Casey D. Knapp partners with complex and sophisticated clients to provide business-focused, strategic advice related to the design and implementation of competitive executive compensation and employee benefit programs.
Casey has extensive experience advising clients on equity incentive plans, navigating Code Section 409A issues, negotiating executive employment agreements, structuring stay and retention bonuses, and advising companies on executive compensation issues in the context of change in control transactions. Casey also provides strategic counseling on complex 401(k) plan issues, including advice related to implementing student loan matching contribution programs, integrating plans following a change in control transaction, addressing issues specific to private equity portfolio companies, and complying with evolving IRS and DOL correction programs.
Her clients regularly remark that they appreciate Casey’s practical, creative, and business-focused approach.
Casey’s work in the executive compensation area includes assisting clients with the design and implementation of equity incentive plans, phantom stock plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, and executive employment and severance agreements. She also regularly advises clients on the application of applicable tax rules, including Internal Revenue Code sections 409A and 280G.
Representative Experience: Last year, Casey counseled more than 100 privately held companies on the strategic design and implementation of their equity incentive arrangements, phantom stock plans, sophisticated bonus plans, and executive employment agreements. Most of this work has been for private equity portfolio companies in various industries.
Casey’s work with qualified retirement plans includes assisting clients with the design and implementation of 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, and pension plans. She frequently advises clients about compliance with Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) rules, Internal Revenue Code rules, the Internal Revenue Service’s and Department of Labor’s formal and informal correction programs, and tax consequences of contributions to and distributions from employer-sponsored retirement plans.
Representative Experience: Casey provides continuing, year-after-year employee benefits support to multiple members of the Fortune 50. As part of this work, she provides ongoing weekly support to an aerospace industry client that sponsors one of the largest 401(k) plans in the United States.
In addition to her traditional executive compensation and employee benefits work, Casey frequently works with members of the firm’s Transactions Practice to advise clients on the executive compensation and employee benefits issues arising in mergers and acquisitions. Casey also provides transactional support directly to clients and other law firms that are based outside of the United States or do not have robust executive compensation and employee benefits teams.
Awards and Recognition
- Recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Lawyer (2023)
- Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (2023 and 2024)
- Honored as one of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award recipients (2016)
- American Bar Association
- Wisconsin Bar Association
- Milwaukee Bar Association
- Casey contributes significant pro bono hours each year to the Milwaukee and Wisconsin communities through her participation in the Wills for Heroes program and other pro bono opportunities.
- Past Chairwoman of the board of directors of Centro Legal, a nonprofit legal services organization that provides important resources for families and survivors of domestic abuse in the Milwaukee Community.