Nancy B. Gardiner

Managing Partner, Director of Family Office Services

  • 617-557-9767
  • 617-227-0781
  • 75 State Street
  • Boston, MA 02109

Nancy B. Gardiner

Managing Partner, Director of Family Office Services

  • 617-557-9767
  • 617-227-0781
  • 75 State Street
  • Boston, MA 02109

Practice Focus

Nancy Gardiner advises multigenerational families on wealth management, tax and legacy planning strategies that support their goals and values. She is experienced in all facets of family office creation, operation and management and on providing sophisticated philanthropic advisory services. Nancy also serves as a trustee to individuals and families as well as nonprofits and foundations.

Working with nonprofits and artist foundations, Nancy counsels development offices on issues relating to major gifts, governance and advancement. Nancy’s clients appreciate her unique perspective and valuable insight gained from serving on nonprofit boards and representing donors.

As the leader of the firm's Family Office Services, Nancy works directly with families on the transition of wealth from one generation to the next, with a focus on legal, financial, philanthropic and family legacy objectives. She provides a full range of philanthropic advisory and grant making services to private foundations, trusts, individuals, families and other entities. In addition to providing specialized family governance expertise, she works with her team to help clients accomplish everyday tasks and other issues related to "life management."

Nancy serves as the Managing Partner of Hemenway & Barnes LLP. She is also Managing Director and Secretary of Hemenway Trust Company, a New Hampshire-based private fiduciary firm.

Representative Experience

Nancy's clients include families and individuals throughout New England.

  • Serves as Co-Trustee of Jane's Trust, a leading charitable trust in New England, Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust and other charitable trusts and foundations
  • Facilitates family governance and meetings, wealth education of children, and addresses complex family dynamics and special needs
  • Advises individuals and families on all aspects of charitable giving, including the creation of charitable vehicles, such as private foundations and donor advised funds, and the structuring of individual gifts
  • Advises families on developing and implementing tax-efficient, wealth-transfer strategies for a variety of complex assets, including planning for family lands, the dynamics of passing on family businesses, and the sentimental connection to special collections and art
  • Advises nonprofit organizations throughout New England on issues relating to governance, structuring of gifts and creating agreements to protect the interests of both the donor and the recipient institution


  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America list
  • Awarded Lawyer of the Year in Non-Profit / Charities Law in Boston by Best Lawyers in America

Activities and Publications

Nancy presents and writes on nonprofit management and charitable giving topics. She has spoken on all facets of philanthropy, including how it is an integral part of a family’s legacy, to groups including the Family Office Exchange, Planned Giving Group of New England (PGGNE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is a frequent contributor to Hemenway & Barnes’ philanthropy blog.

Nancy has written a chapter on board structure and function in the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) book Massachusetts Nonprofit Organizations.

Community Involvement

  • Board of Governors, Colby College Museum of Art, Co-Chair Governance Committee
  • Board Member of TSNE Missionworks (formerly Third Sector New England)
  • Board Member of US Friends of The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
  • Former Trustee and Board President of the Winsor School

Nancy Gardiner’s Comments on Working with Families and Philanthropy

“Most of my clients are individuals and families. For many, I am ‘first call’ for questions – no issue is too big or too small. I work with clients on the whole picture. This includes advising clients on how to talk with their children about family wealth, how to transition wealth from one generation to the next, how to achieve desired philanthropic goals and how to craft their legacy. I also work with nonprofit organizations. My personal commitment to volunteer work over the years has helped me approach the highly nuanced issues relating to governance, and structuring gifts in a tax sensitive way that respects the wishes of all the parties involved. Listening is important to me. I am satisfied only when I hear my clients tell me that I’ve exceeded their expectations.”


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