BakerHostetler Continues Dallas Expansion with Addition of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Partner Stefan Smith

Press Releases / June 1, 2022

Dallas — June 1, 2022

Key takeaways
  • Stefan Smith joins BakerHostetler’s Dallas office as a partner in the firm’s Tax Practice Group and on the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation team.
  • Smith is a Chambers-ranked attorney with extensive experience helping clients navigate complex employee benefits and executive compensation matters, particularly retirement plans.
  • His arrival marks the latest addition to BakerHostetler’s rapidly expanding Dallas office and follows the arrival of Business partner Elise Barajas, earlier in May.
Why this matters

Smith’s arrival highlights the firm’s commitment to growing both its Dallas office and the Tax Practice Group. With more than two decades of experience, Smith’s ability to help both public and private entities identify creative employee benefit solutions further strengthens the firm’s impressive Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation team.

Key quote

“We’re incredibly excited to have Stefan join BakerHostetler,” said Tax Practice Group Chair Jeff Paravano. “His experience and knowledge, particularly in navigating the benefits and compensation aspects of M&A deals, will be helpful to clients not only with respect to evaluating risks but also with integration and post-transaction structures.”

About Smith’s practice

Smith is a highly regarded tax attorney who regularly works with companies of all sizes as well as governmental and nonprofit employers. As part of his practice, he works alongside clients to ensure the continued compliance of their tax-qualified defined contribution and defined benefit retirement plans, including 401(k)/profit-sharing plans, traditional defined benefit plans, money purchase plans, employee stock ownership plans and cash balance plans. Smith also advises on employee benefit matters arising during mergers and acquisitions and on all types of executive and equity-based compensation, including compliance with Sections 280G and 409A of the Internal Revenue Code.

Smith earned his juris doctor, with honors, from The University of Texas School of Law and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Southern Methodist University.

Awards and community experience
  • Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine (2022).
  • Fellow, Board of Governors of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (2022).
  • Chambers USA, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation (2019-present).
  • Vice chair, American Bar Association Section of Taxation’s Employee Benefits Committee.
  • Adjunct professor, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
Key quote

“Stefan is among Texas’ top employee benefits attorneys and we are thrilled to welcome him to BakerHostetler,” said Shawn Cleveland, partner-in-charge of the Dallas office. “His arrival, along with that of Elise Barajas earlier this month, mark important milestones in the continued growth of the firm’s Dallas presence and showcase the firm’s commitment to our five-year strategic plan.”

For more information on BakerHostetler’s Tax Practice Group, visit Connect with us on Twitter at @BakerHostetler or on LinkedIn at @BakerHostetler, @JeffParavano, @ShawnCleveland and @StefanSmith.


About BakerHostetler

With hundreds of highly ranked attorneys across multiple practice areas, BakerHostetler helps clients around the world address their most complex and critical business and regulatory issues, delivering sophisticated counsel and outstanding client service. The firm has six core practice groups — Business, Digital Assets and Data Management, Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment, Litigation, and Tax — comprised of more than 1,000 lawyers located coast to coast. For more information, visit