Kathleen O'Connor Adams



As a former consultant in the employee benefits field, Kathleen O’Connor Adams brings niche experience to the counsel she provides to taxable and tax-exempt entities on a broad range of employee benefits issues. She works with employers on matters related to tax-qualified retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, and profit-sharing plans), 403(b) plans, nonqualified retirement plans for management and key employees, health and welfare benefits, and executive compensation.

Kathleen also advises on ERISA governance issues, assists with operational failures under both qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, provides fiduciary training for plan committee members, and advises on new plan design opportunities. In addition, she drafts plan documents, amendments, summary plan descriptions, and other participant communications.

Compliance and Audit Experience

Kathleen understands all aspects of day-to-day compliance issues involving benefit plans and advises clients on maintaining compliance with evolving regulatory changes. She also counsels clients in making any necessary corrections for compliance failures, including under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program. She also assists clients in responding to and resolving DOL and IRS audits.

Mergers and Acquisitions Counsel

Kathleen counsels clients on employee benefits issues in the context of corporate mergers and acquisitions, and provides advice on post-transaction benefits structures and integration.

Previous Experience

Kathleen is a certified public accountant. Prior to joining the firm, she worked in the employee benefits field as a senior consultant at Ernst & Young LLP.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


DePaul University College of Law
J.D. (1999)

Drake University
B.S.B.A. (1994)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives

Firm Blog Contributions

  • Spotlight on Benefits – a blog offering practical insight on legal developments which impact benefit plans
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