Michael Curto is the managing partner of the Washington DC office and a long-term leader of Squire Patton Boggs, having served in a number of firmwide management roles. Michael is a seasoned adviser to boards of directors and senior management teams, providing strategic guidance to employers in all industries on a diverse range of business and transactional matters, and in related litigation, regulatory and public policy projects.

Michael has specific expertise in employee benefits law. For more than 35 years, he has advised businesses in the private, public and nonprofit sectors on a broad array of legal, regulatory, public policy and market developments within the retirement and healthcare industries. Michael’s practice encompasses all matters relating to the analytical framework of ERISA (the federal law governing private sector employee benefit plans), as well as state statutes applicable to government sponsored plans, with a particular focus on counseling plan sponsors and fiduciaries regarding compliance with the complex rules governing investment and plan management decisions. Michael also has extensive experience assisting clients in their efforts to shape employee benefits legislation, regulations and public policies to ensure that their business model aligns with the current statutory and regulatory regime.

Michael has a deep and abiding commitment to public service and has served in leadership positions for a variety of organizations, including the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee, the Caregiver Action Network (formerly the National Family Caregivers Association) and Georgetown University.

In 2011, Michael was appointed by the Governor of Maryland to the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). Later that same year, Michael was unanimously elected Chairman of the Board, and served in that capacity in 2012 and 2013, having been unanimously re-elected Chairman in 2013. MWAA is responsible for the management, operations and capital improvements of Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport and the Dulles Toll Road, as well as the construction and financing of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, known as the Silver Line, one of the largest infrastructure projects in the US. As MWAA’s Chairman, and also as Chairman of the Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee, Michael successfully collaborated with federal, state and county government officials, as well as civic and business leaders, to win approval for the construction and funding of the second phase of the Silver Line. In January, 2014, Michael was appointed Co-chairman of the Board’s Finance Committee, and served in that capacity through 2016, overseeing MWAA’s budget, financial policies, forecasting, investments and underwriting banking syndicate, including MWAA’s bond offerings and other financing transactions. 

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation, which promotes the role of public service and pro bono work in the practice of law and the development of public policy.

Michael served as an associate editor of the Law Review of the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America, and began his career with a judicial clerkship for the Honorable Julia Cooper Mack, Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He enjoys the highest peer rating in Martindale-Hubbard (AV Preeminent) and has been named to the Super Lawyers list every year since 2011.

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  • Catholic University of America, J.D., 1983
  • Georgetown University, A.B., 1980


  • District of Columbia, 1983

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Chairman, Board of Directors (2012, 2013); Finance Co-chairman (2014-2016)
  • Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee, Chairman (2012); Member (2013)
  • Squire Patton Boggs, former Member, Management Committee
  • Squire Patton Boggs, former Deputy Chairman, Business Department
  • Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board, Member (2012-2016)
  • Federal City Council of the District of Columbia, Trustee
  • Georgetown University, Chairman, Alumni Admissions Committee for Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Congressional Country Club, Member, Finance Committee
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • National Family Caregivers Association, former Vice Chairman and Member, Board of Directors
  • Martindale-Hubbard AV® Preeminent™ Rating
  • Associate Editor, Law Review, Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America
  • Listed in Super Lawyers of Washington DC 2011-2018
  • Awarded the M&A Dealmaker Certificate in Administration of the Certified M&A Dealmaker Training and Certification Center, China Mergers and Acquisition Association, November 2017

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  • Speaker, “U.S. Economic Sanctions and Export Controls: How They Apply to Chinese Companies,” DeHeng Cross-Border Forum, Beijing, China, January 16, 2019.
  • Instructor, National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems Accredited Fiduciary Program, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 27-28, 2018.
  • Speaker, “State Approaches to Addressing Pension Funding Issues,” Public Pension Forum, National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 17, 2018.
  • Speaker, “Legislative/Regulatory Update,” Aon Retirement Partner Meeting, Oak Brook, Illinois, April 26, 2018.
  • Speaker, “China-U.S. M&A – How to Break Through the Security Review,” China Mergers & Acquisitions Association, Beijing, China. December 13, 2017.
  • Instructor, National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems Accredited Fiduciary Program, Hollywood, Florida, May 21-22, 2017.
  • Instructor, National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems Accredited Fiduciary Program, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 22-23, 2016.
  • Co-author, “Retirement Issues and the 2014 Congressional Election: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same,” Compensation and Benefits – Global Insights, November 9, 2014.
  • Author, “Major U.S. pension buyouts announced,” Compensation and Benefits – Global Insights, October 2, 2014.
  • Author, “401(k) plans – new rule on fiduciaries delayed (again),” Compensation and Benefits – Global Insights, June 11, 2014.
  • Speaker, Aon Hewitt Benefits Delivery Client Council, Schaumburg, Illinois, November 2011.
  • Speaker, 3° Annual North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum, CG/LA Infrastructure LLC, October 2011.
  • Author, “Investment Education: Balancing Participant Needs and Advisers’ Fiduciary Risk,” Financier Worldwide Global Reference Guide: Employment and Human Resources 2011.
  • Co-author, “Dodd-Frank Regulatory Rulemaking: Financial Reform’s Second Act, Five Key Questions for Insurance Companies Assessing the Potential Impacts of the New FIO,” Spotlight On: Insurance Regulation, September 3, 2010.
  • Co-author, “Executive Compensation,” Financier Worldwide Magazine, October 2009.
  • Author, “COBRA Expansion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” Patton Boggs Client Alert, February 27, 2009.
  • Speaker, “Tax Implications for Investors in Mezzanine Funds,” Mezzanine Finance Investors' Summit, New York, New York, October 2008.
  • Author, “409A Compliance Deadline Approaches,” Patton Boggs Client Alert, September 30, 2008.
  • Contributor, Special Diversity Issue, Capital Thinking Magazine, Fall 2008.
  • Co-author, “Executive Compensation: A New Wave of Reform,” Financier Worldwide Magazine, December 2005.
  • Presenter, “ERISA and the Duty of Best Execution,” Investor Action Foundation Conference on Corporate Governance and Shareholder Value in an Era of Market Transformation, New York, New York, October 12, 2005.
  • Author, “Economically Targeted Investments and Fiduciary Responsibility," Conference on Targeting Pension Investments for Maximum Returns, CIGNA Retirement and Investment Services, Massachusetts Financial Services, Multi-Employer Property Trust, and the Amalgamated Bank of New York, April 1996.
  • Author, “Potential Employer Savings Through Medicare Secondary Payor Program for Disabled Individuals,” Legal Update published by the Washington Business Group on Health, April 1992.
  • Author, “Legal Analysis, Retiree Benefits: The Complete Guide to FASB Compliance & Health Care Cost Control,” special report published by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., 1989.
  • Co-author, “Texas Tax on Self-insureds Topples,” Law Report, Business Health Magazine, May 1989.
  • Co-author, “Child Support Enforcement through Wage Withholding Proves Effective,” Regulatory Update, Greater Washington Board of Trade News, February 1989.
  • Author, “Benefit Duplication Could Mean Employee Refunds,” Medical Products Sales Magazine, February 1989.
  • Author, “Fiduciary Responsibilities Under ERISA,” Oppenheimer & Co. Pension Conference, July 1988.
  • Co-author, “Fiduciary Duties under ERISA,” 4 Compensation & Benefits Management 199, Spring 1988.
  • Co-author, “Prohibited Transactions: Current Issues for Plan Fiduciaries,” 23 Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 701, Winter 1988.
  • Co-author, “Legalities of Retiree Benefits Modification,” Business and Health Magazine, June 1987.

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