MELISSA MCGRORY represents and advises clients on all types of employee benefits and executive compensation matters, including:
- the design and administration of medical, dental, vision, life, disability, AD&D and other welfare benefit plans maintained for both active employees and retirees, as well as funding vehicles for welfare benefits such as VEBAs and 401(h) accounts;
- the implementation of strategies designed to control health and welfare plan costs, including maintenance of consumer driven healthcare plans and wellness programs, as well as the transition of specified populations to exchanges;
- the negotiation of third-party service agreements for welfare and retirement plan vendors;
- the reduction of litigation risk related to modifications to, or terminations of, retiree medical, retiree life or other retiree welfare arrangements;
- the design and administration of severance and fringe benefit arrangements;
- the design and administration of qualified retirement plans (including the correction of plan operational defects through the Internal Revenue Service Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System);
- the design and administration of non-qualified retirement plans;
- 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;
- drafting and negotiating executive employment, retention and separation agreements;
- designing and administering supplemental pension, deferred compensation and other benefit plans for executives;
- the employee benefit and executive compensation aspects of corporate transactions (mergers and stock and asset purchase transactions);
- tax and other regulatory issues relating to employee benefits and executive compensation (e.g., IRC Sections 162(m) and 409A);
- the structuring of administrative and investment committees of 401(k) and other retirement plans; and
- the establishment of “best practices” procedures for plan fiduciaries.
Melissa has practiced in the employee benefits and executive compensation area for over 20 years, concentrating on the employee benefits and executive compensation matters of large employers. She also has experience representing clients in disputes and negotiations with the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor.
In addition to serving as outside counsel to an array of firm clients, as the primary employee benefits lawyer for the firm’s insurance function, Melissa oversees the welfare and fringe benefits made available to firm partners, associates and staff. Melissa partners with the firm’s insurance department to make recommendations to firm management regarding welfare plan offerings and design. In this role, she sees first-hand that health and welfare benefits drive an ever-increasing portion of employee compensation costs, and recognizes the need to develop a cost-effective health and welfare benefit platform. She also participates in the selection and monitoring of welfare plan vendors. Melissa also serves on the firm’s COVID-19 Task Force.
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. District Court, N.D. of Illinois - General
- Northwestern School of Law, J.D., 1996 (cum laude, Notes and Comment Editor, Northwestern University Law Review)
- University of Iowa, B.A., 1993 (with highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa)