Bruce Bonds

Practice Groups:

Workers’ Compensation

Office Locations:

Champaign, IL



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  • Juris Doctor, Washington University School of Law, 1982
  • Bachelor of Arts-Finance, University of Illinois, 1979

Year Joined Firm



Heyl Royster


Bruce Bonds (Shareholder)

Bruce is a past chair of the firm’s statewide Workers’ Compensation Practice. He concentrates his practice in the areas of workers’ compensation, third-party defense of employers, and employment law. With extensive experience before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, Bruce has defended employers in thousands of cases during the course of his career. As a result of his experience and success, his services are sought by self-insureds, insurance carriers, and TPAs.

Bruce served as a technical advisor to the combined employers group in the negotiations which culminated in the 2005 revisions to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. He worked as a technical advisor to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce as well as with a number of Illinois legislators and state agencies in the process that resulted in the 2011 Amendments to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. In 2015, he was appointed to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission's Rules Review and Revisions Committee.

Bruce is an Adjunct Professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law where he has taught Workers' Compensation Law to upper-level students since 1998.

Bruce has co-authored a book with Kevin Luther of the firm's Rockford office entitled Illinois Workers' Compensation Law, 2022-2023, which was published by Thomson Reuters. The book provides a comprehensive, up-to-date assessment of workers' compensation law in Illinois.

Bruce is a frequent speaker on workers' compensation issues at bar association and industry-sponsored seminars. Bruce has served as Vice-Chair of the ABA Committee on Employment, Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Section Council on Workers' Compensation, and currently serves on the Employment Law Committee of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Workers' Compensation Committee. He has been designated as one of the "Leading Lawyers" in Illinois as a result of a survey of Illinois attorneys conducted by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin; another survey published by Chicago magazine named Bruce one of the "Best Lawyers in Illinois" for 2008. 

Bruce has spent his entire legal career with Heyl Royster beginning in 1982.

Click here to view an interview with Mr. Bonds on defending high exposure and catastrophic Workers' Compensation cases.


“Compensability of Injuries While Working from Home,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2022)

“Penalties and Fees Served Up for Frivolous Contention of Issues at Hearing,” Below the Red Line - Heyl Royster Workers' Compensation Newsletter (August 2022) - Read Article

“Rebutting the Presumption: Covid-19 Exposure Claims,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2022)

Country Mutual vs. Under Construction: Insurer and Employer Contractual Duties,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2022)

"Illinois Workers' Compensation Law," 2020-2021 (Vol. 27, Illinois Practice Series), beginning in 2009 and updated and published annually by Thomson Reuters since 2013.

"Evaluating Permanent Partial Disability Under the 2011 Amendments of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act," Heyl Royster Workers' Compensation Update (September 2012) - Download Article

Public Speaking

“Vocational Rehabilitation and Return To Work In The COVID-19 Age”
Heyl Royster WC Webinar Series 2020

“Workers' Compensation Education”
University of Illinois 2020

“Utilization Review and Medical Payment Defenses”
Heyl Royster’s 33rd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2018

“AMA Ratings”
Workers’ Compensation Commissioners Annual Training 2018

“Extra Innings: Legislative Update”
Heyl Royster's 32nd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2017

“Salary Cap: Effective Negotiating Skills”
Heyl Royster's 32nd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2017

“Legislative Update & News from the Commission”
Heyl Royster's 31st Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2016

“Workers’ Compensation and Section 5 Liens”
“Tort Practitioners’ Topics of Interest” ISBA Seminar 2016

“Medical Marijuana: A Cloud of Uncertainty Over Employers”
Heyl Royster 30th Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2015

“Use of Rated Age Annuities to Reduce Exposure in High Value Cases”
2015 Illinois Workers Compensation Forum - Chicago, Illinois 2015

“Workers Compensation and the Government Employer: Where We Are, How We Got Here and What We Can Do About It”
Illinois County Governing Conference 2015

“Defending High Exposure and Catastrophic Workers’ Compensation Cases”
34th Annual SEAK National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference 2014

Click here to view full list”

Professional Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Inducted as a Fellow in the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers
  • Named as one of the "50 Most Influential People In Workers' Compensation" by SEAK, Inc. in 2014.
  • Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are named as Leading Lawyers.
  • Named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list (2012-2021). The Super Lawyers selection process is based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Only five percent of the lawyers in each state earn this designation.

Professional Associations

  • Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission's Rules Review and Revisions Committee
  • Illinois State Bar Association (Past Chair Workers' Compensation Law Section Council)
  • Champaign County Bar Association
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (Member, Workers' Compensation Committee)
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Illinois Self-Insurers Association
  • Workers Compensation Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Community Involvement

  • Treasurer, National Society of Arts and Letters – Central Illinois Chapter, 2020-present
  • Trails at Brittany Homeowners Association, Board Member, 2011; Vice-President, 2011-2013; President, 2013-2015
  • Director, Lincolnshire Fields Country Club, 1995-1998, 2006
  • Member of the Vestry, Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, 1997-2000, 2005-2008
  • Stewardship Chair, Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, 1999-2006
  • Sunday School Teacher, Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, 1996-2001
  • Chair of Board of Trustees, Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, 2004-2012
  • Member of the Diocesan Council, Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, 2004-2012
  • Judge of the Ecclesiastical Trial Court, Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, 2001-Present
  • Lincolnshire Fields Homeowners Association, 1998-2001, President, 2001