Christopher McLean, a member at Kaufman & Canoles, P.C. and a Director of ESOP Strategies, LLC, has an extensive background in corporate law including M&A transactions and Benefit Corporations to complement his broad ESOP background. Christopher has worked with numerous corporations in a wide range of corporate ownership succession transactions, including leveraged buyouts, corporate stock repurchases, and corporate reorganizations in addition to Benefit Corporation elections. His ESOP practice focuses primarily on the design, implementation, maintenance, and compliance of ESOPs, while representing ESOP sponsors or trustees.

Christopher’s employee benefits practice focuses on the design, implementation, maintenance and compliance of employee stock ownership plans. Christopher works with both ESOP Sponsors and ESOP Trustees in initial stock purchase transactions, second stage transactions and sale transactions of successful ESOP companies. Christopher also advises ESOP Sponsors in the management of mature ESOPs including evaluating repurchase obligation options, resolving administrative issues, counseling on acquisitions and secondary purchase transactions, and coordinating and designing executive compensation plans complimentary to ESOPs.

Christopher’s executive compensation practice involves a variety of nonqualified executive compensation plans. Christopher works with corporations in the design, adoption, implementation and compliance of nonqualified plans which have involved phantom stock, stock appreciation rights and other synthetic equity, stock options, restricted stock, deferred compensation and other executive compensation arrangements. Christopher also represents executives in the negotiation of executive compensation arrangements and employment agreements, taking an inclusive approach so to ensure the compensation structure is a part of the executive’s broader trust and estate planning.

Recognition & Honors

  • Articles Editor & Administrative Council; Richmond Journal of Law and Technology, 2009-2010
  • Associate Articles Editor; Richmond Journal of Law and Technology, 2008-2009


  • Virginia Bar Association
  • The ESOP Association; Legislative & Regulatory Committee Member; Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Vice President – Legislative and Regulatory Matters; Executive Committee Member
  • Professional Services Council (PSC); Member
  • Exit Planning Exchange (XPX); Maryland Chapter Member
  • National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO); Member
  • Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC); Member


  • Maryland, 2014
  • Virginia, 2010


  • University of Virginia; B.A., 2007
  • University of Richmond School of Law; J.D., cum laude, 2010