Marcus Wu is the leader of the law firm’s Southern California Executive Compensation and Benefits practice. He represents private and public employers on compensation and benefits matters.

Marcus has extensive experience designing and implementing retirement and deferred compensation plans, including defined-benefit pension plans, 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans. Marcus also advises employers on designing and implementing equity compensation programs, including omnibus equity-incentive plans, ESPPs, performance share plans, and others. He advises employers on establishing and administering health plans, section 125 cafeteria plans, and severance plans. Marcus is well versed in the federal and state laws governing employee benefit plans, including ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

Representative Experience

  • Advised Union Bank on restructuring of benefits program in connection with integration of the bank’s U.S. operations.
  • Designed first-of-its-kind 115 trust for governmental entity and obtained IRS Private Letter Ruling for same. Also designed first multiple-employer OPEB/Pension 115 Trust, enabling public agencies to reserve funds for OPEB and pension liabilities.
  • Represented large banking institution with restructuring of its pension and 401(k) plans, nonqualified plans, and other employee benefit program in connection with spin-off and IPO of related entity.

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  • Advises numerous governmental entities throughout California, including counties, cities and special districts, on the tax laws and other federal and California laws governing the entities’ employee benefit programs.

Professional Highlights

  • Committee on Retirement and Benefits Administration
  • Government Finance Officers Association
  • Listed in The Legal 500 U.S. as a key lawyer for Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans (2020) and recognized for his work in Employee Health and Retirement Plans (2017)

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  • Memberships
    • Tax Exempt/Governmental Entity Joint Council (Pacific Coast)
    • National Association of Public Pension Attorneys
    • California Society of Municipal Finance Officers
    • California Public Employers Labor Relations Association
    • Western Pension & Benefits Conference
    • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
    • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
  • Books
    • “Qualified Retirement and Pension Benefits,” Chapter 55, Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel, ACC, Co-Author.
  • Recent Presentations
    • Panelist, “Managing Your OPEB and Other Benefit Liabilities,” California School Boards Association annual conference, December 2016.
    • Panelist, “2016 Government Tax Seminar,” Irvine, Lakewood, and Ontario sessions, December 2016.
    • Speaker, “Significant Developments Affecting Retirement Plans and Healthcare Benefit,” Public Employer Labor Relations Association of California annual conference, September 2016.
    • Panelist, “Taming the OPEB (Retiree Healthcare) Beast,” California School Boards Association annual conference, December 2015.
    • Panelist, “2015 Government Tax Seminar,” Irvine, Lakewood, and Ontario sessions, December 2015.
    • Panelist, “2014 Government Tax Seminar,” Lakewood and Ontario sessions, December 2014.
    • Panelist, “OPEB: What Now?”, Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) annual conference, May 2014.
    • Speaker, “Healthcare Reform: What Employers Need to Know,” Pillsbury CLE Marathon, January 2014.
    • Speaker, “ACA, PEPRA, GASB: Making Sense of the Alphabet Soup of New Retirement and Healthcare Benefit Rules,” California School Boards Association, December 2013.
    • Speaker, “DOMA and the Windsor Ruling,” Public Employer Labor Relations Association of California, October 2013.
    • Speaker, “AB 340 Pension Reform & Healthcare Reform,” California Society of Municipal Finance Officers, April 2013.
    • Panelist, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: What You Need to Know about the Law and the Supreme Court’s Decision,” Hispanic National Bar Association, March 2013.
    • Speaker, “Would You ‘Pass’ an IRS Employment Tax Exam?”, California Society of ‘Municipal Finance Officers, February 2013.


  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law

    B.S., San Francisco State University


  • California