Chris Kang


Education and Clerkships

J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 2007, Articles Editor, SMU Law Review Association

B.S., Genetics, Texas A&M University, 2004, minor in Business Administration




Chris Kang has served as a trusted adviser to numerous companies, financial institutions, and private investment funds with respect to complex matters involving employee benefits, ERISA, and executive compensation and is the go-to person for financial institutions and investment funds for practical advice and solutions on ERISA-related matters that will help further their business goals.

Chris is often called upon to analyze and structure investment funds in cases that involve investments by private and governmental employee benefit plans, and to counsel investment advisers in cases where they manage “plan assets” subject to ERISA. Through his years of work in the investment fund area, Chris has extensive experience navigating the rules provided under ERISA’s “plan assets regulation,” including compliance with the “venture capital operating company” and “real estate operating company” exceptions, and in obtaining and complying with prohibited transaction exemptions. When representing pension trusts, Chris is often called upon to analyze alternative investments and to structure tax efficient investment structures, including the establishment of tax-exempt organizations for purposes of holding real estate acquisitions.

Chris also regularly advises both borrowers and lenders with respect to ERISA matters involved in all types of financing transactions, and in connection with corporate mergers and acquisitions, Chris regularly advises both buyers and sellers with respect to employee benefits and compensation issues, including, without limitation, issues related to pension liabilities, health and welfare liabilities, nonqualified deferred compensation obligations, severance obligations, and change in control obligations.

In addition, Chris has provided guidance to clients on a wide variety of other compliance matters in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation, including, without limitation, the implementation of tax-qualified employee benefit plans, the correction of plan failure, and the navigation through DOL audit investigations. In the area of executive compensation, Chris has been involved in the representation of both employers and executives in the negotiation of employment agreements, severance arrangements, nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, and equity compensation arrangements, including structuring arrangements in compliance with Sections 409A, 457A, 162(m), and 280G of the Internal Revenue Code.

When Chris is not advocating for his clients or speaking about employee benefits matters, he is often involved with the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, where he has been its Treasurer for numerous years and is now continuing on as a member of its Board of Directors. Chris was named the “Best Lawyer Under 40” by the Asian Pacific Interest Section (APIS) of the Texas State Bar in 2016, and was selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters, in 2017.

Rising Stars

Super Lawyers

Haynes and Boone Lawyers Featured in Texas Rising Stars 2017

Haynes and Boone lawyers once again maintained a strong showing in the recently released Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars directory, with 41 lawyers selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition.

Selected Client Representations

  • Advising clients regarding the design, implementation, operation, and compliance obligations for all types of tax qualified plans.
  • Advising clients regarding the design and implementation of all types of equity and equity-based compensation plans, including stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, and phantom stock.
  • Advising clients through U.S. Department of Labor audit investigations.
  • Advising clients with correction of plan failures through the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System issued by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Advising investment fund managers regarding issues under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code arising from investments by employee benefit plans, including issues involving the “plan assets regulation,” fiduciary obligations, and prohibited transactions rules.
  • Advising registered investment advisors regarding issues related to managing ERISA plan assets and/or providing investment advice to employee benefit plans.
  • Advising clients regarding ERISA and employee benefit issues in mergers and acquisitions, acting as counsel to both buyers and sellers.
  • Advising clients regarding various issues under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code in connection with various financial transactions, including capital commitment secured credit facilities, ISDA transactions, and others.
  • Negotiating executive employment and severance agreements, acting as counsel to both executives and employers, and counseling clients regarding issues under Internal Revenue Code Sections 162(m), 280G and 409A.
  • Advising clients with deferred compensation arrangements regarding issues under Internal Revenue Code Sections 409A and 457A.

Professional and Community Activities

  • State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Dallas Bar Association, Member
  • Dallas Asian American Bar Association (DAABA); Member of the Board of Directors, 2011 - Current; Treasurer, 2011 - Current; Foundation Committee Member, 2012 - Current
  • Co-Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee, 2010
  • Friends of Dallas Law Magnet High School, Member of Board of Directors

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