Susan Wetzel


Education and Clerkships

J.D., Ohio Northern University, 1997, with honors

B.B.A., Western Michigan University, 1994, magna cum laude

Bar Admissions



Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit


Susan Wetzel is the Chair of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group. She concentrates her practice in the areas of executive compensation, health and welfare plans, retirement plans, and health law. 

Susan is a contributor to Haynes and Boone's Practical Benefits Lawyer blog, which discusses issues and developments in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation.

Susan Wetzel was named one of the Best Lawyers under 40 in 2006 and Best Lawyers in Dallas 2011-2013 by D Magazine and was selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers (2004-2005, 2007-2009, 2011-2014). She is also listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America in Employee Benefits Law (2009-2015).

Recent Publications and Speeches 

  • "Practical considerations for benefits counsel in multijurisdictional mergers and acquisitions," International Pension Lawyer, July 2010. 
  • "Practical Considerations When Drafting Covenants in Stock and Asset Purchase Agreements," ERISA Compliance & Enforcement Strategy Guide, Benefits Practice Center of the Bureau of National Affairs, February 2010.


Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers in America 2015

Best Lawyers® in America, an annual referral guide listing outstanding attorneys throughout the U.S, has once again recognized Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers. This year the firm increased its honored practices to 56.

Selected Client Representations

  • Advising clients regarding ERISA and employee benefit issues in mergers and acquisitions, acting as counsel to both buyers and sellers, including transactions involving benefit and equity issues in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Finland, Singapore, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic
  • Advising clients regarding the design and implementation of all types of tax qualified plans, including defined benefit plans and Section 401(k) plans
  • Counseling clients regarding tax compliance and regulatory issues associated with fully-insured and self-funded health plans, VEBAs and MEWAs, including the impact of health care reform on plan documents and operations
  • Assisting clients with benefits issues relating to inbound and outbound transactions, including Internal Revenue Code Section 409A issues relating to expatriate allowances, tax equalization programs, foreign benefit plans, and equity awards to foreign-based employees
  • 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 
  • Designing and implementing all types of equity compensation plans, including stock options, restricted stock, phantom stock, and stock appreciation rights, and sub-plans in foreign jurisdictions
  • Counseling plan sponsors regarding how the HIPAA privacy and security regulations affect their group health plans and drafting forms, policies and procedures to assist group health plans in complying with the HIPAA privacy and security regulations

Benefits Blog

Practical Benefits Lawyer

The Haynes and Boone Practical Benefits Lawyer blog discusses issues and developments in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation. 

Professional and Community Activities

  • American Bar Association Section of Taxation, Employee Benefits Committee; Vice Chair, 2011-2014; Litigation Subcommittee, Chair, 2010-2011; Mergers and Acquisitions Subcommittee, Co-Chair, 2005-2010 
  • State Bar of Texas Tax Section, Employee Benefits Committee; Chair, 2010-2014; Vice Chair, 2009-2010; Council Member, 2012-2014 
  • Dallas Bar Association, Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation Section Committee; Chair, 2008; Member, 2004-2012 
  • International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association; Member, 2008-2014 
  • The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation; Member, 2014 
  • The Trinity Commons Foundation; Board of Directors, 2014 
  • ONU Law Alumni Association; Board of Directors, 2010-2014 
  • Dallas Chamber of Commerce; Public Policy Committee, Chair, 2010; Healthcare Taskforce, 2004-2009

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