Mary Beth Gray is a managing partner of the Firm and a partner in the Business and Finance Department. She practices in the areas of mergers and acquisitions (representing sellers and buyers), corporate finance, corporate governance, corporate restructuring, and executive compensation. Her practice has a special focus on business succession, including the sale of businesses to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and other transactions involving ESOPs.
Mary Beth has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, and has represented buyers and sellers in more than 300 transactions involving both equity and assets. Mary Beth also regularly advises companies and shareholders with respect to both transactional and operational issues, including corporate governance, stock ownership, succession planning, equity and non-equity compensation, securities law issues, corporate finance, and corporate tax matters.
Mary Beth has represented companies and owners in many different industries and at many different stages of growth. She has advised both start-up companies and mature companies engaging in a variety of transactions. In her ESOP work, Mary Beth has represented companies, sellers, and ESOP trustees in all facets of ESOP creation and maintenance, including plan design, corporate governance, fiduciary matters, equity ownership, compensation issues, and tax matters.
Boston University School of Law (J.D. 1993, cum laude)
Editor, American Journal of Law and Medicine
Harvard University (A.B. 1988, cum laude)
Pennsylvania and Massachusetts
Forum of Executive Women
National Center for Employee Ownership
Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia
Recognition and Accomplishments
Mary Beth has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in the area of mergers & acquisitions from 2014 – present.
What is an ESOP?, Industry Today, September 24, 2019
“Designing Executive Benefits in ESOP Companies”, ESOP Association’s Las Vegas Conference – Employee Owned 2019, November 14, 2019
“Governance/Leadership: Board Composition and Compensation”, 2019 Multi-State Conference, PA/DE — NY/NJ ESOP Chapters, September 18-20, 2019.
“Board Composition in ESOP Companies – Who should be on your board and what should they do?”, NCEO 2019 Employee Ownership Conference, April 9, 2019.
“Evaluating an Offer to Sell and ESOP Company”, PA/DE ESOP Association Spring Conference, March 27-28, 2019.
“Board Composition in ESOP Companies”, 2018 ESOP Association Multi-State Conference, Hershey Lodge, September 11-13, 2018.
“M&A’s and ESOP Companies: Opportunities and Traps”, Matheson Financial Advisors 2018 Capital Strategies & M&A Forum, Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, May 7-9, 2018.
“ESOPs and Preferred Status Certifications”, NCEO 2018, Employee Ownership Conference, Atlanta Georgia, April 17-18, 2018.
“ESOPs for Beginners”, ESOP Association’s 2017 Multi-State Conference, Scranton, PA, September, 2017.
“Should We Segregate the Accounts of Terminated Employees?”, NCEO 2017 Employee Ownership Conference, Denver, Colorado, April 4, 2017.
“ESOP Audits – Preparing For, Responding To and Getting Past ESOP Audits, Investigations and Reviews,” ESOP Association’s Pennsylvania and Delaware Chapter 2017 Spring Conference, York, Pennsylvania, March 30, 2017.
“Maintaining WBE, MBE or SDVSB Status in an ESOP Company,” Las Vegas ESOP Conference and Trade Show, Las Vegas, Nevada, November, 2016.
“Is an ESOP Right for You? An In-Depth Look at Employee Stock Ownership Plans,” NCEO Meeting, Providence, Rhode Island, October 19-20, 2016.
“Issues Affecting Buyers and Sellers with ESOPs” and “Getting Ready for a Transaction,” 2016 Capital Strategies and M&A Forum hosted by Matheson Financial Advisors, Chicago, Illinois, May 9-11, 2016.
“ESOPs for Beginners” and “Re-Evaluating Your ESOP,” 20th Annual Multi-State ESOP Conference, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, September 16-17, 2015.
“Ownership Transition Using the Unique Tax and Governance Benefits of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP),” Manufacturing Alliance of Philadelphia webinar, May 2015
“The Renewed Interest in C Corp ESOPs,” 2015 Capital Strategies and M&A Forum, May 2015
“Update on Greatbanc Trust Settlement and How to Survive a DOL Audit (or avoid one in the first place),” Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter ESOP Association Annual Spring ESOP Seminar, April, 2015
“Breaking into Law: Business Law and Law Firms,” Wharton Business & Law Association, November 2014
“All Hands on Deck: Keys to ESOP Sustainability,” 2014 ESOP Association Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show, November 2014
“ESOPs & A/E Firms…Perfect Together,” Capital Strategies and M&A Forum, Chicago, Illinois, May 2014
“New Financial Statement Disclosure Requirements and Changes to EPCRS Requirements”, The ESOP Association Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter Spring Seminar, Exton, Pennsylvania, April 2013
“ESOPs: Making Value Easier”, M&A Forum, Chicago, Illinois, June 2012
“ESOPs for Rookies” 17th and 18th Annual Multi-State ESOP Conferences, Scranton, Pennsylvania, September 2012 and 2013
“Fiduciary Liability of Successor ESOP Trustees”, The ESOP Association 2012 Las Vegas Conference and Trade Show, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 2012
“Business Succession Planning and Employee Stock Ownership Plans”, American Society of Women Accountants, Fort Worth, Texas, September 2011
Prior to returning to Kleinbard in 2012, Mary Beth was most recently the managing shareholder of Steiker, Fischer, Edwards & Greenapple, P.C., a law firm specializing in employee ownership issues. From 2000-2005, she was a partner at Kleinbard and, prior to that, she was an associate in the Business and Finance Department of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Philadelphia.
Mary Beth is a board member and former Chair of the Board of Directors of Covenant House Pennsylvania and is the President of the Board of the CAPA Foundation, a foundation supporting the activities of the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. In addition, she is a member of the Forum of Executive Women and an officer of the Harvard Club of Philadelphia.