Neil T. Kawashima has a diverse practice, representing wealthy individuals and families on matters related to estate and gift planning, business succession and governance, and estate and trust administration. Neil’s clients include owners of privately-held businesses, beneficiaries of long-term trusts, fiduciaries and entrepreneurs. Neil has advised his clients regarding traditional and novel uses of trusts, wealth transfer strategies, business control mechanisms such as voting trusts and stockholder agreements, and fiduciary issues.
A major portion of Neil’s practice is focused on philanthropic matters. Neil counsels individuals and families with respect to charitable giving strategies, helping them to create tax-exempt entities including private foundations, supporting organizations and social welfare organizations. In addition, Neil has significant experience counseling his clients on the design and implementation of charitable gift and pledge agreements, split-interest charitable trusts and other charitable giving strategies. On behalf of his clients, Neil has negotiated major gifts with charitable organizations and also has helped his clients identify, formulate and enforce their charitable goals. Neil also represents tax-exempt organizations such as private foundations, public charities, supporting organizations and religious groups. In this regard, Neil advises organizations about corporate and trust governance issues, federal and state compliance and audit matters, grant and scholarship programs, issues related to endowments and state Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) statutes, fiduciary matters, best practices, planned giving matters and reorganization strategies.
Neil frequently speaks and writes on matters involving philanthropy.
- Designed and implemented a $500 million intra-family transaction involving multiple charitable trusts
- Designed and negotiated scores of charitable gifts and pledges ranging in size from less than $1 million to $1 billion
- Designed and implemented a $3 billion transaction intended to preserve family control over a company and related estate and gift planning
- Routinely advises regarding the design, implementation, funding and administration of split-interest charitable trusts of varying levels of complexity
- Chambers USA
- The Best Lawyers in America 2009-2023, Trusts and Estates
- Chambers High Net Worth 2022, Illinois: Private Wealth
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow and Member of Charitable Planning Committee
- American Bar Association
- Joffrey Ballet, Planned Giving Committee, Chair
- Lincoln Park Zoo, Planned Giving Advisory Committee, Chair
- Lyric Opera of Chicago, Planned Giving Committee
- Chicago Community Trust, Professional Advisory Committee
Cornell Law School, JD, 1996
University of Chicago, AB, 1993
US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois