Don brings to the table more than 30 years of experience advising companies and executives on best practices in executive and board compensation. Working within the framework of tax, accounting, SEC reporting, and bank regulatory issues, Don helps guide his clients on how best to recruit, incentivize, and retain top talent as well as advise individual executives in their transition into and out of C-Suite positions.

Don is a partner in BFKN’s Compensation & Employment Group (having served as Chairman of the Group from 2004-2019), concentrating his practice in executive compensation and employee benefits.

Don represents entities, individuals, and compensation committees in all stages of the employment process, from negotiating and drafting employment arrangements to separation settlements. Don advises clients on the design and establishment of various types of compensation programs, such as cash and equity based incentive plans and related insider trading (Section 16) issues, employee stock purchase plans, phantom stock plans, retention plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans and related rabbi and secular trusts, director compensation programs, and change-in-control and severance agreements and plans.

Management teams frequently reach out to Don to assist them when their employer is being sold in private equity transactions to help ensure they are represented fairly in the proposed transaction and to help negotiate the terms of new agreements and incentives going forward.

Don has extensive experience providing guidance with CEO succession planning. In advising employers on compensation related matters, Don’s practice also includes protecting company interests with confidentiality and non-competition arrangements and other restrictive covenants.

Don serves on BFKN’s Finance and Benefits Committees. He is a frequent speaker on issues of director and executive compensation with a focus on the financial services industry.



  • State of Illinois


  • University of Kansas School of Law, J.D., 1986
  • University of Illinois - Urbana, B.A., Dean's List, 1983






  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2017-2024)
    • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
  • Super Lawyer, Illinois Super Lawyers (2013-2015, 2019-2024)
  • bl_norman_2024


  • Member, American Bar Association, Tax Section, Executive Compensation Subcommittee
  • Member, National Association of Stock Plan Professionals
Jump to Page

We use cookies on our website to improve functionality and performance, analyze website traffic, and enable social media features. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our use of cookies.