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Christopher “Chris” McMican has extensive experience in all aspects of employee benefits law. He focuses on assisting and advising employers with such issues as compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), retirement plans, health and welfare plans, executive compensation, fiduciary matters, phantom and equity plans, stock options, and all elements of the compensation package as well as corporate matters. Preparing plans and working with clients on documentary compliance and plan operational issues, including those related to changes in the law, are central to his practice.

Chris has led the employee benefits portion of a $550 million international corporate transaction as well as various other transactions allowing clients to acquire or divest entities and divisions. He has also contributed to text publications on various aspects of employee benefits law and is experienced with union activity and the impact of collective bargaining on employee benefits.

Qualified Retirement Plans

His practice includes implementing, drafting, amending, and providing advice with respect to all sizes and types of plans, including defined contribution plans, traditional defined benefit pension plans, money purchase pension plans, cash balance plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), church plans, and various hybrid-style plans.

Standard Compliance Issues

Chris spends significant time with discrimination testing of retirement plans, controlled group issues, the IRS determination letter process, and qualified domestic relations orders. He is often involved in corporate transactions and multi-employer withdrawal liability cases with respect to union-sponsored plans.

Executive Compensation

Chris counsels clients regarding various elements of the pay package and represents employees and employers in matters involving executive compensation arrangements, stock options, nonqualified salary deferrals, incentive plans, phantom stock plans, employment agreements, change-in-control agreements, supplemental executive retirement plans, top-hat plans, rabbi trusts, and plans utilizing life insurance.

Health and Welfare Plans

Chris’s practice involves medical plans (including insured plans and self-insured plans with stop-loss coverage), “wrap” plans, cafeteria plans, VEBAs, wellness plans, health reimbursement arrangements, health savings accounts, multiple employer welfare arrangements, flexible spending arrangements, dependent care assistance plans, and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). He also provides advice with respect to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).


L.L.M., University of Florida Levin College of Law, Gainesville, Florida, 1995, Taxation
J.D./M.B.A., University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Detroit, Michigan, 1994
B.S., University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Michigan, 1991


Named 2024 Top Lawyer by DBusiness

Named among “Leaders in Their Field,” Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation by Chambers USA (2007-2023)

Named among The Best Lawyers in America® for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (2007-2022)

Selected to the Michigan Super Lawyers for Employee Benefits/ERISA (2009-2013, 2015-2016, 2018-2021)

Named a Leading Lawyer in Detroit by Leading Lawyers℠ (2021-2024)

Named a Leading Lawyer in Chicago by Leading Lawyers℠ (2014-2024)

DBusiness Magazine “Top Attorney,” Employee Benefits Law (2010, 2011, 2013-2017)

Nationally recommended by The Legal 500 United States for Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation, and Retirement Plans: Design (2017, 2019-2021)


American Bar Association, Tax Section, Employee Benefits Committee

The Detroit Deferred Compensation Group

The ESOP Association

The Michigan Employee Benefits Conference

The National Association of Health Underwriters

Oakland County Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee

State Bar of Michigan, Taxation Section

University of Florida Alumni Association

State Bar Licenses

Illinois, Michigan

Court Admissions

U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Illinois
U.S. Tax Court


  • Required Safety Guidelines for Reopening Michigan Companies (May 19, 2020)
  • Michigan Joins Growing Lists of States Ordering Citizens to Stay Indoors (March 24, 2020)
  • DOL Issues Groundbreaking Fiduciary Investment Rules (April 7, 2016)
  • 2015 Affordable Care Act Form 1094 and 1095 Deadlines Extended (December 30, 2015)
  • SCOTUS: Timeliness of Fiduciary Breach Claim May Depend on Alleged Failure to Monitor Selection of Investment Options (May 18, 2015)
  • Restatement Required to Preserve Tax-Qualified Status of Retirement Plans (January 14, 2009)
  • It’s Almost Here…The Deferred Compensation Deadline is Coming Soon (September 30, 2008)