Maura Ann McBreen

Maura Ann McBreen

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Maura Ann McBreen is a partner in the Firm’s Chicago office and has over 30 years' experience in executive compensation and employee benefits. Maura Ann is widely recognized as a leading advisor to both C-suite executives and employers on compensation arrangements and has been recognized in her field by both Chambers USA (2019) and Chambers Global (2019) noting she is “renowned in the market for her work on a broad range of employee benefits and executive compensation matters.” She is particularly noted for her deft handling of such issues as part of large corporate transactions. Sources praise her "immediate and substantive advice on highly technical and nuanced issues." She was named one of 2017’s “Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago” by Crain’s Chicago and one of 2018’s “Most Notable Women Lawyers in Chicago.” She was also named Best Lawyers’ Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law “Lawyer of the Year” for both 2016 and 2017 for Chicago. She authors a quarterly column in Corporate Taxation and is a member of its Board of Contributing Editors and Advisors. She was instrumental in launching The Compensation Connection blog and in organizing the Firm’s 2017 Third Annual Global Pensions Conference in Chicago.

Practice Focus

Maura Ann focuses on executive compensation and employee benefits, especially with regard to single employer, multi-employer, and multinational benefits. She addresses operational and fiduciary issues as they arise under tax-qualified retirement plans, including employee stock ownership plans, and leads our global pensions practice. She designs deferred compensation and equity-based incentive compensation plans, advises on issues under Code Sections 162(m), 280G, 409A and 457A and negotiates executive employment agreements. Her experience in handling employee benefits issues in multijurisdictional corporate transactions includes the division of employee benefit liabilities and transfer of plan assets, as well as the negotiation of plan liability provisions in connection with corporate financing agreements.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advises management of a global electronics manufacturer with respect to all executive compensation, employee benefits and executive employment matters, both domestic and global.

  • Represents several pharmaceutical companies with respect to their executive compensation matters, including negotiation of deal covenants and other matters regarding golden parachute agreements, in connection with major acquisitions and divestitures.

  • Represents global companies in connection with the worldwide review of their pension programs and with the roll out of worldwide compensation programs designed to mirror US compensation arrangements.

Professional Honors

  • Named “Leader in the Field” by both Chambers USA and Chambers Global for 2019
  • Individual ranking of Band 1, Chambers Illinois Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits & Compensation, 2019
  • Ranked No. 1 in Top Ten Employee Benefits Lawyers in Illinois for 2018 by Leading Lawyers
  • Leading Lawyer in Employee Benefits, Illinois Super Lawyer, 2015 - 2020
  • “Lawyer of the Year” in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, The Best Lawyers 2016-2017
  • One of the “Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago”, Crain’s Chicago, 2017 and one of the “Most Notable Women Lawyers in Chicago”, Crain’s Chicago, 2018

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association

Corporate Responsibility

  • Member of the Board of Advisors, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Member of the Board of Advisors, The University of St. Mary of the Lake, 2016 - Present
  • Member, The Chicago Network, 2010 - Present
  • Member, International Women’s Forum, 2011 - Present


  • U.S. Tax Court~United States (1992)
  • Illinois~United States (1978)


  • Harvard Law School (JD) (1978)
  • Smith College (AB English cum laude with high honors) (1975)


  • English

The Compensation Connection Blog 

Author, “Compensation and Fringe Benefits,” Thomson Reuters/WG&L, Bi-monthly publication.

Co-author, "Developments in Cross-Border Compensation: Employer Withholding and Reporting Requirements, and Retirement Plan Issues for Mobile Employees," NYU 72nd Institute on Federal Taxation 2014