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 has been recognized as a leader in her field by Illinois Super Lawyer (2017) and by Chambers USA (2018). Recently, she was named one of 2017’s most “Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago” by Crain’s 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 (as well as the upcoming 2018 Fourth Annual Global Pensions Conference in D.C.).

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 roll out of worldwide compensation programs designed to mirror US compensation arrangements.

Professional Honors

  • Individual ranking of Band 1, Chambers Illinois Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits & Compensation, 2017
  • Leading Lawyer in Employee Benefits, Illinois Super Lawyer, 2015 - 2017
  • “Lawyer of the Year” in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, The Best Lawyers 2016-2017
  • Best Lawyer in Employment Law Management, The Best Lawyers 2016
  • Named as one of the most “Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago”, Crain’s Chicago, 2017

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