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Ray J. Koenig III

fax +1 312.985.5985

Ray Koenig represents individuals, families, financial and medical institutions, charities and governmental agencies in probate, trust, and guardianship controversies, including complex matters which require practical solutions.

Ray continually provides quality, responsive, and efficient representation to his clients. Ray is dedicated to the needs of his clients, whether that requires aggressive advocacy in a courtroom, skilled negotiations to prevent or conclude litigation, or effective counseling to avoid future trust and estate controversies.

Ray seeks ways to resolve difficult issues in the most effective manner possible. His success has resulted in appointments by judges as Guardian Ad Litem and defense counsel by judges in complicated guardianship matters, and as Special Administrator in problematic probate matters.

Ray has decades of experience in a variety of aspects of controversies involving trusts, probate, guardianships and related fiduciary issues including will and trust contests, will and trust construction and reformation actions, citations to recover, breach of fiduciary duty claims, charitable disputes, and guardianship litigation.

His years of practice have also resulted in his retention as an expert witness in matters involving guardianship and probate issues. His depth of knowledge has been informed by and led to many speaking engagements and publications.

Ray serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s global Litigation practice, and as an elected member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Ray proudly served as Managing Member of the firm’s Chicago office from 2011 to 2023.


J.D., DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 1999
B.A., Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 1995


Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC); previous member of the ACTEC Fiduciary Litigation Committee

Recognized by Super Lawyers magazine one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Illinois in 2018, 2019 and 2020

Named Illinois Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters (2010-2024)

Received an “AV” Preeminent Rating by his peers through Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating

Named among The Best Lawyers in America® for Trusts and Estates by Best Lawyers (2018-2024)

Named a Leading Lawyer in Chicago by Leading Lawyers℠ (2012-2024)

Selected from over 1,350 nominations as one of the 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch in 2013 by the publisher of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer

Recognized by Crain’s Business as a Notable Gen X Leader in Law

Recognized by Crain’s Business as a Notable LGBTQ Executive

Named among Crain’s Chicago Business Chicago Gen X Leaders in Law (2021)


Chicago Bar Association, President, 2023-present, First Vice President, 2022-2023; Second Vice President, 2021–2022; Secretary, 2019–2021; Board of Managers 2012–2014; Founding Chair of the Leadership Development Committee; and Inaugural Chair of the Leadership Institute, 2016–2019

City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Commissioner, 2012-Present

Illinois State Employee Retirement Systems (SERS), Trustee, 2022-present

Special Advisory Council for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s Initiative to Eliminate Bullying in the Legal Profession, Member, 2023- present

Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Board of Directors

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow

LAGBAC Foundation Board, Member

The Economic Club of Chicago, Member

Chicago Estate Planning Council

DePaul University College of Law Diversity Council, Co-Chair

University of Illinois-Chicago Law School, Past Adjunct Professor

Illinois State Bar Association, Past Chair of the Trusts & Estates Section Council & Past Chair of the Section Legislation Committee; Past Member of the Task Force on Unauthorized Practice of Law; Past Member of the Special Committee on Nonlawyer Legal Service Providers

American Bar Association, Past Committee Vice-Chair within the Section on Probate (RPPT)

LAGBAC: Chicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association

Congressman Mike Quigley’s LGBT Advisory Council, past member

Equality Illinois PAC, Past Board Member and Treasurer

Chicago House and Social Service Agency, Past Chair and past Internal Vice Chair, Board of Trustees

Pride Action Tank Advisory Council

Lambda Legal Education and Defense Fund, Co-Chair of National Legacy and Planned Giving Council

Chicago Bar Foundation, Past Board of Directors

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, Past Board of Directors, Junior Board Founding Vice President and Past President

Cook County State’s Attorney LBGT Advisory Council, Former Chair

Clark Hill PLC Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Clark Hill PLC PRIDE Committee Co-Chair

Clark Hill Federal PAC

State Bar Licenses


Court Admissions

U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Illinois
  • “When the Fireman Meets the Architect: Spotting Red Flags When Preparing an Estate Plan,” Presenter, 43rd Annual Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium, April 25, 2024
  • “Ethics at O’Hare… or Cabo: Following the Rules While on the Road,” Moderator and Co-Presenter, CBA, March 2024
  • “Turning Red Flags Green: Views on How to Spot and Address Potential Estate Planning Issues to Avoid Future Contests,” Moderator and Co-Presenter, CBA, February 2024
  • “Estate Planning in Adult Guardianships,” Co-Presenter, IICLE 19th Annual Elder Law Short Course, October 2023
  • “The Mistakes Our Decedents Make: Dealing With Complex Probate and Trust Assets,” Co-Presenter, IICLE 65th Annual Estate Planning Short Course, May 22, 2023
  • “Preparing for a Guardianship Trial: Pre-Trial Discovery,” Co-Presenter, IICLE 18th Annual Elder Law Short Course, November 8, 2022
  • “Misplaced Trust: Court Intervention to Remedy Power of Attorney Misconduct,” Co-Presenter, IICLE 64th Annual Estate Planning Short Course, May 24, 2022
  • “Who decides? Tips and Strategies for Successfully Navigating Guardianship & Power of Attorney Disputes,” Co-Presenter, IICLE 17th Annual Elder Law Short Course, October 2021
  • “Know Your Tool Kit: How Planners Can Address Select Guardianship and Public Benefits Concerns,” Co-Presenter, IICLE 64th Annual Estate Planning Short Course, May 24-25, 2021
  • “Perspective of the Corporate Fiduciary: The Role of the Bank,” Co-Presenter, IICLE Elder Law Short Course, October 2020
  • “Do As I Say, Not As I Write: Perspectives on Drafting, Administration, and Beyond,” Co-Presenter, IICLE 63rd Annual Estate Planning Short Course, May 2020, and Chicago Estate Planning Council, January 2020
  • “Judicial Perspectives on Guardianships,” Co-Moderator, IICLE Elder Law Short Course, November 2019
  • “Lending as a Creative Planning Solution: Understanding the Bad and Avoiding the Ugly, So All Is Good,” Co-Presenter, ACTEC 2019 Fall Meeting, October 2019
  • “Expanding the Litigator’s Toolkit: Ever-Expanding No Contest Clauses and the Growing Use of Arbitration Clauses,” Co-Presenter, IICLE 62nd Annual Estate Planning Short Course, May 2019
  • “Trust and Estate Disputes Involving Children” Co-Panelist and Moderator, ACTEC Summer Meeting, June 2018
  • “Preventing Post-Death Administrative and Probate Nightmares” Presenter at IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, May 2018
  • “Visitation Issues in the Context of Guardianships and POA’s’” Co-Presenter at IICLE Elder Law Short Course, December 2017
  • “Dealing With Decision-Makers in a Health Care Setting: Identifying Red Flags and Avoiding Pitfalls,” Co-Presenter at Loyola University Summer Institute on Aging, May 2017
  • “Key Developments in Guardianship,” Co-Presenter at IICLE 60th Annual Estate Planning Short Course, May 2017
  • “Non-Traditional Families and Estate Planning,” Co-Presenter to the DuPage County Estate Planning Council, April 2017
  • “Representing Principals in Difficult Situations,” Co-Presenter at IICLE Elder Law Short Course, November 2016
  • “Disabled Persons: Planning for and Implementation of Special Needs Trusts and Guardianships,” Co-Presenter to Chicago Estate Planning Council, October 2016
  • “Dealing with Behavioral Disorders Exhibited by Clients and Beneficiaries,” Co-Presenter to Greater North Shore Estate & Financial Planning Council, March 2016
  • “Rights of Third Parties in Guardianships,” IICLE Elder Law Short Course, November 2015
  • “POA & Guardianship Litigation,” IICLE Powers of Attorney and Guardianship seminar, June 2015
  • Presentation on financial and tax planning at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Smart Week, April 2015
  • “What You Can Do in Guardianship That You Might Not Know,” IICLE Elder Law Short Course, November 2014
  • “Navigating Public & Private Benefits Post-DOMA,” National Conference of Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, St. Louis, September 2014
  • “Guiding Principles of Elder Law,” IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, May 2014
  • “Defending Your Principals: Litigation and Removal of Bad Agents,” NAELA Comprehensive Review, February 2014
  • “To Probate or Not to Probate: Opening the Estate,” ISBA Estate Administration Boot Camp, October 2013
  • Presentation on trust and estate beneficiary issues at the IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, April/May 2013
  • Guest, NPR/Vocalo The Barber Shop radio show, “What’s at Stake in the Gay Marriage Debate Impacts Families,” January 2013
  • Panelist with physician and social worker on elder rights issues, Governor’s Conference on Aging, December 2012
  • Panelist at “IICLE Practice Academy: Essentials of Estate Planning,” December 2012
  • Presentation on suing and defending agents under powers of attorney using the revised Act, CBA, November 2012
  • Presentation on powers of attorney and decision-making, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, October 2012
  • Presentation on planning and family fights in the age of civil unions, CBA, October 2012
  • Panelist at presentation on the confident modern family, Center on Halsted, October 2012
  • Presentation on Access to Benefits post-DOMA/Windsor to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ Annual Council of Advanced Practitioners Conference, August 2013
  • Panelist at presentation on diversity and affinity fraud, Illinois CPA Society, September 2012Presentation on advanced guardianship litigation, IICLE, June 2012
  • Presentation on the financial aspects of aging, CBA, May 2012
  • Presentation on representing trust & estate beneficiaries, IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, May 2012
  • Presentation on “Contested Guardianship Estates” at ISBA Guardianship Boot Camp, February 2012
  • “Dealing With Decision-Makers,” Governor’s Conference on Aging, December 2011
  • “90 Days Before Trial” panelist, CBA, December 2011
  • “The New Illinois Power of Attorney Act,” Rush University Medical Center, July 2011
  • “Short Act, Big Impact: A Practical Guide to Civil Unions in Illinois,” Office of Governor Pat Quinn, June 2011
  • “Planning to Prevent or Defeat Estate Contests: What Must Be Done Now,” IICLE Estate Planning Short Course, May 2011
  • Presentation on Citations in Decedent’s Estates, Lake County Bar Association, November 2010
  • “Red Flags from Clients’ Lives: Pitfalls to Avoid When Drafting an Estate Plan,” ISBA, May 2010
  • Presentation on Contesting and Defending Wills, CBA, November 2009
  • Presentation on the use of the Five Wishes document as an advance directive, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, August 2009
  • Presentation on Mental Health Treatment Declaration Act, Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health, November 2008
  • “Inside Justice” CBA television show about adult guardianships, WYCC, September 2008
  • “Guardianships for Adults: What is it?”, ISBA television show, CAN TV-21, August 2007
  • “Responsibilities of the Guardian of an Adult”, ISBA television show, CAN TV-21, August 2007
  • Presentation on Powers of Attorney and Guardianship, American Medical Director’s Association, March 2007
  • “Elder Abuse and Law: A Discussion of the Past and Proposals for the Future,” Governor’s Conference on Aging, December 2005
  • Presentation on Will Contests, CBA, November 2005
  • Presentation on Elder Mistreatment, Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November 2005