Barbara R. Grayson: Lawyer with Mayer Brown LLP

Barbara R. Grayson

Chicago,  IL  U.S.A.
Phone+1 312 701 8805

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Experience & Credentials

Practice Areas

  • Wealth Management
    Contact InfoTelephone: +1 312 701 8805
    Fax: +1 312 706 8174
    University University of Missouri-Kansas City, B.A., honors with distinction, 1998
    Law SchoolHarvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2001
    Admitted2001, Illinois

    •Young Professional Advisory Committee - The Chicago Community Trust
    •American Cancer Society Women's Board of Chicago
    •Spotlight Advisory Council - Goodman Theatre
    •After School Matters
    •Chicago Estate Planning Council


    Barbara Grayson is a partner in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown's Wealth Management practice. She represents high net worth individuals and families as well as the businesses, charitable organizations and trusts that they control. She has extensive experience in estate planning, including structuring solutions for transferring wealth to younger generations and succession planning for difficult family situations. Barbara has a diverse practice and often counsels clients through major life events, such as establishing a family foundation, developing a business succession plan, negotiating premarital agreements, administering the estate of a deceased family member or establishing gift trusts for children or grandchildren. A former education major, she has been told she has a gift for explaining complicated matters in an easily understandable way.

    Barbara’s tax planning experience is focused on gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes. She works with clients to design and implement estate plans, including wills, trusts and lifetime gifts. Barbara also structures partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations, shareholder agreements and buy-sell agreements. She counsels clients regarding sophisticated planning for family businesses, including corporate recapitalizations, corporate governance, intrafamily sales and family partnerships. In addition, Barbara has experience in the international aspects of the estate planning practice.

    A significant portion of Barbara’s practice focuses on philanthropic matters, including the representation and advising of tax-exempt organizations and the representation of individuals with respect to charitable giving. She has helped clients to establish private foundations, and she also counsels clients as to best practices in administering those foundations in light of the complicated tax rules surrounding their governance. In addition, Barbara represents private foundations established by public corporations and public charities. Barbara has advised on grant and scholarship programs, fiduciary matters, planned giving matters, international grant making, reorganization strategies and governance issues.

    Her practice also includes probate and trust administration. Barbara represents fiduciaries (executors and trustees) and individuals in probate and trust administration. When necessary, Barbara also has represented fiduciaries and beneficiaries in contested probate and trust matters.

    Barbara is a frequent speaker and author on estate planning topics. She has spoken at the Estate Planning Short Course sponsored by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Education on a variety of current issues, and recently authored a chapter on the estate and gift tax consequences of foreign investment in US real estate.

    Since 2008, Illinois SuperLawyers has included Barbara on its annual “Illinois Rising Star List” featuring the top young lawyers in the state, as published by Chicago Magazine.


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    It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Making Gifts to Loved Ones
    Barbara R. Grayson,Megan M. Okun, February 26, 2015
    For people in the United States, the holiday season is often a time for making substantial gifts to family members and other loved ones. Larger gifts can be made using the federal Gift Tax Exemption and Generation-Skipping Transfer (“GST”) Tax Exemption. However, annual exclusion gifts...
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    Office Information

    Barbara R. Grayson

    71 S. Wacker Drive
    ChicagoIL 60606


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