation. She is listed in Best Lawyers in America and Georgia Super Lawyers, and serves on the Executive Compensation Task Force, which is dedicated to promoting responsible compensation practices.

A frequent speaker and author on topics relating to executive compensation, Ms. Thatcher’s articles and interviews appear in numerous national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, USA Today, the Drudge Report,, the Motley Fool, Directors & Boards, and various publications of the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), including the BNA Corporate Accountability Report, BNA Daily Tax Report, and BNA Executive Compensation Library.

Ms. Thatcher is a director and Chair of the Compensation Committee of Batson-Cook Company, a Southeast regional commercial construction and real estate development company. She received her J.D., with distinction, in 1980 from the Emory University School of Law, and a B.A., cum laude, from Hollins University in 1975. 

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