Benjamin Panter
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Benjamin D. Panter

Member; Chair, Executive Compensation and Governance

EMAIL bpanter@mcdonaldhopkins.com

PHONE 312.642.4087

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Ben is the Chair of the Executive Compensation and Governance Practice Group and advises clients across a broad spectrum of industries on executive compensation and employment law issues that arise from public and private M&A and private equity transactions, restructurings, debt and equity financings, and IPOs. He has an active practice representing compensation committees, companies, and senior executives in the negotiation and structuring of executive employment and severance agreements. He frequently represents management teams in private equity deals and other M&A transactions.

Ben also provides ongoing counsel to public and private companies, compensation committees, and executives with respect to day-to-day executive compensation and employment law matters, including corporate governance and best practices, executive compensation plan design, employment, severance and change in control agreements, restrictive covenant enforcement, and equity incentive compensation arrangements, as well as advising on related regulatory, securities, tax, and public disclosures, including IRC Sections 409A, 280G, and 162(m), Item 402, and Dodd-Frank.

Ben is an adjunct professor teaching executive compensation law at a Chicago area law school, and was formerly a partner in the Executive Compensation Practice Group at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Ben earned a J.D., with high honors, Order of the Coif, from Chicago-Kent College of Law (IIT), and a LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law. He received a B.S. in Finance, cum laude, and a B.A. in Spanish, cum laude, from Miami University.  


Admissions - State

  • Illinois
  • New York


  • New York University School of Law
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Miami University

Honors and Awards

  • Selected for inclusion in Illinois Rising Stars (2014 and 2015) and New York Rising Stars (2011-2013)
  • Law Bulletin Publishing Company's Emerging Lawyer: Employee Benefits Law
  • Chicago-Kent Law Review
  • Bar and Gavel Society


Speaking Engagements

  • "Founder Considerations for Start-ups," workshop, December 16, 2015
  • "Executive Employment Agreements and Change in Control Arrangements," Strafford webinar, October 13, 2015
  • "Employee Severance Agreements and Section 409A Deferred Compensation: Withstanding Heightened IRS Scrutiny," Strafford webinar, July 23, 2015