Cynthia D. Brittain , an estate planning and tax law specialist with the Northern Trust Corp., has been elected to the Board of Directors for Opera Santa Barbara. Her three-year term began in September.
Born in North Carolina, Ms. Brittain earned undergraduate degrees in economics and foreign policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and went on to receive a Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law and a Master of Laws degree in taxation from the University of San Diego. At California Western she was a member of both the Law Review and the International Law Journal. Ms. Brittain also has studied in Moscow and Paris.
After beginning her legal career as a prosecutor in San Diego, Ms. Brittain was a partner in Santa Barbara-based Ambrecht & Brittain for nearly 10 years before practicing with the international law firm Withers in London and Hong Kong, where she was primarily involved in international cross-border planning for large global families. Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2012, Ms. Brittain served as counsel at McKenna, Long & Aldridge in Los Angeles, where she focused on domestic and international estate and tax planning. At Northern Trust, she collaborates with clients and their counsel on estate planning strategies, including fiduciary and tax issues stemming from trust administration. She speaks nationally on cross-border planning.
Ms. Brittain is a member of the Estate and Trust Committee and the Tax Committee of the California State Bar Association, as well as the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. She served as president of the Ventura Estate Planning Council in 2007, and is currently a co-chair of the Tax Committee for the Santa Barbara County Bar Association.
An accomplished musician in her own right, Ms. Brittain studied piano for 14 years and has contributed concert reviews to The Washington Post and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. In addition to Santa Barbara, she has attended opera performances in Vienna, London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
“We are very pleased to welcome Cindy Brittain to our organization,” said Joan Rutkowski, immediate past chair of Opera Santa Barbara’s Board of Directors and current chair of its Governance Committee. “With her unique background in trust administration and fiduciary and tax issues, combined with a lifetime love of opera, we are confident she will have an immediate impact on Opera Santa Barbara’s important work in our community.”