Christine Edwards represents Boards of Directors; special committees; chief legal officers; and financial services companies. Ms. Edwards focuses on the regulation of the financial services industry— particularly the securities and banking industries—as well as corporate governance and public and regulatory policy issues. She is a partner in Winston & Strawn’s corporate practice group.
Ms. Edwards provides proactive counsel to clients on corporate governance, public company boards of director issues, banking and securities industry regulation, risk management, consumer banking and securities transactions, and privacy and identity theft matters. She also has extensive experience supervising complex internal investigations and regulatory defense matters.
Prior to joining the firm in 2003, Ms. Edwards was executive vice president and chief legal officer at Bank One Corporation, a predecessor to JPMorgan Chase, one of the nation’s largest bank holding companies. She was in charge of Bank One’s 500-person legal, compliance, government relations, and regulatory management department, with responsibility for the bank’s worldwide legal and compliance needs. Previously, Ms. Edwards served as chief legal officer for large, international financial services firms, including Morgan Stanley and ABN AMRO, North America.
Honors and Awards
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – National Ranking, Financial Services – 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013
- Securities – 2007 and 2008
- Financial Services Regulation, Banking – 2011 and 2012
InsideCounsel Magazine: 2012 Recipient – Transformative Leadership Award
Today’s Chicago Woman magazine: Edwards was recognized as one of the “100 Women to Watch” July 2012 issue.
Chicago Finance Exchange President’s Award – 2008
- Recognized Ms. Edwards’ work on CFE corporate governance reforms and CFE’s program committee
Illinois Super Lawyer – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Legal 500 – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Agenda (a Financial Times publication): 2012 - Selected as a top 100 candidate nationwide for “The Agenda Compensation 100: Top Board Candidates with Pay Setting Skills”
BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO), one of the largest diversified financial services providers in North America with US$410 billion total assets and 38,000 employees as at Jan. 31, 2011.
- Member, Board of Directors – August 2010 to present
- Member, Risk Review Committee – August 2010 to present
- Member, Human Resources and Compensation Committee – March 2011 to present
- Member, Pension Committee - March 2012 to Present
The Chicago Network, a by invitation only organization of professional women in Chicago who have reached the highest levels in business, the arts, government, and academia.
- Member – 2001 to present
- Member, Board of Directors – June 2008 to 2011
- Chair, Women on Boards Committee, 2008 to 2009
Chicago Finance Exchange, an organization comprised of the leading women in Chicago finance.
- Member – 2005 to present
- Member, Board of Directors – 2006 to present
- President – 2010 to 2011
- Vice President and Board Member – 2009 to 2010
Rush University Medical Center, a leading academic medical center in Chicago encompassing a 675-bed hospital, basic and clinical research facilities, medical and nursing colleges with graduate programs in health systems management, and biomedical research.
- Member, Board of Directors – 2001 to present
- Member, Audit Committee – 2001 to present
- Chair, Audit Committee – 2009 to present
- Member, Executive Committee – 2009 to present
- Member, Nominating and Governance Committee – 2010 to present
University of Maryland School of Law, established in 1816 and celebrating more than 180 years of academic and legal excellence, is located in Baltimore and is in the top 50 first tier law schools as ranked by U.S. News and World Report.
- Member, Board of Visitors – 1997 to present
- Chair, Board of Visitors – 2011 to present
U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Center for Capital Markets, Washington, D.C.
- Blue Ribbon Commission on Capital Markets – 2005 to 2006
– Chair, Working Group on Financial Institutions Regulation
- Leadership Board Member – 2006 to present
Financial Services Roundtable
- Blue Ribbon Commission on Enhancing Competitiveness (co-chaired by Jamie Dimon and Dick Kovacevich) – 2007
- Member, Executive Committee – 2007
Ravinia Festival Association
- Board of Trustees – 2000 to 2003
Ms. Edwards received a B.A. in English and Education in 1974 from the University of Maryland and a J.D., with honors, from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1983.
Speeches and Publications
Ms. Edwards is a frequent author and speaker on corporate governance and compliance and risk management issues.
- Chapter Leader: Corporate Governance Chapter. ABA Corporate Counsel publication entitled “The In-house Counsel Essential Toolbox.” (2007)
- Co-author with Kelly McNamara Corley (EVP and GC Discover Financial Services) “Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel” chapter on “Lobbying.” (2010)
"The $10 Million Question: A Discussion of Executive Compensation", Dominican University Brennan School of Business, April 2012; "The Cumulative Effects of Financial Regulation", Sixth Annual Capital Markets Summit, U.S. Chamber Center for Capital Markets, March 2012; "Regulation of Certain Wire and ACH Transfers to Persons Abroad is Impending in the Guise of Regulation of Consumer Remittance Transfers", The Banking Law Journal, September 2011 (co-author); “Writing a Resume for a Board Candidacy,” Directors & Boards, First Quarter 2011 (co-author); “Has Dodd-Frank Created a Hidden Whistleblower Tax?” The Daily Deal, January 2011 (co-author); “The Personal Liability of Audit Committee Members: How Real is the Risk?” BoardMatters Quarterly, October 2007; “Regulatory Risk and the Context of Continuing Education,” BoardMatters Quarterly, July 2007; “Don't Miss What Is Just Over the Horizon,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, July 2007; “Good Corporate Behavior Redux — The Federal Self-Evaluative Privilege,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, June 2007 (with John Court); “How Competitive Are U.S. Capital Markets and U.S. Public Companies? Issues of Importance and Reform for All Corporate Counsel,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, May 2007 (interview); “Launch or Lurch? Findings of the Commission on the Regulation of the U.S. Capital Markets in the 21st Century,” The Deal, March 2007 (with Francesca Soria); “Stock Option Award Timing Issues,” BNA Tax Management Inc., July 2006; “Miss the Issue, Fail the Exam: CLO Responsibilities in Understanding New Accounting Rules,” Chief Legal Executive, Winter 2004; “Seeing Around Corners: Sarbanes Oxley New Materiality Standards,” Chief Legal Executive, Spring 2004; “The CLO's Perspective on Managing Legal Risk,” Chief Legal Officer, Spring 2002; and “Staying Alive: Survival Techniques for the New or Aspiring General Counsel,” Corporate Legal Times, February 2002.
Lectures and Speaking Appearances
“The Future of Corporate Governance Following the Economic Crisis,” Edward Brennan Forum on Corporate Governance, March 31, 2009; “Is Executive Compensation Really the Problem—and will Government Bailouts be the Cure?” Chicago Finance Exchange, Lunch-N-Learn, March 2009; “War Stories: Lessons Learned from Tough Encounters,” Institutional Investor Board/CFO Symposium, Washington, D.C., September 2008; “How to Keep Your CEO — and Yourself — out of Prison,” 20th Annual General Counsel Conference, New York, June 2008; “The Changing Compliance & Legal Landscape,” Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Compliance & Legal Division’s Chicago Regional Seminar, June 2008; “Debating the Merits of Prudential Supervision,” The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center on Corporate Governance & SIFMA Compliance and Legal Division, New York, April 2008; “SOX and the Capital Markets,” the University of Maryland School of Law’s Sixth Annual Business Law Conference, October 2007 (panel member); Women on Boards annual panel discussion, October 2007 (panel member); “Part I: Regulatory Update, Enforcement Actions & Developments in the Private Client Business,” Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, June 2007; “Board Oversight by Regulators — the New Corporate Governance?” Minority Corporate Counsel Association 6th Annual CLE Expo, March 2007 (panel moderator); “New Recommendations: U.S. Capital Markets and Corporate Reforms,” ABA Section of Business Law Spring Meeting, March 2007 (panel moderator); “What's New in Corporate Governance,” SEC “Hot Topics” Institute, September 2005; “Trends and Best Practices in Corporate Governance,” the Financial Services Roundtable, Lawyers Council 2005 spring meeting, May 2005; “Regulatory Atmosphere 2005: A Perfect Storm,” The Financial Services Roundtable’s 2005 Annual Conference, March 2005; Law Bulletin’s Corporate Governance seminar, September 2004; “Challenges and Opportunities of the Corporate Overhaul: Perspectives of the Chief Legal Officer,” Northwestern University School of Law, March 2003; “Excellence and Professionalism in Financial Management,” Institute of Management Accountants, October 2002; and “The Enron Effect: Protecting Your Directors, Officers and Company Values,” Corporate Legal Times SuperConference, June 2002.