Lisa Burman concentrates her practice in employee benefits, regularly counseling clients concerning all aspects of benefit plan administration and operation of employee benefit plans. Her advice to clients on employee benefits and ERISA matters includes:

  • Correction of serious operational and document failures of qualified retirement plans under the various IRS correction programs, as well as Department of Labor investigations and IRS audits.
  • Disposition of employee benefit plans following corporate mergers and acquisitions.
  • Termination of qualified retirement plans, including securing the necessary administrative approvals by the IRS and PBGC, and dealing with the treatment of residual plan assets in overfunded defined benefit plans.
  • Fiduciary obligations, prohibited transactions, participant disclosure (including summary plan descriptions) and other communication issues, and IRS and Department of Labor reporting.
  • Welfare plan compliance matters, such as the requirements of COBRA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 and the negotiation of service agreements with third party administrators and other benefit service providers.
  • Section 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities and section 457 plans for tax-exempt employers.

Ms. Burman has extensive experience in designing, drafting, and amending various types of employee benefit plans, including defined benefit plans, target benefit plans, money purchase pension plans, profit sharing plans, 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans and employee stock purchase plans, as well as group health and other welfare benefit plans. She also regularly works with other attorneys at the firm in connection with litigation concerning ERISA and other employee benefit matters.

Ms. Burman also designs and drafts stock option plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, SERPs and other benefit plans for executives, including experience with Section 409A and Section 280G issues.

Professional Background

Ms. Burman joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in July 1992.

Her professional activities in employee benefits matters are extensive. Ms. Burman was a co-chair of the IRS/ASPPA Great Lakes Benefits Conference in 2007 and 2008. She was a member of the Great Lakes Benefits Conference Executive Committee in 2005 and 2006. She is a former chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Employee Benefits Committee and a former chair of the IRS Liaison Subcommittee.

Ms. Burman is also a member of the Great Lakes TE/GE Council, a committee consisting of selected employee benefits practitioners and IRS Employee Plans managers in the seven states comprising the Great Lakes Area. Ms. Burman also served on a special task force created by the Great Lakes Area for the purpose of improving the IRS determination letter process and audits of employee benefit plans.

In January of 2003, Ms. Burman received the TE/GE Division Commissioner's Award in recognition of her dedication and contribution to accomplishing the goals and mission of the Tax Exempt & Government Entities Division and the Internal Revenue Service. The TE/GE Division Commissioner’s Award is the highest honor that an individual can receive from the TE/GE Division Commissioner, and it is the first time that a practitioner has been recognized by the TE/GE Division Commissioner.

In addition to her other professional accomplishments, Ms. Burman is a Certified Public Accountant.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized on the Super Lawyers list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2006 – 2016
  • Leading Lawyers Network, where she was selected by her peers as a Leading Lawyer in the area of Employee Benefits Law


Ms. Burman has spoken on various employee benefit topics, including:

  • "What to Do When the Wolf Comes Knocking: Anticipating and Surviving IRS and DOL Investigations of Employee Benefit Plans," Hinshaw's Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2016.
  • "Avoiding Fiduciary Pitfalls and Tar Pits: Best Practices for Retirement Plans," Hinshaw's Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2015.
  • "Participant Loans, Hardships and Required Minimum Distributions, Errors and Corrections," American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries 2012 Great Lakes Benefit Conference, Chicago, Illinois, June 2012.
  • "Looking Forward to 2012: Group Health Plans and Retirement Plans," Hinshaw's Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, October 2011.
  • "Remedies for Violations of Section 510 of ERISA."
  • "Keeping Your Plan in Compliance with Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code."


She is a co-author of "Employee Plan Issues Arising in Individual Employment Terminations," Chapter 6 of "The Employment Termination Handbook," Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (2011).

LL.M., Taxation, Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology, 1995

J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology, 1989

  • Recipient, American Jurisprudence Award in Employee Benefits and Securities Law

B.S., Loyola University of Chicago, 1986