Connect with Ben
- Connect on LinkedIn
"As one of the country’s top executive compensation attorneys, I have designed and implemented dozens of executive compensation programs for companies across the private equity, venture capital and publicly traded sectors. I also have an active practice representing individual executives and management teams in connection with their employment and compensation arrangements, having negotiated hundreds of executive compensation employment, separation and sale transactions. I am a business-minded, practical attorney who understands the importance of balancing legal protections with closing a deal."
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.
In 2019, Ben and fellow McDonald Hopkins attorney Jordan Koss authored the sixth chapter of the 2019 Employment Law Update edited by Henry H. Perritt Jr., "Founders: Employees or Owners."
Admissions - State
- 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 (2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016) 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
Cryptocurrency: A new frontier (and trap) for employee incentives
These SARs are not contagious: A summary of stock appreciation rights
Executive pay coming to a town near you
Private equity management team deals: An overview
The basics of profits interests
Beware of the phantom...equity
"ARM" yourself to attract, retain and motivate
IRS sounds off on data breaches
What Matters Most to Investors?
Ben Panter featured in Chicago Tribune's "Shout Out"
Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky discusses growing as a female executive with McDonald Hopkins panel
MH Business Exchange Episode 8 helps executives understand compensation during employment negotiation
McDonald Hopkins holds event on exit strategies for company founders
- “Equity Compensation for the Modern Workforce,” Chapter 4 in the 2018 Employment Law Update (Perritt)
- ‘‘Options’’ for Early Stage Companies: Designing the Right Stock Option Program," Bloomberg BNA, May 2015
- "Founders Beware: How a Start-Up Exit May Not Be a ‘Golden’ Opportunity," Bloomberg BNA, October 2015
- "Founders: Employees or Owners," by Benjamin D. Panter and Jordan H. Koss, in 2019 Employment Law Update, ed. Henry H. Perritt, Jr.
- Navigating your growth as a female executive | Tuesday, June 11, 2019
- Attracting and retaining talent in a millennial world | Thursday, March 21, 2019
- Taking Stock of Executive Compensation: Too Much of a Good Thing? | Tuesday, March 19, 2019
- The founder's exit strategy: From beginning to end | Thursday, February 22, 2018
- Structuring Employee Severance Arrangements | Tuesday, July 26, 2016
- Founder Considerations for Start-ups | Wednesday, December 16, 2015
- Equity Compensation at Privately-Owned Companies in 2015 and Beyond | Thursday, May 7, 2015
- "Structuring Management Incentive Equity Arrangements in Private Equity Acquisitions," Strafford Webinars, 2018
- "Founder Considerations for Start-ups," workshop, December 16, 2015
- "Executive Employment Agreements and Change in Control Arrangements," Strafford Webinars, October 13, 2015
- "Employee Severance Agreements and Section 409A Deferred Compensation: Withstanding Heightened IRS Scrutiny," Strafford webinar, July 23, 2015