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Lawyers

Mary Claire Chesshire
Partner
7 Saint Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202-1636
Phone: 410.347.9465
Fax: 410.234.2309
mchesshire@wtplaw.com
Awards

Ms. Chesshire advises for-profit, nonprofit and governmental entities in all aspects of employee benefits law. Clients served range from sole proprietorships to state governments, and include clients in both established and start up and emerging  businesses.  Ms. Chesshire’s experience includes more than thirty years of service to clients in the employee benefits industry.

Employee Benefits/ERISA

Tax-qualified retirement plan design and advice - for profit, not-for-profit and state and local government employers

Review of third party administrator prototype retirement plan documents

Preparation and review of employee communications pertaining to retirement and welfare benefit plans 

Advice to parties in merger, acquisition and other business transactions regarding employee benefit plan issues

Welfare benefit plan design, advice and drafting

Preparation and review of qualified domestic relations orders

Analysis of potential prohibited transaction issues involving retirement and welfare benefit plan assets 

Preparation of trust documents to fund other post-employment benefits for local governments

Negotiation of service agreements with third party administrators

Health Care Plans

Federal and state COBRA compliance pertaining to continuation of employer-provided health care benefits

Welfare benefit plan design, advice and drafting

ERISA Compliance

Advice to retirement and welfare plan sponsors in all aspects of ERISA compliance

Representation of retirement plan sponsors in connection with Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor audits

Representation of retirement plan sponsors in connection with Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor correction programs

Successful negotiation of agency penalty reductions 

Interaction with outside auditors of retirement plan financial statements

Executive Compensation

Design and drafting of nonqualified deferred compensation plans

Section 409A compliance

Nonprofit Organizations and Associations

Tax-qualified retirement plan design and advice

Section 403(b) and 457 plan design and drafting

Compensation and benefit analysis for avoidance of intermediate sanctions

Employment Issues in Higher Education

Retirement, welfare and deferred compensation planning and advice

Compensation and benefit analysis for avoidance of intermediate sanctions

Business & Corporate Law

Advice to parties in merger, acquisition and other business transactions regarding employee benefit plan issues

Recognitions

Listed in Baltimore's Legal Elite, 2010 - Baltimore SmartCEO Magazine

Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, published by Chambers and Partners, 2006-present

Listed in Maryland Super Lawyers, 2007-present

Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2007-present

Named "Top Lawyer: The Next Generation," Baltimore Magazine, April 2003

Publications & Presentations

Presenter:  2013 Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants Government and Nonprofit Conference

Presenter:  Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Employment Law Update

Presenter:  Maryland Government Finance Officers Association Summer Meeting

Lecturer:  Stevenson University Paralegal Program (1995-1998)

Volunteer Trainer: Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations

Memberships & Activities

Bar & Professional Associations

Member:  Maryland State Bar Association

Member:  Bar Association of Baltimore City

Member:  National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (1993 - 2016)

Boards & Community Service

Member: Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, Stevenson University (2003-2015)

Member and Secretary: Baltimore Chapter, EWGA (formerly, Executive Women’s Golf Association) (2000 – 2002)

Graduate: Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership Program (2007)

Education

  • University of Baltimore School of Law (J.D. 1993) cum laude
  • Johns Hopkins University (B.S. 1989)