"Debra is excellent - a leading expert in benefits and very good in M&A deals. She is able to provide a lot of perspective and helps think of creative solutions to get us to the results we want while maintaining compliance with the various laws that impact benefits." 
Chambers USA


Debra Hoffman has practiced in the employee benefit and executive compensation area for over 30 years and had significant depth and breadth in all relevant areas, both in the domestic and international context. Her practice focuses exclusively in the areas of employee benefit plans and executive compensation and she advises both public and private clients daily with respect to on-going benefits and executive compensation matters, such as issues relating to employment agreements, equity and equity-based arrangements (including for LLCs and non-corporate entities), deferred compensation arrangements (including application of Code Section 409A), bonus and incentive arrangements (including application of Code Section 162(m)), severance agreements, change in control/golden parachute issues, governmental audits, pension de-risking, and compliance issues (including the IRS and DOL voluntary compliance submissions). Debra also advises creditors and debtors in connection with various types of financing structures, bankruptcy and reorganizations. In addition, Debra has extensive expertise with respect to issues arise in the context of corporate transactions, including divestures, acquisitions, mergers, spin-offs, and initial public offerings.

Debra has served as the practice leader of Mayer Brown's US Employment & Benefits group for several terms. She has been recognized by Chambers (2010-2021) as being "very levelheaded,” “is very responsive”, and “gives plain English, business-minded advice.” In addition to Chambers, Debbie has been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America, a Best Lawyer in Illinois, and a Super Lawyer for several consecutive years.

Lenguajes Hablados

  • English


DePaul University College of Law, JD, with honors
DePaul University Law Review

Ripon College, BA, cum laude



  • Illinois


  • US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


  • American Bar Association