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 as Band 1 by both Chambers USA and Chambers Illinois for 14 consecutive years noting "She is extremely responsive and one of those people who can give you an answer in five or ten minutes and will give you context and practical advice."

She was ranked in 2021 Best Lawyers for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law and Employment Law - Management. She is also named as a Leading Lawyer in Employee Benefits, Illinois Super Lawyers (2006, 2008-2023) She was ranked No. 1 in Top Ten Employee Benefits Lawyers in Illinois for 2018 by Leading Lawyers. She was named "Lawyer of the Year" in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law in The Best Lawyers 2016-2017. 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."

Maura Anna 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 lectures and advises on plan assets issues, including investment fund structuring with respect to employee benefit investors. 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 to the 2022 Illinois Super Lawyers List (a honor for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice)
  • Ranked in 2021 Best Lawyers for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law and Employment Law - Management
  • Leading Lawyer in Employee Benefits, Illinois Super Lawyer (2006, 2008 - 2023)
  • Individual ranking of Band 1, Chambers Illinois Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits & Compensation, 2019-2022
  • Named "Leader in the Field" by both Chambers USA and Chambers Global for 2019
  • Recommended by Legal 500 in Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans: Transactional and Design
  • Ranked No. 1 in Top Ten Employee Benefits Lawyers in Illinois for 2018 by Leading Lawyers
  • 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
  • "Lawyer of the Year" in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, The Best Lawyers 2016-2017

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (NASPP)
  • Global Equity Organization (GEO)

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