MARY C. NIEHAUS is a partner in the Chicago office and represents and advises a global clientele in all matters relating to employee benefits, ERISA and executive compensation. She primarily represents large multi-national corporations, private equity firms, international consulting and accounting firms, internet start-ups, manufacturing companies and other employers on issues that arise in corporate transactions and in the design, implementation and administration of qualified and nonqualified retirement, welfare and fringe benefit plans.
Mary has been recognized for outstanding client service in the 17th annual BTI Client Service All-Stars report, an elite group of lawyers whom world-leading corporate counsel recognize as client service leaders. Mary has also been recognized as a leading lawyer in the 2020 and 2021 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, in the 2016–2021 editions of The Best Lawyers of America in the area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) law and in the 2009–2021 editions of Super Lawyers in the area of Employee Benefits.
Mary represents employers, private equity firms and lending institutions with regard to employee benefit and executive compensation matters arising in connection with national and cross-border business transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, spinoffs, initial public offerings, restructurings and commercial loans. She also assists plan sponsors with audits by and disputes with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and assists employers in addressing issues of multiemployer plan withdrawal liability.
In addition, Mary has an extensive practice regarding all types of compensation arrangements, including 401(k) plans, multiemployer plans, pension plans, cafeteria plans and supplemental executive retirement plans. This includes addressing issues of regulatory compliance with ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, including the correction of plan operational defects through the Internal Revenue Service Voluntary Compliance Program and in determining the options that are available to resolve certain failures occurring in tax-qualified plans.
She also regularly counsels clients on general matters regarding human resources, including employment agreements, bonus arrangements, severance plans and agreements, retention programs, employee termination issues and COBRA compliance.