Michael C. Wieber, Partner


With almost 20 years' experience as in-house counsel with two nationally recognized trustees and plan record keepers, Mike's experience in how and where legal decisions intersect with business objectives add great value for his clients. He is both deliberate and proactive, and this approach yields straightforward, cost-efficient solutions to complex legal issues.

Mike assists employers of all sizes across diverse industry sectors, including publicly traded, tax-exempt and government entities. His clients include HR professionals, business managers, trustees, custodians, third party administrators (TPAs), plan sponsors, investment advisors and record keepers. Mike is also uniquely skilled in working with religious entities, including a diversity of congregations and denominations, religious hospitals, schools, and assisted living facilities, and a Christian theological library.

While in-house, Mike developed a deep understanding of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) from the perspectives of trustees, lenders, record keepers and plan sponsors. He uses these skills to guide individuals who are transitioning their businesses to employees through this unique combination ownership and retirement savings vehicle. Having spent his in-house years at a financial institution, he also understands such entities' "pressure points" in these lending arrangements and how to guide plan sponsors through the complex ESOP tax and fiduciary regulatory landscape. As the legal adviser to that institution's ESOP trustee fiduciary committee, he became well versed in review of valuation reports and trustee fiduciary responsibilities.

Mike also guides clients through the ever-changing landscape of fiduciary investment rules and advises plan sponsors and trustees on fiduciary best practices. He works with third party administrators in ongoing compliance testing and legal aspects of real property dispositions. When disputes do arise, Mike is a seasoned resolution strategist who expertly negotiates and litigates, when necessary, to achieve optimal outcomes for his clients.

Following his return to private practice, Mike has applied his understanding of finance and human resources from a business perspective to guide clients through a variety of Affordable Care Act, COBRA and HIPAA planning and compliance minefields.  He has focused specifically on the impact of the many pieces of COVID legislative and regulatory guidance in counseling clients on these matters.

Serving clients in both an advisory and counseling capacity, Mike assists with the design, implementation, administration and termination of employer plans. While guiding plan sponsors through the technical aspects of plan design and administration, he also ensures each employer's plan is aligned with the overall compensation philosophy of the entity.

Mike is a member of the firm's Employee Benefits Practice Group, with bar admissions in both Wisconsin and Florida.

Specific experience with Employee Benefit Plans and Plan Services:

Plan Types

  • 401(k) and Other Defined Contribution Plans
  • Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Church and Governmental Plans
  • 403(b) Plans
  • 457(b) and (f) Plans
  • Defined Benefit and Cash Balance Plans
  • ESOPs and Employer Stock Plans
  • International Benefits Plans
  • Multi-employer/Taft-Hartley Plans
  • Multiple Employer Plans
  • Self-Insured and Fully Insured Health and Welfare Plans
  • Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Associations (VEBAs)
  • Flexible Spending Plans
  • Wellness Programs

Services to Plan Fiduciaries and Plan Sponsors

  • Plan Design and Best Practices
  • Fiduciary Responsibility and Investment Management
  • Executive Compensation Consulting and Plan Design
  • ERISA Litigation
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans
  • IRS Plan Correction and Audits
  • DOL Audits and Investigations
  • Vendor Contracts and Negotiation
  • Affordable Care Act Compliance
  • Self-Insured / Self-Funded Health Plans and Stop-Loss Coverage
  • HIPAA and COBRA Compliance
  • Plan Management through Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Plan Investments in Employer Securities and Employer Real Property
  • Self-Directed Accounts
  • ERISA Section 404(c)
  • Plan Governance
  • Plan Terminations
  • Reporting and Disclosure
  • Forms 5500

ERISA Services for Financial Institutions and Investment Advisers

  • Department of Labor and IRS Investigations
  • ERISA Investment Management and Plan Investments
  • Mutual Fund ERISA Investment Advisory Guidance

Executive Compensation

  • 409A Compliance
  • Executive Agreements
  • Nonqualified Plan Funding Arrangements
  • Employment Taxes
  • Deduction Limit Under 162(m)

ERISA Fiduciary Guidance

  • Fiduciary Rules and Prohibited Transactions
  • Prohibited Transaction Review and Correction
  • Litigation & Controversy
  • Preemption
  • Claims and Appeals
  • Broker and Service Provider Compensation
  • Plan Expenses
  • Independent Fiduciary Selection

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, Certificate, Quarles & Brady Leadership Program (2018)
  • Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., with honors, 1994)
  • University of Notre Dame (B.B.A., with highest honors, 1991)

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin
  • Florida
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