Kathy Shaw

Clients value Kathy Shaw for her empathetic approach and collaborative mindset, treating colleagues and clients as integral parts of a team. She consistently includes coworkers and clients in the problem-solving process. Kathy's extensive experience, combined with her practical and client-centric focus, makes Kathy a valuable ally in navigating the intricate landscape of employee benefits law.

With more than two decades of legal experience, Kathy Shaw provides legal counsel on a wide range of employee benefits and executive compensation matters. One of Kathy's core strengths is her ability to offer practical solutions and help clients navigate the complexities of IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) audit requests and compliance reviews. With her history of serving as in-house counsel at two Fortune 500 companies, Kathy has a unique perspective on the internal challenges that clients often face. This experience enhances her capability to represent all types of companies, particularly small to mid-size employers, across various industries.

Kathy prepares, amends and solves problems under:

  • Qualified retirement and non-qualified deferred compensation plans
  • Stock and phantom equity award plans
  • Health and welfare plans

She is adept at answering compliance questions, handling government compliance filings, and resolving benefits issues in mergers and acquisitions. Kathy negotiates and drafts human resources provisions in corporate transactions and advises executives as they negotiate compensation as part of employment and separation agreements.

Before joining Lathrop GPM, Kathy was a partner at a prominent firm in the Greater Chicago area. In 2022, she earned the Executive Compensation: Strategies and Frameworks certification at The Wharton School Aresty Institute of Executive Education. One notable example of her work includes representing a client before the IRS in a multi-year correction program involving complex errors from a prior profit-sharing plan service provider.


Why did you become a lawyer?

I became a lawyer because I enjoy intellectual challenges.

What do you do outside of work?

I spend a lot of time with my husband, son and daughter. I play pickleball and do a lot of yoga.


  • Presenter, "Benefits Update," Lathrop GPM 2023 Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 24, 2023 (Minneapolis)
  • Presenter, "Severance Arrangements: Deferred Compensation and ERISA Issues," Lathrop GPM 2023 Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 5, 2023 (Kansas City); October 24, 2023 (Minneapolis)



  • National Law Review, "Go-To Thought Leadership Award," COBRA Subsidy Updates Under the American Rescue Plan Act, 2021
Photo of Kathy  Shaw
  • Chicago

    155 North Wacker Drive
    Suite 3800
    Chicago, IL 60606-1787


Jackie Baker

Court Memberships

  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin


University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1994

  • Journal of Law Reform

Tulane University, B.S., Psychology, summa cum laude, 1991

  • Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society