Michael Falk is a partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Michael advises clients in connection with qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, executive and equity compensation, Code Section 409A, Code Section 280G, and the compensation aspects of mergers and acquisitions. His experience includes assisting clients with the design and implementation of defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, and equity/incentive compensation vehicles.

Michael has been praised by clients for his ability to “explain complex issues in a simple and straightforward manner” and for being “extremely thorough and very attentive to detail” in Chambers USA in 2016.

Since 2013, he has been recognized as a leading lawyer for employee benefits and executive compensation in The Legal 500 U.S. Clients describe Michael as an “experienced employee benefits attorney who understands clients with no-nonsense” and a “tremendously practical lawyer with good business sense” that has the “technical knowledge of executive compensation issues [that] is incomparable.”

He is an adjunct professor of law at Northwestern University Law School, where he teaches Executive Compensation Law. Michael is a frequent speaker and author on a variety of executive compensation and employee benefits topics. His speaking engagements include several presentations to the National Association for Stock Plan Professionals (NASPP), American Benefits Council and Worldwide Employee Benefits (WEB) Network.


Thought Leadership


Author, “Practical Guide to Code Section 409A,” CCH Inc., 2012

Michael’s articles have been published by The National Center for Employee Ownership, the New York University 59th Institute on Federal Taxation and several other industry publications.


Michael has been recognized in the field of employee benefits and executive compensation/ERISA by Chambers USA, Illinois Super Lawyers and The Legal 500 U.S. Clients describe him as “top notch” and recognize his ability to “get deals done while protecting interests of his clients” (The Legal 500 U.S., 2015).


Admissions & Qualifications

  • Illinois


  • University of Illinois College of LawJ.D.magna cum laude1998
  • Northwestern UniversityB.A., Philosophy1994