Belinda S. Morgan

Partner

Overview

Belinda S. Morgan is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. She focuses her practice on employee benefits, executive compensation and ERISA issues. She is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation and Labor & Employment Practices.

Ms. Morgan has significant experience advising private and public employers in the design and administration of traditional defined benefit pension, profit-sharing and Code section 401(k) plans; Code section 403(b) tax-deferred annuity plans; and Code section 457(b) and 457(f) nonqualified deferred compensation plans for tax-exempt employers. Ms. Morgan also assists employers with matters related to health and welfare benefit plans, such as issues related to COBRA continuation coverage, the provision of fringe benefits, and the application of the new health care reform laws.

Ms. Morgan counsels employers on their executive compensation programs, (including non-qualified deferred compensation plans, severance plans, and employee stock option plans), often advising employers regarding compliance with the requirements of Code section 409A. In addition, she frequently advises clients on employee benefits and compensation issues arising in merger and acquisition transactions.

Education

Ms. Morgan received her law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law (J.D., summa cum laude, 2000), where she was awarded the Order of the Coif, and was an associate editor and business manager of the University of Illinois Law Review. Ms. Morgan holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and an associate’s degree in technical graphics from Purdue University.

Professional Memberships

Ms. Morgan is a member of the American Bar Association Employee Benefits Section, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.

Publications and Presentations

Ms. Morgan has authored or co-authored numerous articles regarding recent developments in employee benefits and ERISA law. She is also a frequent speaker on Foley’s Employee Benefits Broadcasts, a series of web conferences that provide participants with knowledgeable insights on noteworthy employee benefits topics.

Representative Matters

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Foley represented Guggenheim Baseball Management in its acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking the single largest transaction ever for a professional sports franchise. The new ownership group is led by Mark Walter, Chief Executive Officer of Guggenheim Partners, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Peter Guber, and Stan Kasten, the former president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals, among others. The transaction, valued at over $2 billion, closed as of April 30, 2012, per an agreement between owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball (MLB) that was approved by the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, with funding occurring on May 1, 2012. This complex transaction was a unique and highly competitive sale process and tight timeline that required closing within 30 days of being selected as the winning bidder and special consideration to matters related to mergers and acquisitions, tax, bankruptcy, financing, real estate and land use, and media rights, among other areas. Overall, more than 60 Foley attorneys from 11 offices and 12 different practice groups assisted on the transaction, demonstrating both the breadth and depth of Foley’s capabilities in assisting clients to navigate such complex and high-profile transactions. The Dodgers transaction follows on the heels of Foley's successful recent representations of Wayne Weaver in his sale of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Rangers Baseball Express LLC in its acquisition of the Texas Rangers, and the Ricketts Family in its acquisition of the Chicago Cubs, which previously held the record price for an MLB franchise sale at $845 million.
Foley represents the owner of an NBA team, in its internal reorganization aimed at separating non-sports entertainment properties from the NBA-related holdings. The restructuring and reorganization involves a unique structure and an understanding of the NBA’s revenue sharing rules. Foley’s experience understanding the NBA’s regulations, as well as our clients’ expectations has been instrumental in overcoming challenges pertaining to the matter. Foley is also helping this organization explore options for renovations to modernize their sports arena and find solutions for gaining public support of a renovation project.
Represent auto dealership for the dealership agreements, asset purchase agreements, franchise agreements and financing as well as real estate acquisition and development.