Neil T. Kawashima - McDermott Will & Emery


Neil T. Kawashima is the head of the Firm’s Private Client Practice Group and has a diverse practice, representing wealthy individuals and families in matters related to philanthropy and assisting clients with estate and wealth transfer planning, business succession and governance, and estate and trust administration. Neil’s clients include philanthropists, owners of privately held businesses, beneficiaries of long-term trusts, fiduciaries and entrepreneurs.

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  • Routinely advises on the design, implementation, funding and administration of split-interest charitable trusts of varying levels of complexity, some exceeding $1 billion
  • Advised regarding the design, funding, governance and long-term administration of numerous charitable organizations and trusts
  • Designed and negotiated scores of charitable gifts and pledges ranging from less than $1 million to more than $1 billion
  • Advised in multiple situations on the contribution of interests in operating businesses to charitable vehicles
  • Advised and negotiated dozens of charitable agreements dealing with naming rights, specialized investment provisions and restricted purposes


  • Chambers High Net Worth, Illinois: Private Wealth Law, 2018 to 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Trusts & Estates, Chicago, 2009 to 2024
  • Chambers USA


  • American College of Trust & Estate Counsel, Fellow; Charitable Planning Committee, Member
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, Board of Trustees, Member
  • Lincoln Park Zoo, Board of Trustees, Member; Planned Giving Advisory Committee, Chair
  • Lyric Opera of Chicago, Board of Trustees, Member; Planned Giving Committee, Chair
  • Economic Club of Chicago, Member


Cornell Law School, JD, 1996
University of Chicago, AB, 1993


US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois