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September 22, 2022

Krieg DeVault is pleased to announce that the law firm has strengthened its highly respected and nationally recognized ESOP and Employee Benefits Practices by acquiring ESOP industry veteran William W. (“Bill”) Merten. Merten, who will be located in Krieg DeVault’s Chicago office, brings over 35 years of experience to the firm. He will provide counsel to matters relating to business succession planning and executive compensation.

Throughout Merten’s legal career, he has advised corporations, shareholders, directors, and various professionals regarding the use of ESOPs and ESOP­ related strategies in a wide variety of transactions including, management buyouts, ownership succession transactions, private equity transactions, going-private transactions, ESOP company sales, and mergers and acquisitions.  

“We are very excited to have Bill join our team,” said Alex Mounts, Chair of the firm’s ESOP and Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practices. “Bill’s leadership and extensive ESOP experience will bolster our firm’s national recognition as a leader in the ESOP industry.

“Krieg DeVault’s solid reputation in the ESOP and employee benefits space is a natural fit for my practice,” said Merten. “The firm has excellent ESOP, corporate, tax, executive compensation, labor and ERISA attorneys (including a top notch ERISA litigation practice), everything I need. The depth and experience base within Krieg DeVault’s transaction attorneys will allow us to tackle any ESOP transaction coming our way without missing a beat-- regardless of the transaction’s size or scope.”

Mr. Merten speaks frequently for various organizations on succession planning alternatives and related tax-planning techniques, and has also authored and co-authored chapters and articles pertaining to various ESOP-related topics. He currently serves on the Finance Committee of the ESOP Association, and previously served as an executive compensation professor for DePaul University's Masters of Law in Taxation program, and as a qualified plan professor for DePaul's Masters of Science in Taxation program. Mr. Merten has been recognized for his legal contributions by industry leading publications such as Martindale-Hubbell, American Lawyer, Super Lawyers, The Legal 500, and Leading Lawyers Network. Additionally, he has also been inducted into the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

Mr. Merten received his J.D. from Wayne State University and his Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University School of Law. He is admitted to practice in Illinois.

Krieg DeVault’s ESOP Practice is a national leader and innovator in the structuring and implementation of ESOPs for organizations throughout the United States. The firm employs a comprehensive team of ESOP attorneys, bringing over 130 years of combined counsel to clients in manufacturing, distributing, retailing and wholesaling, transportation, construction and technology, and regulated industries, including financial institutions, insurance companies, accounting firms, architectural and engineering firms and health care firms. The firm currently represents clients in over 45 different industries, including over 200 ESOP companies and over 50,000 ESOP participants.