Christopher L. McLean

    Member • Chair of Sports & Entertainment
    Admissions: Maryland, Virginia


    Christopher McLean is a Member at Kaufman & Canoles, P.C. and a Director of ESOP Strategies, LLC. Christopher’s practice focuses on succession planning in three interconnected areas: corporate succession planning, management succession planning and succession planning for individuals.

    Christopher’s corporate succession planning is rooted in his extensive background in corporate law, including M&A transactions and Benefit Corporations, which both complement his broad ESOP background. Christopher has worked with numerous corporations and shareholders in a wide range of corporate ownership succession and exit transactions, including leveraged buyouts, corporate stock repurchases, corporate reorganizations, and ESOP purchase and sale transactions. His ESOP practice focuses primarily on the design, implementation, maintenance, and compliance of ESOPs, while representing ESOP sponsors or trustees. 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 complementary to ESOPs.

    Christopher’s management succession practice involves advising corporate boards of directors and management with respect to executive compensation and incentive plans including phantom stock, stock appreciation rights, synthetic equity and equity-based programs, stock options, restricted stock, deferred compensation, other executive compensation arrangements and executive employment agreements.

    Christopher’s Private Client Services practice focuses on the individual client’s comprehensive estate and succession planning beginning with representation in the negotiation of executive compensation arrangements and employment agreements while utilizing an inclusive approach so to ensure the compensation structure along with retirement planning is thoughtfully incorporated into and complements the individual’s broader trust and estate plan.

    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



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