The Northern Trust

About Us

The Chicago Estate Planning Council has been an outstanding source of information about estate planning developments, analysis and techniques for its members since 1938.

Council membership is carefully selected from Chicago area professionals, and is comprised of attorneys, certified financial planners, certified public accountants, chartered financial consultants, chartered life underwriters, and trust officers-all pooling their knowledge and technical expertise for the advancement of informed estate planning.

The principal objectives of the Council are:

To foster a better understanding of the proper relationship among estate planning specialists from different disciplines and to bring those specialists together in one association;

to further the education of members and the public in matters of estate planning;

to encourage the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct.

AUSTIN FLEMING AWARD

The Austin Fleming Award is presented annually to a person highly regarded by practicing estate planners for his or her expertise in the field, and who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of estate planning practices.

Austin Fleming was trust counsel at The Northern Trust. A tireless innovator in the trust and estate legislation and education area, he was a tremendous believer in continuing education. Fleming gave a tremendous amount to the estate planning community. When he retired, it was decided to pay tribute to him by creating this distinguished service award in his honor. “Mr. Fleming’s contribution to legal scholarship and the development of the law in trusts and estates serves as a goal to be reached by all who practice in this arena.”

Mr. Fleming’s contribution to legal scholarship and the development of the law started as far back as 1929 when he co-authored an article for the Michigan Law Review on whether a judgment concludes non-partners of whose interests the plaintiff had no notice. Mr. Fleming wrote articles on various legal topics beginning in the 1920s and continuing through the 1970s. He contributed much to legal understanding and development over a long period of time.

It is particularly interesting to note that some of the topics on which Mr. Fleming wrote, such as apportionment of estate taxes and the varying standards of prudence applicable to fiduciaries, are as alive and significant for us today as they were when the articles were written.

Mr. Fleming received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his JD in 1929. He served on the staff of the general counsel of the Office of Price Administration during World War II and joined The Northern Trust in 1945. While retiring from the bank’s legal department in 1974, he continued as Of Counsel until his untimely death on January 1, 1979.

2020 Award Recipient - Suzanne Shier

 

This year’s recipient, Suzanne Shier, is especially worthy of this award.  She embodies the traits that Austin Fleming himself, and the award named in his honor. 

For those of you who have a professional or personal relationship with Suzanne know that she’s approaches every subject and challenge with grace and with a lens on how to help achieve the intended goal or improve a what might be viewed as a challenging situation.   She places special emphasis on strategies, legislation, trends and developments focusing on how they may impact clients and their families. I personally had the pleasure of working closely with Suzanne for years while she was in private practice.  I, my colleagues and our clients benefited from the guidance and strategic advice she provided to every unique situation.   

Suzanne has, and continues, to help those of us in the profession by sharing her wisdom through education, publications and individual conversations.  In addition to being a frequent CEPC speaker, Suzanne’s insights are frequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNBC.com and other publications.

Suzanne joined Northern Trusts in 2012 and recently retired from Wealth Management after 8 years with the company. While at Northern Trust, Suzanne led and grew the Wealth Planning and Wealth Advisor Practice nationally, and most recently engaged in the launch of the Corporate Executives segment of The Northern Trust Institute. Prior to joining Northern Trust, Suzanne spent 26 years as a partner at Chapman and Cutler LLP in Chicago, ultimately leading the firm’s Trusts and Estates practice, representing individuals, charitable organizations and corporate fiduciaries in a full range of wealth planning, tax and fiduciary matters.

Suzanne graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree with distinction in economics and sociology. She received her law degree, cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and a Master of Laws in taxation (LLM) from the DePaul University College of Law.

Suzanne is a Fellow of the American College of Estate and Trust Counsel, an Academician of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Professionals.

She enjoys being actively involved in the civic community, presently serving as an officer of the Boards of Chicago Scholars Foundation, Hope College and Kids Hope USA. As an Adjunct Professor in the Northwestern University Law School LLM in Taxation Program, Suzanne teaches estate and gift taxation and international estate planning.

2019 Award Recipient - Christine L. Albright

Christine Albright is the Midwest Regional Team Leader for the Private Wealth Services Group at Holland & Knight LLP, in its Chicago office. Her practice is focused on counseling high-net-worth individuals and family groups in all facets of sophisticated wealth and estate planning and protection, and it includes estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxation, income taxation of estates and trusts, and succession planning for closely held and family businesses. She also represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries of trusts and estates regarding all aspects of trust and estate administration, the review and preparation of transfer tax returns, the analysis of income tax matters, and trust construction and reformation suits and other contested trust and estate matters. In addition, she represents parties in seeking private letter rulings and in handling tax audits for federal tax matters.

Chris frequently has spoken on wealth and estate planning and trust and estate administration issues for various professional groups, and she has served on a number of charitable organizations’ professional advisory committees and councils. For a number of years she was an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law, teaching the course on the income taxation of trusts and estates in the Graduate Tax Program.

 

PREVIOUS AWARD RECIPIENTS

2018 Brian T. Whitlock

2017 Thomas W. Abendroth

2016 Anne-Marie Rhodes

2015 David A. Handler

2014 Eileen B. Trost

2013 Susan T. Bart

2012 LOUIS S. HARRISON

2011 RICHARD M. HORWOOD

2010 WILLIAM C. WEINSHEIMER

2009 LANNY D. LEVIN

2008 ELLIOTT M. FRIEDMAN

2007 ROBERT I. URY

2006 ROBERT E. HAMILTON

2005 LYMAN W. WELCH

2004 KAREN K. MACKAY

2003 DAVID B. HIRSCHEY

2002 JUDITH W. MCCUE

2001 CAROL A. HARRINGTON

2000 HOWARD M. MCCUE III

1999 DONALD M SCHINDEL

1998 DONALD A. GLASSBERG

1997 J. TIMOTHY RITCHIE

1996 DONALD R. DANN

1995 JOHN T. HAYES

1994 ARTHUR W. BROWN, JR.

1993 MORTON J. BARNARD

1992 HERBERT J. DAVIS

1991 MARSHALL ZISSMAN

1990 CLAIREEN L. HERTING

1989 WILLIAM R. SUTTER

1988 JAMES M. TRAPP

1987 ADDIS E. HULL, III

1986 BYRLE M. ABBIN

1985 HUGO J. MELVOIN

1984 FREDERICK H. STITT

1983 WALTER R. DAHL

1982 J. GORDON HENRY

1981 WILLIAM K. STEVENS

1980 MILLARD J. GRAUER

1979 HARRY I. GROSSMAN

1978 JAMES N. ZARTMAN

1977 DANIEL M. SCHUYLER

1976 STUART A. MONROE

1975 JAMES M. CORCORAN, JR.

1974 AUSTIN FLEMING