Cynda C. Ottaway

Director

Office: Oklahoma City
Email: cynda.ottaway@crowedunlevy.com

Phone: 405.235.7736
Fax: 405.272.5280
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Cynda Ottaway is a director and chair of the firm's Private Wealth & Closely-Held Business practice group in the Oklahoma City office. Her practice focuses on estate planning, trust and estate administration and litigation and planning for closely-held family businesses. Ottaway has experience in wealth transfer techniques and assists individuals and businesses with succession planning.

Ottaway serves as immediate past president of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the leading trust and estate organization of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers. She has been a member for over 25 years and has served in several other leadership roles with ACTEC including service on the Executive Committee, the Board of Regents and the ACTEC Foundation. Ottaway is also a frequent speaker and writer for the organization, having served as co-reporter for the ACTEC Commentaries on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Fourth Edition, 2006.

In addition to her legal practice, Ottaway is an active community volunteer in Oklahoma City, serving on several boards including United Way, Oklahoma City Museum of Art and Board of Visitors for the College of Law as well as the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. She is a volunteer with Leadership Oklahoma City and Rotary Club 29.

Ottaway is the recipient of many honors, awards and rankings including*:

    • 2014 Oklahoma City Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, Trusts and Estates
    • 2012 Oklahoma City Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, Non-Profit/Charities
    • 2010 Oklahoma City Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, Trusts and Estates
    • Best Lawyers, Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law, Non-Profit/Charities Law, Tax Law, Trusts and Estates, 1989-present
    • Top 25 Women Oklahoma Super Lawyers, 2006-2013
    • Oklahoma Super Lawyers, Estate Planning and Probate, 2006-present

*Crowe & Dunlevy has no input in the rating methodologies used by Best Lawyers, Oklahoma Super Lawyers or Benchmark Litigation.

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Professional Associations & Memberships

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Immediate Past President (2017), President (2016), President-Elect (2015), Vice President (2014), Board of Regents (1999 to 2005), Professional Responsibility Committee, Chair (1999 to 2006), Bylaws Committee (1999 to 2002), Nominating Committee (1999 to 2001), Annual Meeting Speaker (1998 and 2005), Chair of Environmental Committee (1996-1998), Program Committee (1996-1998, 2003-2005), Member of Special Task Force Committees (1995-1999 and 2004 to 2007)
  • Oklahoma City Estate Planning Council, President (1995-1996), Board of Directors (term 1988-1996)
  • American Bar Association: Fellow, Committee Vice Chair, Real Property, Probate and Trust Section (1985-1990); Committee Member, Estate and Gift Tax Committee, Tax Section (1979-1980)
  • Oklahoma Bar Association: Chairman, Estate Planning and Probate Section (1987); Executive Committee and Officer of Estate Planning and Probate Section (1984-1986); Member, Young Lawyers Committee (1978-1980)
  • International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, Member (2012-Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Oklahoma Super Lawyers (Estate Planning and Probate, 2006-Present)*
  • Journal Record Woman of the Year Finalist
  • OKC Friday Newspaper's OKC's 50 Most Powerful Women Recipient, 2013, 2014 and 2016
  • Best Lawyers in America (Trusts and Estates, 1996-Present)*
  • Best Lawyers 2014 Lawyer of the Year (Trusts and Estates, Oklahoma City)*
  • Best Lawyers 2012 Lawyer of the Year (Nonprofit/Charities, Oklahoma City)*
  • Best Lawyers 2010 Lawyer of the Year (Trusts and Estates, Oklahoma City)*

Published Works

  • Co-Reporter, ACTEC Commentaries on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Fourth Edition, 2006
  • Oklahoma Comments to the Oklahoma Uniform Prudent Investor Act, 1995
  • Co-Author, "What We Learned by Comparing the ACTEC Commentaries to NAELA", 2006
  • Oklahoma Editor, Drafting the Durable Power of Attorney, 1988 to 1996

Speaking Engagements

  • "They Can't Take It With Them: Planning and Valuing Art and Collectibles," The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Southern Regional Meeting, April 2016

  • "Up, Up and Away: How to Navigate An Aircraft Transfer,"The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Fall Meeting, October 2015

  • "They Can't Take It With Them: Planning and Valuing Art and Collectibles,"The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Hawaii Regional Meeting, August 2015

  • "Executive Compensation and Performance Evaluations" and "Audit and Investment Committees: Financial Oversight," Oklahoma Bar Association New Challenges for Nonprofit Organizations Seminar, September 2013

  • "Election Eve Estate Tax Predictions and Morning-After Estate Planning," Casady Advisor Series, November 2012

  • "Oil and Gas Law 101 for Estate Planners," 61st Annual Tulane Tax Institute, October/November 2012

  • "Ethical Representation of Family Business Clients in Estate Planning Matters," ACTEC-ALI CLE Teleconference, October 2012

  • "How to Handle the Toughest Issues in the Operation and Succession of a Family Business," The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Summer Meeting, June 2012

  • "Oil and Gas Law 101 for ACTEC Dummies, to Probate or Not to Probate: Mineral Interests in Estate Planning and Probate," The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Annual Meeting, March 2012

  • "Playing by the Ethical Rules: How 'Engaging' Can Estate Planners Be," ACTEC/ALI-ABA Teleconference, November 2011

  • "Playing by the Ethical Rules: How 'Engaging' Can Estate Planners Be," Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Estate Planning Seminar, November 2011

  • "How Engaging Can We Be While Playing by the Ethical Rules," 45th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, January 2011

  • "How to Succeed (Ethically) in Business Succession Planning," Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Estate Planning Seminar, November 2010

  • "The A-MAZE-ing Race, How to Succeed (Ethically) in Business Succession Planning," 32nd Annual Duke University Estate Planning Conference, October 2010

  • "Current Ethical Issues Affecting Estate Planners," ACTEC/ALI-ABA Teleconference, October 2010

  • "Ethics and Succession Business Planning," 44th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, January 2010

  • "Legal Issues in Art Authentication" 65th Annual Tulane Tax Institute, November 2016

Pro Bono

  • The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • United Way
  • Allied Arts

Community Service

  • Renaissance Ball, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Co-Chair, 2016
  • University of Oklahoma College of Law, Board of Visitors
  • University of Oklahoma Honors College, Board of Visitors
  • Rotary Club 29, Member and Officer
  • United Way, Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Legal Counsel
  • Leadership Oklahoma City, Class XV
  • Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Board of Directors
  • Served as a board member or volunteered for the following: Allied Arts, The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, Volunteer Center of Central Oklahoma (Founding Chair), Junior League, Center for Non-Profit Management, Calm Waters, University of Oklahoma Breast Health Institute, United Way, Omniplex, Easter Seals, YMCA, St. Anthony‚Äôs Professional Advisory Board, Rainbow Fleet, Casady School, Westminster School, Oklahoma City Community Foundation, Future Fund Member, American Red Cross, Central Oklahoma Chapter (Board Member and Financial Development Committee), Infant Crisis Center, Oklahoma City Arts Festival Volunteer
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