Barry K. Downey's Profile Image

Barry K. Downey

Phone: 410-321-9000
Fax: 410-321-6270

Barry Downey’s practice deals with all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation law. He has extensive experience in designing, drafting, and providing advice concerning all types of employee benefit and executive compensation programs, including tax-qualified defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans, non-tax-qualified deferred compensation plans, and all types of welfare benefit programs.

Barry has considerable experience negotiating with the IRS and DOL on behalf of clients undergoing audits by and inquiries from these agencies. He also has considerable experience in the representation of government entity, church, and church-related clients in connection with all aspects of their ERISA-exempt tax-qualified and non-tax-qualified retirement programs and welfare benefit programs.

In addition, Barry has particular experience and expertise in the area of advising clients regarding the technical compliance of all types of employee benefit and executive compensation programs. His work in this area includes representation of employee benefit plan service providers (e.g., consulting firms, financial institutions, and investment advisers) in connection with their services to their clients and with the development and implementation of prototype retirement plan products.

Barry is a frequent speaker and panelist at educational programs in the employee benefits and executive compensation areas.


  • University of Maryland School of Law (J.D., with Honors)
  • University of Maryland (B.S., cum laude)


  • 1995-Present: Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent®
  • 2010-Present: The Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law


  • National Association of Public Pension Attorneys
  • American Bar Association
    Section of Taxation, Employee Benefits Committee
  • Maryland State Bar Association
    Former Chair, Tax Section Committee on Employee Benefits

Admitted to Practice

  • Maryland
  • United States Supreme Court


Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Answer Book and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Answer Book: Forms and Checklists (co-author).

Final 409A Regs Clarify Deferred Compensation Rules For Nonqualified Plans,” CCH Pension Plan Guide, Extra Issue, June 27, 2007; Issue No. 1758, Report No. 1689.

“Governmental Deferred Compensation Plans,” National Association of Public Pension Attorneys Newsletter, August 1998.