MATTHEW JOHNSON is a co-leader of the firm’s global Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice area. Matthew represents and advises clients in all types of employee benefits and executive compensation matters, with a focus on helping clients recruit, retain and incentivize key talent, including:
- the design and administration of equity-based and other incentive compensation plans, such as stock option, restricted stock, restricted stock unit, phantom stock and employee stock purchase plans, and the treatment of these plans in corporate acquisitions and dispositions;
- the negotiation of executive employment, retention, and separation agreements;
- the design and administration of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans and welfare benefit plans;
- designing and administering supplemental pension, deferred compensation and other benefit plans for executives;
- the employee benefit and executive compensation aspects of corporate transactions (mergers, stock and asset purchase transactions, spin-offs);
- the employee benefit and executive compensation aspects of bankruptcy and other restructuring transactions; and
- tax and other regulatory issues relating to employee benefits and executive compensation (e.g., IRC Sections 280G, 162(m) and 409A).
Matthew regularly lectures and writes on employee benefit and executive compensation matters. He is recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer for Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation in Illinois (2020–2023) and in the 2022 edition, Matthew was described by sources as “simply the best, most practical compensation executive I have ever worked with.” He also has been recently recognized by The Legal 500 US in Labor and Employment: Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, by Who’s Who Legal in Labour, Employment & Benefits, and by The Best Lawyers in America 2015–2021 in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law. Matthew earned a B.B.A. degree in 1986 from the University of Iowa and a Juris Doctor degree, with distinction, in 1989 from the University of Iowa College of Law.