Attorneys

Our attorneys have impeccable educational and professional credentials stretching across all areas of benefits law. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of service to our clients.

Wang Austin LLC is a certified minority owned business enterprise and is also a member of the International Network of Boutique and Independent Law Firms, an organization of high-quality, single-discipline and multi-practice independent law firms.

  • Stacey D. Austin

    Partner

  • Katherine Costello

    Partner

  • Andy Wang

    Partner

Stacey D. Austin

Partner

Stacey Austin is a partner at Wang Austin LLC and concentrates her practice in the area of employee benefits and executive compensation. Stacey works with employers of all sizes to assist them in minimizing the legal liability exposure relating to their retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive and equity compensation arrangements. She has experience with a wide range of employee benefit matters, including drafting qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, preparing determination letter application filings and IRS EPCRS correction submissions, and counseling 401(k), 457, and 403(b) plan sponsors. She has particular expertise with fiduciary obligations under ERISA and counsels clients on compliance with laws and regulations applicable to employee benefit plan fiduciaries. Stacey has extensive experience with the design and drafting of equity-based compensation plans and arrangements. She also advises employers on the Affordable Care Act and other laws governing their health and welfare benefits. Prior to forming Wang Kobayashi Austin, Stacey was an attorney in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Department of Winston & Strawn LLP. Stacey is listed in the Martindale-Hubbell 2009 Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys and was a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2014.

Education

J.D., Harvard Law School, 2004 Editor, International Law Journal B.S., Northwestern University, 2001 Communications Studies Admitted: Illinois

Presentations/Articles

  • “The Contingent Workforce,” National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms Business Meeting, New Orleans, LA (February 2016).
  • “Ups, Downs and Exits: Employment and Compensation Issues in the C-Suite,” 2015 MIHCA Conference, Chicago, IL (September 2015).
  • Facilitator, Labor & Employment Roundtable, National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA (September 2014)
  • “Benefits Law for Employment Lawyers” National Employment Law Council Academy, San Francisco, CA (April 2014).
  • “Is the Affordable Care Act Good Tax Policy?” 12th Annual Employee Benefits Symposium, John Marshall Law School, Chicago, IL (April 2014).
  • “The Affordable Care Act: An Update,” Illinois CPA Society, Lisle, IL (January 2014).
  • “Navigating the Affordable Care Act,” National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN (September 2013).
  • “Key Drafting Considerations for 409A and Deferred Compensation for Executives, Service Providers, and Growth Companies,” Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, IL (June 2013).
  • “Seven Steps to a Better Retirement Plan,” Retirement Plan Education Seminar, Chicago, IL (June 2013).
  • “Health Care Reform: What It Means For Employers,” Employment Law Breakfast Seminars, Irvine, CA (March 2013).
  • “Equity Compensation Issues for Buyers and Sellers,” Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, IL (May 2011). “Strategies to Manage the Overregulation of Executive Compensation,” Minority Corporate Counsel Association CLE Expo, Chicago, IL (March 2011).
  • “Anatomy of a Severance Plan,” Winston & Strawn Employment Law Seminar, Chicago, IL (October 2009).

Professional Activities

  • Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance, Board of Directors
  • National Employment Law Council

Prior Affiliations

  • Chicago Urban League – IMPACT Leadership Development Program
  • HealthConnect One, President – Board of Directors
  • Harvard Law Society of Illinois, Board of Directors – Secretary and Communications Chair
  • Harvard Law School Association, Vice President – Executive Committee
  • Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance, President – Board of Directors
  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago, Board of Directors – Recording Secretary
  • CBA Alliance for Women, Executive Committee

Katherine Costello

Partner

Katherine is a partner at Wang Austin and focuses her practice on employee benefits and executive compensation law.

Katherine has experience in a broad range of benefits and compensation matters, health and welfare plans, qualified retirement plans, and executive compensation. Katherine frequently advises public and private employers on health care reform and the design, implementation, and administration of employee benefit plans and programs. She also advises on equity and incentive compensation arrangements and Section 409A compliance.

Katherine has extensive experience with welfare benefit plans, including cafeteria plans, wrap plan documents, and severance plans, and regularly advises on compliance with ERISA, COBRA and the Affordable Care Act. She regularly counsels clients on the benefit claims and appeals process for welfare and retirement benefits.

Katherine also handles the employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of corporate transactions and advises on issues such as the assumption and integration of employee benefit plans, including multiemployer and defined benefit pension plan obligations.

Prior to joining Wang Austin, Katherine was an attorney with Parker Poe and Winston & Strawn LLP.

Education

J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law, magna cum laude, 2004

B.A., Bucknell University, 2001

Admitted:

North Carolina

Illinois (inactive)

Andy Wang

Partner

Andy Wang is a partner at Wang Austin LLC and has over 24 years of experience in the employee benefits and executive compensation area.

Andy advises public and private companies on the design, implementation, administration, and compliance issues that arise in connection with all types of employee benefits plans, including retirement plans, equity-based compensation plans, incentive plans, health and welfare benefit plans, and executive compensation arrangements.

Andy also has represented clients on matters before the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor involving determination letter submissions, plan corrections, audits, and penalty assessments.

Andy has significant experience handling the employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of different types of corporate transactions. He has represented:

  • public and private buyers and sellers in a variety of mergers and acquisitions;
  • lenders and borrowers on the employee benefit provisions in credit agreements;
  • companies drafting employment agreements and designing executive compensation and equity-based arrangements in initial public offerings and spin-off transactions; and
  • management teams and employers in negotiating executive compensation arrangements in buy-out transactions.

Andy has extensive experience with the HIPAA privacy and security rules.

Prior to founding Wang Kobayashi Austin, Andy was a partner in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation department of Winston & Strawn LLP, where he worked for over 11 years. Prior to Winston & Strawn, Andy worked in the Office of the Solicitor of the United States Department of Labor, where he handled litigation enforcing violations of ERISA’s fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions requirements stemming from DOL investigations.

Andy was selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers Listing in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Education

J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 1994
Articles Editor, Journal of International Law and Business

B.A. University of Michigan, 1991
Economics, with high distinction

Admitted: Illinois

Presentations/Articles

  • “Closing the Deal: How to Spot and Handle the Top Employee Benefits Issues in an M&A Transaction,” National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA (September 2014).
  • “Department of Labor (DOL) Audit and Enforcement Updates,” Illinois CPA Society (December 2013).
  • “Annual Legislative & Regulatory Update,” Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Chicago West Chapter, Lisle, IL (December 2012).
  • “Compensation and Benefits Issues for Executives of Private Companies,” Sixth Annual Executive Compensation Institute, Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, IL (October 2012).
  • “Small Plan Employer Compliance,” Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, IL (June 2012).
  • “Equity Compensation Issues for Buyers and Sellers,” Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, IL (May 2011).
  • “Surviving a 401(k) DOL Audit,” Edgewater and West Ridge Chambers of Commerce and the Rogers Park Business Alliance, Chicago, IL (May 2011).
  • “Year-End Action Items for Changes in Compensation and Benefit Law,” Winston & Strawn LLP eLunch Briefings (September 2009).
  • “Benefit Law Changes Under the New Administration,” Winston & Strawn LLP eLunch Briefings (April 2009).
  • “Could You Have Done A Better Job with 409A?” Winston & Strawn LLP Employment Law Seminar, Chicago, IL (October 2008).
  • “What is Behind the Surge in ERISA Litigation – And How Can We Avoid It,” Winston & Strawn LLP Employment Law Seminar, Chicago, IL (October 2004).
  • “ERISA Litigation,” Winston & Strawn LLP Employment Law Seminar, Chicago, IL (October 2003).
  • “The Pros and Cons of IRS Golden Parachute Proposals,” with Michael S. Melbinger, Journal of Deferred Compensation, Winter 2003.
  • “Not Too Late to Comply With the HIPAA Privacy Rules,” Winston & Strawn LLP eLunch Briefings (March 2003).
  • “Compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rules – the Deadline Looms,” Winston & Strawn LLP Employment Law Seminar, Chicago, IL (October 2002).
  • “The Final HIPAA Privacy Rules Are Out: Now it is Our Turn to Act,” Winston & Strawn LLP eLunch Briefings (September 2002).
  • “Protecting Yourself from the Tax on Excess Parachute Payments,” with Michael S. Melbinger, Compensation & Benefits Management, Spring 2002.

Professional Activities

  • Asian-American Bar Association of Greater Chicago Law Foundation, Vice President
  • Chinese-American Bar Association of Greater Chicago, Advisory Board Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Asian-American Bar Association of Greater Chicago
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association