Sheldon M. Bonovitz

Chairman Emeritus

  • Sheldon M. Bonovitz
  • Phone: +1 215 979 1972

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  • Duane Morris LLP
    30 South 17th Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103-4196
  • Duane Morris LLP
    1540 Broadway
    New York, NY 10036-4086
  • Duane Morris LLP
    230 Park Avenue, Suite 1130
    New York, NY 10169-0079

Sheldon M. Bonovitz is Chairman Emeritus of Duane Morris, having stepped down as Chairman in 2008 after serving ten years in that position. He practices in the areas of federal income taxation and corporate law, with particular emphasis on mergers and acquisitions. He also devotes his practice to business counseling, in particular acquisitions and dispositions of businesses, succession, governance and the structuring of multi-party transactions.

Mr. Bonovitz serves on the advisory boards of several privately-held companies and a private equity fund. In addition, he is a Trustee of the Dolfinger-McMahon Charitable Trust and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation.  He also serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. He is an emeritus trustee of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is Chair of the Board for The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia.

A former Chairman of the Tax Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Mr. Bonovitz is also a former Chairman of the Corporate Tax Committee and the Committee on Affiliated and Related Corporations of the Taxation Section of the American Bar Association. A member of the Tax Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, he is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and a member of the Tax Advisory Group of the American Law Institute. He has written numerous articles on corporate tax, has lectured at various tax institutes throughout the country and has taught advanced courses in taxation at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and at the Graduate Tax Program of Temple University School of Law. Mr. Bonovitz most recently is an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, teaching a course on "The Large Law Firm - Organization, Operation, Strategies and Issues," covering the subject in a current, realistic, large law firm setting. He previously taught this course at Harvard Law School.

A former Attorney-Advisor to the Honorable Arnold Raum of the United States Tax Court, Mr. Bonovitz is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance and Commerce.

Representative Matters

  • Negotiating and resolving a complex corporate dispute resulting in $400 million of debt forgiveness; tax planning to eliminate tax on debt forgiveness.

  • Advising on succession planning of a large multi-billion dollar publicly-held corporation.

  • Advising the Board of $600 million market cap company on a strategy for achieving a liquidity event; managing process between Company and its investment bankers.

  • Advising a real estate fund with $1 billion of equity on various tax, real estate and structuring strategies.

  • Advising a real estate syndication client on structuring strategies, involving transactions totaling $100 million plus.

  • Advising on the strategy of the sale of a business to a Fortune 100 Company netting proceeds to the seller's shareholders of $125 million; responsibility for advising on management consultants, investment bankers and sale negotiations.

  • Structured a substantial investment in a technology company that was taxed as a pass-through entity using equity participation rights for strategic participants and venture investors.

  • Structured innovative deferred compensation plans for senior executives in Fortune 500 companies.

Areas of Practice

  • Federal Income Taxation
  • Corporate Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions


  • Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Claims
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania


  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, B.S. Econ.

Professional Activities

  • Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School teaching a course on "The Large Law Firm – Organization, Operation, Strategies and Issues."

Honors and Awards

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Board of Trustees, Barnes Foundation
  • Board of Trustees, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Board of Trustees, Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation
  • Emeritus Trustee, Curtis Institute of Music
  • Trustee, Dolfinger-McMahon Charitable Trust
  • Trustee, Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia