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Don heads the Compensation & Employment Group of the Firm, concentrating his practice in executive compensation and employee benefits. He served as in-house tax and benefits counsel at an asset management company with more than $180 billion under management. Prior to joining the Firm, Don practiced at one of the nation’s largest law firms. Don offers our clients more than 25 years of experience dealing with complex compensation matters.

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 (stock options, stock appreciation rights, stock units, restricted stock, etc.) 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.

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 has recently spent considerable time advising clients about the requirements of Code Section 409A and the executive compensation restrictions contained in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

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

Professional & Community Activities

  • Selected, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, The Best Lawyers in America© (2017-2019)
  • Selected, Illinois Super Lawyers (2013-2015, 2018)
  • Member, American Bar Association, Tax Section, Executive Compensation Subcommittee
  • Member, National Association of Stock Plan Professionals

Articles & Publications



J.D., University of Kansas School of Law, 1986

B.A., University of Illinois - Urbana, 1983, Dean's List

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State of Illinois
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