Martin S. Kaplan

Retired Partner

Kaplan, Martin S.

Martin Kaplan is a retired partner and a former chair of the firm's Corporate Practice. Mr. Kaplan commenced practice at Hale and Dorr in 1964 and remained with the firm throughout his career. When he retired in 2009 he had a general corporate law and trust practice, focusing on the representation of charitable foundations.


In addition to charitable foundations, Mr. Kaplan's clients included a broad range of public and family-controlled companies in financial services, manufacturing and distribution. He has managed a large number of complex corporate, real estate and nonprofit transactions.

Community Involvement

Mr. Kaplan is an emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Boston Foundation, and served as chair of its Program Committee while serving on the board. He is also an emeritus overseer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and was national chair of the American Jewish Committee's Interreligious Affairs Commission and a member of the AJC Executive Committee.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Kaplan held a number of leadership positions at Columbia University, including President of the Columbia College Alumni Association and the Board of Visitors. He was a recipient of the Columbia University Alumni Medal in 1993 and the Columbia College John Jay Award in 2000. Mr. Kaplan also received the Thomas Berry Award in 2009 for his leadership in the fields of religion and ecology.

Publications & News


February 26, 2009

Teen Empowerment Celebration Honors Community Heroes

May 1, 1999

Family Business Report

Do prenuptial agreements promote or undermine sound family relations and sound family businesses? The limited purposes of prenuptial agreements. The enforceability of prenuptial agreements. The effects of prenuptial agreements on family relationships. The role of the lawyer in prenuptual agreements among families.

May 1, 1999

Family Business Report

The allocation of ownership among family members inside and outside the business. The importance of starting estate planning early. Recognizing family limited partnerships and limited liability companies as estate planning vehicles.

Professional Activities

Mr. Kaplan has spoken at numerous conferences and events on matters relating to foundations and family businesses, as well as on educational, environmental and interreligious issues.

From 1992-1996, Mr. Kaplan was chair of the Massachusetts Board of Education (appointed by Governor William F. Weld), and was a major proponent of the education reform movement in Massachusetts. He was also a member of the Education Commission of the States, and a director of the National Association of State Boards of Education.

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JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1964

AB, Columbia University, 1961

Bar Admissions


New York


The Hon. Bailey Aldrich, US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 1965 - 1965

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