Mary C. Downie is an Associate General Counsel of BMO Financial Group, where as the Chief Lawyer for Personal Wealth U.S. she leads the national team of lawyers advising the firm on all legal matters impacting the U.S. personal wealth businesses of BMO Wealth Management, including the trust and investment business of BMO Harris Bank N.A., BMO Delaware Trust Company, the broker-dealer BMO Harris Financial Advisors, and registered investment advisories including CTC myCFO, LLC. Prior to joining BMO Financial Group, she spent more than 18 years in private practice in major law firms, where she focused her practice exclusively on ultra-high net-worth and high-net-worth estate planning, estate and trust administration, advising owners of closely held businesses, and estate and trust litigation.
Ms. Downie is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and while in private practice was named an Illinois Super Lawyer in the area of Estate Planning and Probate. She is a frequent author and lecturer on estate planning matters, estate administration, contested estate matters, and ownership succession issues. Ms. Downie has presented numerous seminars for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE®) including several presentations for the Illinois Estate Planning Annual Short Course, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the National Business Institute, and several institutional clients. She has published articles in the National Law Journal, the Illinois Bar Journal, and the Illinois State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section Newsletter. Ms. Downie has been a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Counsel, the Illinois State Bar Association and its Trusts and Estates Section Council, is the former Chair of the Estate and Gift Tax Division of the Federal Taxation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, and is a former member of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. She is a member of the American Bankers Association, and the Association of Corporate Counsel. Ms. Downie was a member of the IICLE® planning committee for the 58th, 57th, 56th, and 49th Annual Estate Planning Short Courses and has coauthored chapters in IICLE®’s RETIREMENT BENEFITS ISSUES IN ESTATE PLANNING, its LITIGATING DISPUTED ESTATES, TRUSTS, GUARDIANSHIPS AND CHARITABLE BEQUESTS, and its ILLINOIS ESTATE ADMINISTRATION. Ms. Downie received her B.A. summa cum laude from Albion College, where she was a Fellow, and her J.D. magna cum laude from The John Marshall Law School, where she was a member of The John Marshall Law Review and received numerous academic honors.