Senior Counsel

Karen F. Grotberg

Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation, Employment & Benefits


Karen has more than 35 years experience as a benefits attorney with a practice that covers a broad array of ERISA, non-ERISA and executive compensation matters. Karen advises clients on establishing, administering and terminating benefit plans, including tax-qualified, non-qualified, pension, welfare and fringe benefit plans of public, private, not-for-profit and governmental employers.  Karen’s practice includes 403(b) plans; ESOPs, stock option and other equity-based plans; QDROs and medical child support orders; top-hat, excess benefit, Section 457 and other deferred compensation arrangements (including Section 409A issues); multiemployer and multiple-employer plans; split-dollar life insurance; rabbi trusts; and employment, consulting and separation agreements.  She has substantial experience as well in areas such as fiduciary responsibility, plan governance, and COBRA.

Karen also provides counsel regarding employee benefits issues that arise in connection with mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, venture capital arrangements, REITs and lending transactions.

Prior to joining Mayer Brown in 2005, Karen was a partner at other law firms in Chicago and Detroit. She also served as Senior Benefits Counsel for Comerica Bank.


  • Kalamazoo College, BA, magna cum laude
    Phi Beta Kappa
  • The University of Chicago, MA
  • Northwestern University School of Law, JD, cum laude
    Northwestern University Law Review


  • Michigan
  • Illinois