Winston & Strawn
BMO Financial Group
Christine Edwards is a partner in Winston & Strawn’s corporate practice group. 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.
Ms. Edwards provides proactive counsel to clients on corporate governance, public company boards of director issues, banking and securities industry regulation, 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 various financial services firms, including Morgan Stanley and ABN AMRO, North America.
In 2010, BMO Financial Group appointed Ms. Edwards to its Board of Directors and to the Risk Review Committee of the Board. She was also elected vice president of the Chicago Finance Exchange and will become its president in 2011.
In June 2008, Ms. Edwards became a board member of The Chicago Network, an organization of professional women in the Chicago area who have reached the highest echelons in business, the arts, government, and academia. She also serves as chairwoman of the group’s Woman on Boards Committee.
In May 2007, Ms. Edwards was named a member of the Executive Committee of the Financial Services Roundtable’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Enhancing Competitiveness, which seeks to address ways in which the United States can maintain its global position as a financial center. She previously served as a commissioner on the year-long, independent, bipartisan U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commission on Capital Markets, which presented its findings in a Washington, D.C. summit in March 2007. Ms. Edwards chaired the Commission working group on Financial Institution Regulation, which was the source of many of the final Commission recommendations.
Ms. Edwards is active in a number of community and professional organizations. She is a member of The Chicago Club Program Commission; the board of directors for the Chicago Finance Exchange (for which she serves as vice president and is in line to become its next president); the board of trustees, Audit Committee (as chair), and Executive Committee of Rush University Medical Center; the board of Rush North Shore; and the board of visitors of the University of Maryland Law School. She previously served on the board of trustees of the Ravinia Festival (2000-2003).
Ms. Edwards’ current professional affiliations include: the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Committee of Corporate General Counsel; Maryland Bar Association; Chicago Finance Exchange; The New York Stock Exchange, Legal Advisory Committee; The Economic Club of Chicago; The Chicago Network; the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations; and a board member of the Chamber Center for Capital Markets. She previously served as a member of the advisory group for Law Department of the 21st Century, a member of Women in Housing and Finance (Washington, D.C.), and a member of the planning committee for The Corporate Counsel Institute of Northwestern University School of Law, 41st Annual Corporate Counsel Institute (2002 and 2003).
- Corporate Governance
- Financial Services Regulatory Compliance
- Government Relations
- Privacy and Security
- Securities Litigation and Regulatory Defense
- Securities Offerings
- White Collar
- District of Columbia
- Maryland Court of Appeals
- Northern District of Illinois
- S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- USCA – D.C. Circuit
Honors and Awards:
Ms. Edwards was ranked nationally in the 2007 and 2008 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for financial services regulation (securities). In addition, Ms. Edwards was awarded the Chicago Finance Exchange’s President’s Award for 2008, which recognized her work on the CFE Corporate Governance revisions and CFE Program Committee. In 2008 and 2009, she was named as an Illinois Super Lawyer and listed in The Legal 500.
Ms. Edwards received a B.A. in English and Education in 1974 from the University of Maryland (College Park) and a J.D., with honors, from the University of Maryland School of Law (Baltimore) in 1983.
Speeches and Publications:
Ms. Edwards is a frequent author and speaker on corporate governance and compliance and risk management issues.
Ms. Edwards was chapter leader for the Corporate Governance chapter of the ABA Corporate Counsel Committee book entitled “The In-house Counsel Essential Toolbox.” Her recent articles include: “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.
Her recent lectures and speaking appearances include: “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.
Ms. Edwards spoke on the General Counsel Panel at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Annual Meeting in Arizona in March 2009.