M'Alyssa Mecenas

M'Alyssa Mecenas

Baker & McKenzie LLP


M'Alyssa Mecenas is a senior associate in Baker McKenzie’s Los Angeles office and is a member of the Firm’s Employment and Compensation practice. She has practiced employee benefits and executive compensation law for over a decade. For 10 consecutive years, she has been ranked as a Rising Star in Southern California by Super Lawyers.

Practice Focus

M'Alyssa counsels buyers and sellers in the employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of international and domestic transactions, which have been valued from about USD 50 million to USD 8 billion. She advises clients in the design, implementation, amendment, operation, and termination of various retirement, health, incentive, and welfare plans.

Previously, she has litigated both single-plaintiff and class action cases under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and has prepared successful dispositive motions before federal courts.

M'Alyssa is a member of the State Bar of California. She is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Central District Court of California, the Northern District Court of California, and the Southern District Court of California.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Represented Lyra Health in its acquisition of ICAS World.

Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, M'Alyssa handled the following matters:

  • Samsung Electronics in its USD 8 billion all-cash acquisition of Harman International Industries, Inc., Samsung's largest-ever acquisition and the largest Korean outbound M&A transaction on record

  • Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. in its USD 7.1 billion acquisition of Smithfield Foods, Inc.

  • Brocade Communication Systems in its USD 1.5 billion exchange offer for Ruckus Wireless

  • Romeo Systems, Inc. in its USD 1.33 billion merger with RMG Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company

  • General Electric in its USD 1.05 billion all-cash sale of the company's revenue-cycle, ambulatory care and workforce management software unit to private equity firm Veritas Capital

  • HYBE Corp. (formerly Big Hit Entertainment) in its USD 1 billion acquisition of media company Ithaca Holdings

  • Viacom in its USD 340 million acquisition of Pluto TV

  • Walmart in its sale of Vudu, an on-demand streaming service, to Fandango

  • Vector Capital Management, the private equity backer of Saba Software, in connection with Saba Software's USD 223 million acquisition of Halogen Software

M'Alyssa also has published litigation victories in:

  • Dwyer v. AT&T Pension Benefit Plan-Nonbargained Program (N.D. Cal. 2011): Successfully moved to dismiss a participant's claim for additional benefits

  • Barnes v. AT&T Pension Benefit Plan-Nonbargained Program (N.D. Cal. 2012): Obtained summary judgment in the plan's favor with respect to a participant's substantive claims for additional benefits, affirmed by Barnes v. AT&T Pension Benefit Plan-Nonbargained Program (9th Cir. 2015)

  • Koblentz v. UPS Flexible Employee Benefit Plan (S.D. Cal. 2013): Won a motion to dismiss a plan participant's claim for benefits

  • Care First Surgical Center v. ILWU-PMA Welfare Plan (C.D. Cal. 2014): Successfully moved to dismiss a provider's claims for plan benefits

  • Brand Tarzana Surgical Institute, Inc. v. ILWU-PMA Welfare Plan (C.D. Cal. 2016): Won summary judgment in the plan's favor on a provider's claim for over USD 3.3 million in alleged plan benefits

Professional Honors

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star in Employee Benefits, Super Lawyers, 2013 - 2023
  • Listed as a top attorney in Southern California, Los Angeles Magazine, 2013 - 2021
  • Recognized as a top dealmaker, The Daily Journal, 2016
  • Recipient, University of Southern California Widney Alumni House Volunteer Award, 2015
  • Academy Fellow, National Employment Law Council, 2012 - 2014

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Board of Directors, APLA Health (2020 - present)
  • National Employment Law Council (2014 - present)
  • Employee Benefits Committee, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law (2011 - present)
  • Board of Governors, University of Southern California (2016 - 2017)
  • Board of Directors, USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association (Director, 2014 - 2016, President, 2016 - 2017)
  • Member - National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (NASPP)
  • Member - Global Equity Organization (GEO)


  • California~United States (2010)


  • University of California, Berkeley (JD, Articles Editor of California Law Review, Executive Editor of Berkeley Business Law Journal, Treasurer in Filipino American Law Society, McBaine Honors Moot Court Competition, Advocacy Award) (2010)
  • University of Southern California (BA English, cum laude, English Department Honors, USC Presidential Scholar, National Merit Scholar, Virginia C. Middleton Creative Writing Prize for best short fiction) (2007)


  • English
  • Contributing Author, Employee Benefits Law, Fourth Edition and Cumulative Supplements to the Third Edition, (annual updates to the leading treatise on employee benefits law), 2013 - 2018
  • Co-author, "9th Circuit Says It's Too Late to Quibble in Tibble ERISA Case," Daily Journal, 2016
  • Co-author, "Health Care Reform Reporting Is Coming: Is Your Company Prepared?" Employee Benefit Plan Review, 2016
  • Contributing Author, "Employee Benefits Issues," Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in the Workplace: A Practical Guide (BNA), 2014
  • Co-author, "Supreme Court Declares That Plan Terms Trump Equity," Employee Benefit Plan Review, 2013
  • Co-author, "Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification ("WARN"): Mass Layoffs, Plant Closings, Relocations, and Terminations," California Business Law Deskbook, 2012 and 2013 Eds.