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Karen K. Suhre

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Employee Benefits Attorney in Kansas City, MO

Karen K. Suhre, Attorney at Law
12210 Avila Dr
Kansas City, MO 64145
Phone: 214-821-1115
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2004, 2006 - 2021
Licensed in Missouri Since: 2021
Practice Areas: Employee Benefits
Attorney Profile

Ms. Suhre has been admitted to practice in Texas for many years, and was recently admitted to the Missouri Bar.

Before founding her own law firm, Karen K. Suhre was a partner and practice group chair at Hughes & Luce, LLP in Dallas (now part of K&L Gates). She has focused her practice on executive compensation and employee benefits, and she applies this experience in her representation of employers, individual executives, plan trustees and other plan fiduciaries, and beneficiaries of retirement accounts. Ms. Suhre provides legal counsel in areas including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), tax-qualified retirement plans including pension plans, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and ESOPs, health and welfare plans, severance agreements, supplemental executive retirement plans, other executive compensation arrangements, and cafeteria plans.  She has also served as an expert witness or consulting expert in litigation matters involving ERISA and executive compensation.

After receiving a bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University, Ms. Suhre attended the University of Illinois College of Law and was awarded a Juris Doctor magna cum laude.  While in law school, she served on the University of Illinois Law Review, and upon graduation, she was named to the Order of the Coif. 

Ms. Suhre is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.  Ms. Suhre has served as co-chair of the American Bar Association RPTE Employee Benefit Plans and Other Compensation Arrangements Group, and is currently a co-chair of the Qualified Plans committee of that Group.  She is a former chair of the Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation Section of the Dallas Bar Association.  Her fellow professionals hold her in high regard, as attested to by her receipt of an AV* 5.0/5.0 peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell. Ms. Suhre has also been selected for inclusion in the list of The Best Lawyers in America every year since 1999, and has been listed in D Magazine's "Best Lawyers in Dallas" for 2014-2020.  

*AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general practice standards.

NOTE:  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

About Karen K. Suhre

First Admitted: 1982, Missouri

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
  • American Bar Association, RPTE Section, Qualified Plans Committee Co-Chair.  Panelist at April, 2021 National CLE conference, 2021
  • Immediate Past Group Co-Chair, American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Employee Plans and Executive Compensation Group, 2019
  • Past Vice President, Southwest Chapter, ESOP Association
  • Past Chair, Dallas Bar Association Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Committee


  • Ms. Suhre has been honored as a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel since 2018.  Fellows are selected by the College's Board of Governors from among employee benefits attorneys nominated for that honor and recommended for consideration by the Board's Membership Committee after considering the recommendations of regional screening committees. Fellows have a minimum of 20 years experience. Selection as a Fellow reflects the Board's judgment that a nominee has made significant contributions to the advancement of the employee benefits field, Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, 2018
  • Lawyer of the Year, The Best Lawyers in America, 2013
  • University of Illinois Law Review and Order of the Coif, University of Illinois College of Law


  • Represented ESOP trustee in $68 million initial acquisition of employer stock in B corporation., 2020

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Speaker at CLE program for audience of estate planning and ERISA attorneys, on the intersection of powers of attorney and ERISA., Panelist, Are Powers of Attorney Powerless in Employee Benefit Plans?, American Bar Association, Real Property Trust and Estate Section National CLE Conference, 2021
  • Continuing education webinar covering qualified domestic relations orders and other issues concerning assignment or transfer of retirement assets on divorce, including qualified plans, IRAs, and other tax favored accounts.  Also addressed the many considerations affecting designation of beneficiaries for retirement accounts., Speaker, Moderator & Author, Dividing Retirement Assets Upon Death or Divorce, American Bar Association RPTE eCLE, 2017
  • Law review article addressing the protection of retirement plan beneficiaries in bankruptcy in light of U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Clark v. Rameker that "inherited IRAs" are not exempt from creditors under federal bankruptcy law.  The article explores other legal bases for exempting inherited IRAs and other inherited retirement accounts from creditors, including ERISA, state law exemptions and use of trust funds as beneficiaries., Co-author, Bankruptcy Protection of Retirement Plan Beneficiaries After Clark v. Rameker, ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal, 2015

Industry Groups

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Oil & Gas
  • Professional Services
  • Retail
  • Technology
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Office Location for Karen K. Suhre

12210 Avila Dr
Kansas City, MO 64145

Last Updated: 6/10/2021

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