Press Release

Cooley Expands Compensation & Benefits Capabilities With Hire of Top Attorney in Chicago

April 17, 2023

Chicago – April 17, 2023 – Steve Flores has joined Cooley’s Chicago office as a partner in the compensation & benefits (C&B) practice. Flores arrives from Winston & Strawn, where he was a partner focusing on a broad range of complex executive compensation and employee benefits matters. In addition to his deep substantive knowledge, Flores is a recognized leader on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in the workplace and in his community.

“Steve’s deep background in advising a wide range of corporate stakeholders – from business executives to legal departments, human resources leaders and plan fiduciaries – is a tremendous asset to the firm’s leading C&B practice and expansive client platform,” said Sonya Erickson, global chair of Cooley’s business department. “We are delighted to welcome Steve as the latest addition to our growing team in Chicago.”

Flores brings more than 15 years of experience advising on employee benefits and executive compensation arrangements in mergers & acquisitions, restructurings and lending transactions. He has extensive experience advising clients on the full spectrum of employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements, from counseling employers and plan fiduciaries on Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) responsibilities and establishing appropriate governance frameworks to assisting with the design, implementation and termination of a wide array of benefit plans and compensatory arrangements. He also advises on legal compliance with ERISA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Internal Revenue Code, the Affordable Care Act and securities laws as they relate to such plans and arrangements. In addition, he assists employers with government audits and represents buyers and sellers in stock and asset sales with respect to all aspects of executive compensation, workforce management, employee benefits matters and beyond.  

“Steve is a fantastic lawyer whose diverse experience will bolster our ability to advise our ever-expanding client base on their most critical compensation and benefits challenges,” said Amy Wood, chair of Cooley’s compensation & benefits practice. “We are delighted he has joined our team.”

“Cooley’s C&B practice is known for its ability to balance technical subject matter expertise with a practical, business-minded approach, and I am thrilled to join the incredibly talented team,” said Flores. “Between the firm’s remarkable track record, highly inclusive and collaborative culture, and unwavering commitment to DEI – I can’t think of a better platform to grow my practice.”

Flores is a well-known leader on DEI issues. He previously served on Winston’s diversity committee and founded the firm’s Latinx affinity group, along with serving in various roles with local and national bar organizations – including the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms (Chicago Committee), Hispanic National Bar Association and Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. Flores also is a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity fellow and a Chicago United Business Leader of Color.

Cooley’s C&B practice unites the tax, corporate, labor/employment and securities law know-how necessary for the design, implementation and disclosure of complex compensation and benefits programs. The practice has wide-ranging experience across all aspects of compensation and benefits – from offering creative solutions to evolving startups and emerging growth companies to serving as trusted boardroom advisers to large public companies and their compensation committees on matters of executive and equity compensation, disclosure issues, shareholder relations and more.

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