William M. Klimon
Caplin & Drysdale
William M. Klimon Member

P: (202) 862-5022

F: (202) 429-3301

Washington, D.C. Office


Mr. Klimon's practice focuses on corporate governance and transactions, particularly for nonprofit organizations. Over the last decade, he has advised over 500 nonprofit organizations on a complete range of issues from formation to dissolution, including over a dozen nonprofit mergers. He has worked with many of the nation's largest private foundations, public charities, political campaigns, environmental organizations, healthcare institutions, universities, libraries, museums, and churches.

Mr. Klimon also practices in the areas of mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, intercompany lending, and choice of business entities and alternative organizational structures. He has advised a variety of small- and medium-sized partnerships, LLCs, and close corporations, as well as large enterprises including multinational banks, manufacturers, and publishers.

Professional Activities

Mr. Klimon is chairman of the Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the ABA's Section of Business Law, for which he previously served as co-chair of the Joint Subcommitte on Nonprofit Corporate Governance. He also serves on the Library Committee of the National Sporting Library & Museum, Middleburg, Virginia, and was the co-founder of the University of Maryland Chapter of the St. Thomas More Society. In 2017, he was elected to membership in the American Antiquarian Society.

Mr. Klimon served in the U.S. Army from 1987 to 1990, during which time he was assigned to the U.S. Army Field Station in Berlin. Later, he was a Lambe Fellow and a Merrill Fellow in the history department of the graduate school at Cornell University and worked on the staff of The Johns Hopkins University.

Practice Areas

Awards & Rankings

  • The Legal 500, Leading Lawyer 2012; Recommended, 2013-Present

Recent News

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Board Responsibilities 101, New York Nonprofit Media's 2nd Annual Nonprofit BoardCon, January 24, 2018
  • Beyond the Board: Alternatives in Nonprofit Governance, 501 Forum: A Nonprofit Learning Series, November 2, 2017
  • Beyond the Board: Alternatives in Nonprofit Governance, 2017 BoardSource Leadership Forum, October 20, 2017
  • Panelist, Best Practices for the Recruitment and Retention of Board Leaders, New York Nonprofit Media Nonprofit HRCon, August 3, 2017
  • Speaker, Drafting and Revising Nonprofit Bylaws: Common Pitfalls and Best Practices, National Business Institute, June 29, 2017
  • Panelist, Self-Regulation And Transparency Of Nonprofits, 3rd Annual Nonprofit BoardCon, New York Nonprofit Media, June 15, 2017
  • Disaster and Emergency Planning for the Nonprofit Organization, 501 Forum - A Nonprofit Learning Series, May 4, 2017
  • Speaker, Beyond the Board of Directors: Community Involvement in Nonprofit Governance, Nonprofit BoardCon, January 18, 2017
  • Speaker, M&A Issues for Nonprofit Organizations, Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, October 19, 2016
  • Speaker, Tax Exempt Organizations Boot Camp, National Business Institute, August 5, 2016
  • Speaker, Beyond the Board of Directors: Community Involvement in Nonprofit Governance, Council on Foundations, April 10, 2016
  • Speaker, Disaster and Emergency Planning for the Nonprofit Organization: Preparing for and Responding to the Zombie Apocalypse, 2015 ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, September 18, 2015
  • Speaker, Nonprofit Board Governance and Liability, National Business Institute, Advanced Tax Exempt Organization Strategies Seminar, June 5, 2015
  • Speaker, Ethical Traps for EOs, National Business Institute, Advanced Tax Exempt Organization Strategies Seminar, June 5, 2015
  • Speaker, Documenting Resource-Sharing Arrangements & Other Transactions Between Related Organizations, Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), Nonprofits and Associations Forum: Wearing Multiple Hats - Common Challenges for GCs Advising Related Organizations, October 1, 2014
  • Speaker, Governance Structures for Religious Orders: Legal and Practical Strategies to Address Changing Demographics and Institutional Priorities, The Resource Center for Religious Institutes (RCRI), September 19, 2014
  • Speaker, Program 1: Incorporation Process; Program 2: Restructuring and Terminating Exempt Organizations: Procedures and Pitfalls, National Business Institute, July 28, 2014
  • Panelist, An Intellectual Property Primer for Religious Institutes: Trademarks, Internet Domain Names and Social Media IDs, and Copyright, The Resource Center for Religious Institutes (RCRI), February 21, 2014
  • Speaker, Using Good Governance to Engage Risk: Legal Perspectives, BoardSource Leadership Forum, November 7, 2013
  • Panelist, Impact: Legal Structures, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) & Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), October 16, 2013
  • Speaker, Tax Exempt Organizations From Start to Finish, National Business Institute, July 29, 2013
  • Speaker, Incorporation Process: Choosing the Form, Organizing the Governance, National Business Institute, July 3, 2013
  • Speaker, Restructuring and Terminating Exempt Organizations: Considerations and Procedures, National Business Institute, July 3, 2013
  • Speaker, Practicalities of Starting Up Business in the United States: Legal Aspects, UK Trade & Investment/AchieveGood's Social Investment Trade Mission, October 21, 2012
  • Speaker, Legal Developments in Nonprofit Corporate Governance: The Year in Review, 2011-2012, BoardSource Leadership Forum, September 21, 2012
  • Speaker, Franchise and Fair-Dealing Laws: Legal Risks and Governance Considerations for Multi-Level Nonprofit Organizations, BoardSource Leadership Forum, September 2, 2012
  • Speaker, Working With Related Organizations, WMACCA Nonprofits & Associations Forum, September 1, 2012
  • Speaker, Re-Membering the Nonprofit Corporation: Uses of Members in Corporate Governance—and Beyond, American Bar Association, March 1, 2012
  • Speaker, Multi-Level (International, National, Regional & Local) Nonprofit Organizations: How to Structure Them—Plus Tax and Regulatory Issues, American Bar Association, August 1, 2011
  • Speaker, How to Keep Tax-Exempt Organizations in Compliance: The Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley and the Era of Corporate Governance on Nonprofit Organizations, National Business Institute, July 8, 2011
  • Speaker, Introduction to Nonprofit Governance, Board Diversity Apprenticeship Project, July 1, 2011
  • Speaker, The Nonprofit Corporate Secretary -- Responsibilities and Risks, WMACCA Nonprofits & Associations Forum, April 28, 2010
  • Speaker, How Do I Benefit Thee? Let Me Count the Ways: Practical Strategies for Providing and Communicating Community Benefit, American Health Lawyers Association's Hospitals and Health Systems Law Institute, February 1, 2006
  • Speaker, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do—When Partnerships Don't Work, 7th Annual Public Private Partnership Conference, Center for Nonprofit Advancement, The George Washington University, November 1, 2005

Click here for a full list of speaking engagements.

Recent Publications

Click here for a full list of publications.


  • LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, 2012
  • J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, 1998, with honor; Order of the Coif; Editor-in-Chief, The Business Lawyer
  • Cornell University, 1992, Philip Merrill Fellow, 1991-1992; Claude R. Lambe Fellow, 1990-1991
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1987

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
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