Head of Simpson Thacher’s Exempt Organizations Practice, David Shevlin counsels a variety of international and domestic exempt organizations, including all forms of private foundations and public charities. He also advises donors to, and the governing bodies of, exempt organizations. In particular, David advises universities, foundations, hospitals and cultural institutions on the investment of their endowments. David has particular expertise in working with charitable organizations in connection with social enterprise and program-related investments. David also has been involved in assisting governing bodies on internal investigations. Long active in the bar, David is a past Chair of the ABA’s Section of Taxation—Committee on Exempt Organizations. He has also served on the Board of Doctors Without Borders USA.
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- An environmental public charity in connection with the recovery of over $1 million of “excess benefits”
- Several major private foundations in connection with a program-related investments and loans, focusing in particular on climate change and environmental protection
- A private foundation in connection with several major gifts to domestic and international universities
- A public charity in connection with an internal investigation of a whistle-blower complaint
- A private foundation in connection with the enforcement of a naming-rights provision in a major gift agreement
- A cultural institution in connection with the external management of its entire endowment
- A governance review and audit of a major international humanitarian organization
- Several major foundations in connection with international grant making compliance issues
New York University School of Law, 1992 J.D.
magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; American Jurisprudence Award, Evidence, 1992; American Jurisprudence Award, Professional Responsibility, 1991
Cornell University, 1989 B.S.
With Distinction; Presidential Scholar
- Immediate Past Chair, American Bar Association, Section of Taxation Committee on Exempt Organizations; Past Vice Chair; Past Co-Chair, Subcommittee on Unrelated Business Taxable Income; Member, Special Task Force on Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 on Nonprofit Organizations
- Association of the Bar of the City of New York
- Doctors Without Borders, Board of Directors; Chair, Audit Committee and Secretary (2001–2018)
- White on New York Corporations, Member; Editorial Board (2004–Present)
New York 1992
*Not Admitted in California
David Shevlin is a Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and is Head of the Exempt Organizations Practice. He advises a variety of international and domestic exempt organizations, including all forms of private foundations and public charities. David also advises donors to, and the governing bodies, of exempt organizations. In particular, he advises universities, foundations, hospitals and cultural institutions on the investment of their endowments. David has particular expertise in working with charitable organizations in connection with social enterprise and program-related investments. David also has been involved in assisting governing bodies on internal investigations.
David has been recognized as a leading not-for-profit lawyer in The Legal 500 United States (2015-2020) and as a leading practitioner in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2008–2013). He was selected as a member of the David Rockefeller Fellows Class of 2015 and named The Best Lawyers in America’s"Lawyer of the Year" for Non-Profit/Charities Law for New York City (2014-2015, 2017, 2018). In addition, he regularly speaks and writes on topics of relevance to exempt organizations.
David is a past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation Committee on Exempt Organizations. The Committee is considered the nation’s leading exempt organizations practitioners group. David’s recent professional associations have included membership with the Exempt Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, where he served as Co-Chair of the Sub-Committee on Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI), and was a member of the ABA Coordinating Committee on Nonprofit Governance. He also served as Chair of the Exempt Organizations Committee Task Force on the Model Nonprofit Corporation Act. He served on the American Bar Association Task Force that published a guide to the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 on nonprofit organizations. David also served on the Editorial Board of White on New York Corporations, a leading treatise on New York corporate law.
David served on the Board of Directors of Doctors Without Borders USA and was the Chairman of the Audit Committee and Secretary of that organization.
David earned his J.D., magna cum laude, at New York University, where he was named a member of Order of the Coif, and earned his B.S. degree from Cornell University, where he was named a Presidential Scholar.