Michelle Lara > DLA Piper LLP (US) > San Diego (Golden Triangle), United States > Lawyer Profile

DLA Piper LLP (US)
SUITE 1100
SAN DIEGO, CA 92121-2133
United States

Work Department





Michelle Lara handles a broad range of executive compensation and employee benefits matters for a wide variety of clients, from large, publicly traded corporations to startup companies.

She provides comprehensive advice with respect to the design, implementation and administration of stock option and other equity-based incentive plans, cash incentive plans, executive employment and severance arrangements, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, health and welfare benefit plans and tax-qualified retirement plans. Michelle has extensive experience advising clients on these matters in mergers and acquisitions, spinoffs, initial public offerings and other complex corporate transactions.


National Association of Stock Plan Professionals; National Institute of Pension Administrators; San Diego Chapter of the Western Pension & Benefits Conference 


J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law; B.A., University of California at Berkeley

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: transactional

DLA Piper LLP (US) frequently collaborates with the firm’s corporate practice to handle high-end transactions, as demonstrated by the team’s advice to Canadian pharmaceutical and cannabis company, Tilray, on its merger with Aphria. Practice leader Rita Patel, who works in the firm’s Washington DC office, led on this matter, while Chicago-based Richard Ashley has experience in handling benefits and compensation issues arising from transactions, including Code Sections 162(m), 280G and 409A compliance. Cisco Palao-Ricketts departed in June 2021 while San Diego-based Michelle Lara joined from Cooley LLP in April 2021. Erin Sweeney is another key member of the team.