CHICAGO (June 3, 2016) – Carrie E. Byrnes has joined the Chicago office of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP as a partner in the firm’s Employee Benefits Group.
Byrnes concentrates her practice in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation law, with a particular focus on matters involving qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans, pensions, cash balance plans, IRAs, nonqualified retirement plans, welfare benefit plans, fringe benefit plans, employment and severance agreements, incentive plans, deferred compensation plans and equity-based compensation arrangements; the management and investment of employee benefit plan assets; and health care reform compliance. She has also worked in performing fiduciary audits to proactively avoid missteps and ensure legal compliance with benefit plan documentation and operation. While the majority of her practice spans regulatory counseling on benefits and compensation laws, Byrnes devotes a substantial portion of her practice to advising on and supporting in the defense of lawsuits, particularly class actions, brought against employers, plan fiduciaries and third-party administrators alleging violations of ERISA and/or related benefit laws.
“Carrie Byrnes is a wonderful addition to our Chicago office and our Employee Benefits Group,” says Kerryann Haase Minton, Managing Partner of Michael Best’s Chicago office. “She further demonstrates our plan for smart, sustained growth in our Chicago office by selecting motivated, intelligent and knowledgeable attorneys who understand our philosophy of partnering with our clients to provide business solutions rather than just simply legal answers.”
Prior to joining Michael Best, Byrnes spent 10 years with an Am Law 100 firm, serving as the lead Chicago benefits partner. During law school, she worked for the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, where she focused on fiduciary correction matters. Byrnes also serves as an adjunct faculty member and alumni liaison at The John Marshall Law School Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits.
“We are excited to welcome Carrie to our growing employee benefits practice,” says Jorge Leon, a partner in the Employee Benefits Group of Michael Best’s Chicago office. “Carrie’s strong and diverse benefits expertise will immediately enhance the employee benefits services we provide. All of this, coupled with her drive and proven commitment to client service, make her an exceptional addition to the Michael Best team.”
Byrnes earned her LL.M and J.D., summa cum laude, from The John Marshall Law School in 2006 and B.S., with highest honors, from the University of Illinois in 2003. She is an active member of Capital Strategies Women Forum. She also sits on the QDRO review panel for Metropolitan Family Services Legal Aid Society.