Joseph S. Adams

Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP

Contact Information
Winston & Strawn LLP
35 W. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601-9703
Phone: 312-558-3723
Joe focuses his practice exclusively on employee benefits and executive compensation, and has represented some of the largest companies in the world and many prominent “C-suite” executives with respect to their such matters. Clients describe him as “wonderful” and “knowledgeable and able to explain complicated legal issues in a way non-lawyers can understand.” (Chambers USA 2019) HONORS & AWARDS Fellow, The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (ACEBC) Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for work in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law since 2010 Recognized as Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” for Chicago Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law in the 2013, 2018, and 2020 editions Chambers USA for Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (2008-2019) PUBLICATIONS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS Joe has written for leading employee benefits and executive compensation publications such as the Pension Plan Fix-It Handbook, Guide to Assigning and Loaning Benefit Plan Money, Executive Compensation Strategies, Beyond Stock Options/Equity Alternatives, and Domestic Partner Benefits: An Employer’s Guide. Joe also has contributed to national publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg, Kiplinger,, and Investment News. CREDENTIALS Joe received his B.A. in Economics, with honors, from the University of Chicago, and he received his J.D., cum laude, from Cornell Law School where he served as an editor for the Cornell Law Review.


Corporate DB/DC Expert Witness Investment Nonprofit DC Other Pension Subset Other Practices Providers Retiree Benefits Sponsors

403 - Executive Compensation and Benefits from an Actuary’s Perspective 2024 CCA Annual Meeting (October 29, 2024)

Legal and Regulatory Issues for Nonqualified Plans 2022 CCA Annual Meeting (October 19, 2022)

Non-qualified Plans 2022 Enrolled Actuaries Conference (May 06, 2022)

Executive Benefits: Strategy and New Developments 2020 CCA Virtual Annual Meeting (October 20, 2020)

The Secret History of Excise Taxes (Defined Benefit Edition): A Practical Primer 2019 CCA Annual Meeting (October 29, 2019)

Total Well Being 2019 CCA Annual Meeting (October 29, 2019)

Executive Benefits and Nonqualified Plans 2018 CCA Annual Meeting (October 24, 2018)

Actuarial and Legal Issues with Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation 2018 Enrolled Actuaries Meeting (April 10, 2018)