Heyl Royster

Bruce Bonds

Champaign, IL

Joined Firm in 1982

As a Fellow in the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers and co-author of a treatise on Illinois Workers’ Compensation, Bruce brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the representation of employers in complicated and high-value cases.

  • Co-Author of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law, 2010 - 2023
  • Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Illinois
  • Rated AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Fellow in College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers
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Bruce Bonds

Attorney in Champaign, IL

A Shareholder based out of the firm's Champaign office, Bruce Bonds concentrates his practice on 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 resulting in self-insureds, insurance carriers, and TPAs often seeking his expertise.

Bruce has spent his entire legal career at Heyl Royster and co-authored Illinois Workers' Compensation Law, 2010-2023, with Kevin Luther of the firm's Rockford office. Published by Thomson Reuters, the book provides a comprehensive, up-to-date assessment of Workers' Compensation law in Illinois. He served as a technical advisor to a combined employers' group, culminating in the 2005 revisions to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act and with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois legislators, and state agencies, resulting in the 2011 Amendments to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. In 2015, Bruce was appointed to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission's Rules Review and Revisions Committee. In 2022, Bruce was appointed to the new IWCL's Rules Review and Revisions Committee.

An Adjunct Law professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, Bruce has taught Workers' Compensation Law since 1998. He frequently speaks on Workers' Compensation issues at bar associations 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 on the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Workers' Compensation Committee.



J.D., Washington University School of Law

B.A., University of Illinois, Finance

Licensure(s) and Admission(s)

State Courts of Illinois

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh District

United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

United States Supreme Court

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

Champaign County Bar Association

Defense Research Institute

Illinois Defense Counsel, Workers’ Compensation Committee

Illinois Self-Insurers Association

Illinois State Bar Association, Past Workers’ Compensation Law Section Council

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, Rules Review and Revisions Committee

Community Involvement

Episcopal Diocese of Springfield

“Bishop Lawyer” (2022 – present)

Judge of the Ecclesiastical Trial Court (2001 – 2022)

Board of Trustees Chair (2004 – 2012)

Diocesan Council Member (2004 – 2012)

Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church

Member of the Vestry (1997 – 2000), (2005 – 2008), (2023 - present)

Stewardship Chair (1999 – 2006)

Sunday School Teacher (1996 – 2001)

Fields East Homeowners Association

Board Member (2021 - present)

Lincolnshire Fields Country Club

Director (1995 – 1998, 2006)

Lincolnshire Fields Homeowners Association

Board Member (1998 – 2001), (2020 – present)

President (2001)

National Society of Arts and Letters

Illinois Chapter Treasurer, 2020 – present)

Trails at Brittany Homeowners Association

President (2013 – 2015)

Vice President (2011 – 2013)

Board Member (2011)



Post Covid Work Comp Process in Illinois,” Heyl Royster's 34th Annual Claims Handling Seminar (2023)

“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)


Employer/Employee Relationship –Are Incidental Benefits Enough to Establish the Relationship?,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2023)

Idiopathic Falls: Refuting Evidence of “Significant Contribution” Evidence,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2023)

 "Illinois Workers' Compensation Law," 2020-2023 (Vol. 27, Illinois Practice Series), beginning in 2009 and updated and published annually by Thomson Reuters since 2013.

Public or Employer Provided Parking? That is the Question,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2023)

Malecki v. IWCC: The Importance of Securing a Complete Causation Opinion,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2023)

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 (2022)

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)

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

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  • Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers®, 2012 – 2023
  • Named “50 Most Influential People in Workers’ Compensation” By SEAK, Inc, 2014
  • Inducted Fellow in the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
  • Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Media
  • Rated AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
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