Leigh is a partner in Holland & Knight’s Private Wealth Services Group and the head of the firm’s International Estate Planning Practice, where she devotes her practice to her clients’ needs in the areas of domestic and international taxation, estate planning and administration, business law, and premarital agreements.

Probate & Property Magazine, March/April, Volume 23, Number 2

Profiles in Membership

Leigh-Alexandra BashaLeigh-Alexandra Basha

Leigh has been a member of the ABA and RPTE for years, but became active four years ago when she was asked to chair the International Tax Committee, which had previously been dormant. She was inspired to get involved by her law partner and the chair of Holland & Knight’s Private Wealth Services Group, Ed Koren, a past Chair of the RPTE Section. Since that time and because of her involvement with ABA leadership, Leigh has found personal satisfaction in making a difference legislatively. Under Leigh’s leadership, the International Tax Committee has been active in submitting comments on legislation that affects her international clients and their advisors, including (1) the Form 3520 and 3520-A, (2) nonresident aliens’ being ESBT beneficiaries, and (3) the new Exit Tax. Leigh’s committee has been a consistent seminar presenter at ABA conferences and has also sponsored an e-CLE program on offshore trusts. Her committee has open communication with the AICPA and participates on the AICPA Task Forces of the Foreign Bank Account Report and Expatriation. The committee also co-sponsored a specialty conference in London on International Wealth Transfer Practice with the International Bar Association, for which Leigh is the incoming chair of the International Tax and Private Client Committee.

Leigh’s areas of focus include international estate planning, pre-liquidity event planning, and traditional wealth transfer planning. She has published several articles and spoken and moderated several continuing legal education programs, both nationally and internationally. In 2001, she served as a visiting professor at L’Ecole de Formation de Barreaux de la Cour D’Appel de Paris and L’Universite de Paris II (Assas). She is active in many esteemed organizations and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Tax Court.

Leigh has been married for 27 years and has four children who are as international as she. One daughter is interning for the United Nations in Brussels. Another daughter has a French baccalaureate. A son is at the French International School in Washington, D.C. And another son works for an international corporation in government contracting.


Marjorie Ramseyer BardwellMarjorie Ramseyer Bardwell

Marjorie is the vice-president and senior staff underwriting counsel for the Fidelity National Title Group, Inc., which includes Ticor Title Insurance Company, Chicago Title Insurance Company, Security Union Title Insurance Company, Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, Alamo Title Company, Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation, and Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company.

Marjorie was encouraged by her employer to become a member of the ABA and participate in the RPTE Section Title Insurance Committee as a way to keep up-to-date on changes in the law affecting her industry. For many years she participated only by attending committee meetings and occasionally working on projects. After working with Barry Nekritz on a NCCUSL issue, he recruited Marjorie to move into a committee co-chair position (in a different committee), which was the beginning of her active participation in the ABA. Marjorie served as chair of the Single Family Residential Committee and now serves as the group chair of the Real Property Division Residential, Multi-Family and Special Use Group. She is also a mentor for the RPTE Section’s Fellows Program.

Marjorie started with Chicago Title in Milwaukee in January 1977 as a title examiner. Once she figured out how to read those big books, she became a unit manager and subsequently an agency counsel. She left Chicago Title to become Ticor’s state counsel for Wisconsin and Minnesota in 1986 and continued in that capacity until 1991, when she assumed additional responsibilities as state manager for those two states, running an agency network and a national title services operation out of Ticor’s Milwaukee office. In 1994 she transferred to the Office of the Chief Underwriting Counsel in Chicago, where she continues her responsibilities for training and field support, particularly for national underwriting of multi-site, multi-state transactions in the United States and Canada.

Marjorie is the co-author of Examining and Evaluating Title to Real Property in Wisconsin , Boundary Law in Wisconsin , and ABA’s Title Transfer & Title Insurance Online Skills Training Series. She is a frequent speaker on title insurance and real estate related topics for the Wisconsin bar and other educational groups.

She and her husband, Peter Werkowski, reside in Naperville, Illinois. She enjoys sewing, arts and crafts in many media, and berating her husband about the half-finished hot rod in the garage. They have both become Penn State fans since their daughter became a sophomore there.

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