Michael J. Voves

Michael J. Voves




Michael is a Partner in Dorsey's Benefits and Compensation Group and head of the firm’s Executive Compensation practice group. Michael advises clients on ERISA, tax and related issues affecting pension, 401(k), ESOP, non-qualified and executive compensation arrangements. He has extensive experience drafting, designing, implementing and administering retirement, equity and incentive programs for large companies with sophisticated and specialized needs. Michael has made various presentations on ERISA and executive compensation topics for professional groups and clients. Michael is an active member of the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals, including the Twin Cities chapter organization.

Education & Admissions

University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 1997), cum laude
Minnesota Law Review
Charles E. Nadler Award
Law Review Staff Member of the Year
Wagner Labor Law Moot Court Director and Competition Team Member

University of Wisconsin - Madison (B.S., Economics with a Mathematical Emphasis, Political Science, 1994), graduated with distinction


  • Minnesota


  • German

News & Resources


Under New IRS Section 162(m) Guidance, Many Common Arrangements will not Retain Grandfathered Status
"Into the Void: Potential Consequences of the DOL's Proposed Prohibited Transaction Exemptions," Benefit’s Law Journal
Supreme Court Rejection of Duty of Prudence Presumption—What Does it Mean for Retirement Plans?
IRS Begins 409A Audit Initiative
Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments are Taxable Wages under FICA
DOL Issues Guidance on 404(a)(5) Participant-Level Disclosures
George v. Kraft Foods
"Minnesota Changes Taxation of Nonresidents on Income earned in Minnesota," "Practical US/Domestic Tax Strategies"
The Clock is Ticking: Treasury and IRS Issue Final 409A Regulations – Employers Must Act to Amend Plans to Comply
Default Investment Alternatives After the Pension Protection Act: What should you be doing now?
SARBANES-OXLEY ACT: Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Aspects

News & Press Mentions

Dorsey Advises Briefing Media in Strategic Investment and Global Partnership with Urner Barry
Dorsey Partner Michael Voves Comments on Starkey Embezzlement Case
Dorsey Wins 2016 Turnaround Atlas Award for Judicial Restructuring of the Year
Dorsey Wins 8th Annual International M&A Award
Dorsey Wins 10th Annual M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards
Dorsey Wins 14th Annual M&A Advisor Award for Real Estate Deal of the Year
Dorsey Represents Hillerich & Bradsby in Sale of Louisville Slugger Brand
William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law will combine
Dorsey Represents Tekmira Pharmaceuticals on OnCore Biopharma Merger Agreement

Select Presentations

  • NASPP:  Divorce, Death, Disability and Other Separations: How They Affect Your Equity Plan (July 12, 2018)
  • MSBA:  Equity and Phantom Equity Incentives for Partnerships (May 7, 2018)
  • MSBA (Advanced Employee Benefits Workshop):  Equity Compensation Trends in the Public and Private Spheres (February 22, 2018)
  • DorseyU:  2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act: What You Should Know - Business and International Tax Reform (February 21, 2018)
  • NCEO:  ESOP Alternatives: Eligible Individual Account Plan and Other Alternatives (October 4, 2017)
  • NCEO:  Equity Compensation for LLCs (June 6, 2017)
  • MSBA (Advanced Employee Benefits Workshop):  DOL Audits of Retirement Plans (February 9, 2017)
  • NCEO:  Alternative Approaches to Equity Compensation (for ESOP Companies) (September 20, 2016)
  • DorseyU:  DOL’s Final Fiduciary Rule (May 10, 2016)
  • NCEO:  Sustainability Beyond Repurchase (April 14, 2016)
  • MSBA:  Compensating the Executive – Five Important Things You Should Know (October 27, 2015)
  • Midwest Pension Conference:  Amendments to DOL’s Definition of Fiduciary (September 27, 2015)
  • NCEO: Alternative Approaches to Equity Compensation (for ESOP Companies) (September 1, 2015)
  • DorseyU: The DOL’s Changes to the Fiduciary Rules: How Do They Impact You? (June 9, 2015)
  • NCEO: Decision-Maker’s Guide to Equity Compensation (March 3, 2015)
  • 2015 Advanced Benefits Workshop: Self-Directed Brokerage Windows (February 19, 2015)
  • NCEO: Fiduciary and Legal Issues in Executive Compensation in ESOP Companies (October 2, 2014)
  • NCEO: The ESOP Symposium: Selling the Company (September 16, 2014)
  • DorseyU: Closely-Held Businesses: Ownership and Transition Strategies (April 17, 2014)
  • DorseyU: Top Benefits Concerns for 2013: DOMA, Health Care Reform, and HIPAA (Labor and Employment 2013 Fall Conference (September 26, 2013))

Industries & Practices

  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Benefits & Compensation
  • Cooperative Law
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Executive Compensation
  • Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
  • Healthcare
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement


  • Listed as a "Rising Star" by Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2008, 2011-2012.
Michael J. Voves