Suzanne L. Shier

Suzanne L.

Suzanne L. Shier is the Wealth Planning Practice Executive and Chief Tax Strategist for Wealth Management at Northern Trust. In this capacity, she is responsible for leading the Wealth Management wealth planning group and for providing thought leadership on federal tax issues of interest to clients, with a special emphasis on tax policy and legislation, charitable giving, cross-border trust design and fiduciary law.


Prior to joining Northern Trust, Ms. Shier spent 26 years as a partner at Chapman and Cutler LLP in Chicago, ultimately leading the firm’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group, representing individuals, charitable organizations, and corporate fiduciaries in a full range of estate planning and fiduciary services, including cross-border planning, and fiduciary administration matters.

Ms. Shier is an adjunct professor in the Master of Laws in Taxation Program at Northwestern University Law School and also a frequent speaker and author. She has been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg and has received numerous professional honors and recognitions.

Ms. Shier earned her bachelor’s degree with distinction in economics and sociology from the University of Michigan in 1982. She received her law degree, cum laude, from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1985 and a master of laws in taxation from the DePaul University College of Law in 1997.

In the civic community, Ms. Shier is actively involved in many diversity and education initiatives, including serving on the Boards of Directors of Gads Hill Center, as a Trustee of Hope College, and as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Chicago Scholars, a college access program for high potential urban students. 

Ms. Shier is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel where she is a member of the International Committee and a member of the International Bar Association, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, the American Bar Association and the Chicago Estate Planning Council.

Prudent Sustainable and Responsible Investing 
Suzanne L. Shier and Benjamin J. Lavin explore the current developments in socially responsible investing and the Department of Labor’s guidance on the implementation of SRI strategies by Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 fiduciaries.
Proposed Property Value and Basis Reporting Rules Create Challenges 
Suzanne L. Shier and Benjamin J. Lavin discuss the practical implications and outstanding issues stemming from the legislation.
Crossing Borders: Planning for Wealth in Motion 
Cynthia Brittain & Suzanne Shier address the different tax rules for U.S. and foreign individuals
The Common Ground in Tax Reform 1
In the midst of the tax season, the House Ways and Means Committee and the Obama Administration have provided us with their respective views on taxes and tax reform in 2014 and beyond.
Seven 2013 Year-End Tax Planning Ideas
Here are a few thoughts on tax planning to consider as 2013 comes to a close.
Clean House 
If Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff serves no other purpose, he's a stark reminder that anyone acting in a fiduciary capacity must maintain high standards
Transfers from Abroad 
Advisors to U.S. clients increasingly are faced with questions regarding the U.S. gift, estate, generation skipping transfer (GST) and income tax consequences
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