Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

“Unlike other law firms, we are clients and friends all on a first-name basis, and even though not a significant client, I still receive first-class attention.”

Bart Eisner – President and Owner, The Eisner Companies

Steven H. Schram

Steven H. Schram

Tel 202.689.1900, ext. 3030
Cell 202.253.2351
Download vCard

Experience. Passion. Solutions.

Practice Areas:

  • Business Entity Formation and Governance
  • Joint Ventures, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, Corporations and Other Entities
  • Mergers, Sales and Acquisitions of Businesses
  • Commercial Real Estate Acquisition and Disposition
  • Secured and Unsecured Financial Transactions
  • Commercial Transactions and Contracts
  • Licensing Transactions
  • General and Special Counsel to Small and Middle Market Companies

Bar Admissions:

  • District of Columbia (1979)


  • J.D., Georgetown University, cum laude, 1978
  • B.S., University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School), magna cum laude, 1975

Professional Memberships:

  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Board Chair, Anti Defamation League for the Washington, DC Region (2008 - 2014)
  • Governance and Development Chair, Anti Defamation League for the Washington, DC Region
  • National Commissioner of the Anti Defamation League
  • Executive Committee Member and Counsel to the Joan Hisaoka "Make a Difference Gala" (2008 - 2015)
  • Advisory Board Member, University of Pennsylvania Mid Atlantic Region
  • Board of Director of several privately-held corporations


  • "Death of a Partnership," 37 N.Y.U. Institute on Federal Tax, 1978


Steven H. Schram ("Steve") is Principal and Co-President of Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram and serves as the firm's managing principal. Steve's broad range of seasoned experience in finance and accounting sets him apart from other attorneys in his field. His decorated educational background includes studies in finance and accounting at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and corporate and tax oriented legal education at Georgetown University Law Center. Steve gained real-world experience in these arenas as an audit staff member with Ernst & Young, CPAs and during a five-year engagement as COO, CFO and general counsel to Washington, DC's largest furniture retailer. This experience, coupled with over 26 years in private law practice, makes Steve uniquely qualified as the "go to" business and transactional attorney for entrepreneurs and small to middle market businesses in the Washington, DC area.

Steve's practice covers the areas of business, commercial transactions, corporate, real estate and tax. He has extensive experience in negotiating, structuring and documenting a broad range of complex transactions, including:

  • business/entity formations (including the development of capital and governance structures for corporations, joint ventures, partnerships, limited liability companies and trusts)
  • mergers, sales and acquisitions of business entities and business assets
  • acquisitions, sales, leasing and financing of real estate assets
  • secured and unsecured financing transactions
Closely allied to these skills, and of great benefit to his clients, is Steve's depth in other areas affecting business entities, including:
  • structuring and negotiating a broad range of business contracts
  • executive employment contracts and executive compensation arrangements
  • service agreements
  • licenses for intellectual property
  • healthcare contracts and ventures
  • management agreements
  • factoring agreements
  • retail private label finance agreements

Because of Steve's broad business and transactional experience, entrepreneurs and business entities frequently turn to him to serve as their general and special counsel. For organizations who either have chosen not to devote resources to in-house counsel or seek an outside resource to complement their in-house counsel capability, Steve serves as an integral, trustworthy part of their team.

Steve represents clients in a variety of industries, including: real estate ownership, development and management; real estate brokerage; hotel ownership and development; retail; automobile dealerships; catering facilities; financial services; sports management; credit card processing; healthcare; professional and other services; public relations; premium finance; internet services, among others.

As a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney and with multiple appearances in peer group listings such as "Super Lawyers" (Law and Politics) and Biltmore Who's Who, Steve has been recognized as an attorney of the highest level of competence and the highest level of integrity and ethics.

In 2013, the Anti-Defamation League awarded Steve the prestigious 2013 ADL Achievement Award in recognition of his many years of tremendous leadership as ADL’s Washington, D.C., Regional Board Chair. This Award recognizes leaders who are outstanding in their field of specialty and who embody the spirit and philosophy of ADL through their strong commitment to equality, mutual understanding, and to building a community marked by respect and service to others. During his 23-year tenure as an ADL Washington, D.C., Regional Board Member, Steve continuously demonstrated a deep and tireless commitment to improving the community by promoting the ideals and values of the ADL.

Learn More » Back


Steve enjoys the complexity, creativity and challenges involved in the practice of law and is genuinely caring and passionate about the representation of his clients. He strongly believes in the value of careful preparation, paying excruciating attention to details ("respecting the legal document", as he describes it), bringing creativity, practicality and a business perspective to transactions, and being extremely responsive to the needs of clients. One client recently commented, "Steve has an unparalleled ability to capture what you're trying to accomplish."

Steve brings new meaning to the "24/7 service" concept, as he believes that "time generally works against a transaction," and he will work around the clock to combat this threat. Steve's very personal involvement with his clients, deep knowledge of the law and his devotion to its practice is reflected in his many long-term client relationships that are based on mutual respect and trust. One of Steve's greatest client compliments came in the form of this statement, "My guys are at least as good as the opposing counsel. They do a spectacular job and truly invest in the client relationship in order to provide me with custom-tailored advice." What is even more intriguing is that client's recognize and often comment on Steve's sophisticated finesse of managing strong and friendly relations with opposing counsel, making difficult transactions go off without a hitch.

Outside of the practice of law, Steve enjoys traveling, skiing and charitable endeavors. Steve is devoted to bettering his community and he serves as the Board Chair of the Anti Defamation League for the Washington, DC Region as well as on the Anti Defamation League's National Commission. He continues to support his alma mater through his involvement on the Advisory Board of the University of Pennsylvania in the Mid Atlantic Region. Steve shares his vast legal expertise with others by serving on the board of directors of several privately held corporations.

Learn More » Back


Steve is known for taking an objective, logical, practical, and creative approach to bringing about the desired result for his clients. His disarming personality allows him to keep avenues of communications open with all parties to a transaction while still aggressively pursuing his client's objectives. A few examples of Steve's approach are reflected in the following solutions:

View Solutions »

  • Steve represented a minority owner of a substantial Washington, DC suburban office building complex whose real estate interests were embroiled in a massive legal dispute between several persons who sought control over the office building complex. Steve artfully forged an alliance (involving months of late night negotiations and many all night drafting sessions) between several factions in the dispute and teamed up with the firm's trial practice group to leverage a resolution which ended the litigation, established a clear management path for the office building complex and allowed the firm's client to maximize the cashflow from and the value of his ownership interest in the office complex.
  • Steve represented a group of individuals that had assembled a large number of marina related parcels with the objective of developing, owning and operating a deep water marina, hotel, office and retail complex in the Florida Keys. Steve was instrumental in negotiating a very complex joint venture arrangement which brought development expertise to the project, a substantial equity infusion, first mortgage and mezzanine financing, while minimizing the client's ongoing risks in the project. The negotiations were extremely time sensitive, a number of the parties to the transaction were emotional and temperamental, and the viability of the project stood in the balance. Steve's client was able to close the transaction within the necessary timeframes, the project was properly funded for its next phase and the client was able to achieve its financial objectives.
  • Steve represented the seller in a very large asset sale involving multiple automobile dealerships in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. The purchaser was a large publicly held company. The transaction involved significant due diligence efforts, complex transfers of assets and financing arrangements, multiple lease and sublease transactions, a complex transition of operations to the purchasing entity including multiple operating contract assignments, all of which took place over many months. Working closely with the client, Steve's tireless efforts with the client over many months resulted in a timely closing to the full satisfaction of the client.

Other transactions in which Steve played a major role include:

  • Sale of a Sheraton Four Points Hotel, Fairfield Inn and Best Western Hotel
  • Acquisition, Demolition and Development of Condominium Hotel in Key West, Florida
  • Land Acquisition, Development, Leasing and Sale of Mixed Use Project
  • Private Placement of Equity and Bank Financing for Development and Operation of Banquet and Catering Hall in Northern Virginia
  • Private Placement of Equity for Middle East Based Insurance Company
  • Private Placement of Equity (First and Second Round Financing) for Development and Operation of Online Content Subscription Business
  • Sale of Portfolio of Automobile Dealerships in Washington, DC Area
  • Sale of Assets by Magazine Subscription Service to Publishing Company
  • Stock Redemption Transaction (LBO) for Major Furniture Retail Company
  • Succession Plan for Management Consulting Company
  • Merger of Washington, DC Based Public Relations Firms
  • Financing of Shopping Center Portfolio by Washington Based Developer/Operator
  • Capitalization and Financing of Insurance Premium Finance Company

Did You Know . . .

Members of the SLS trial group have tried in excess of 50 jury trials and 75 bench trials?

The SLS construction group has worked on sports stadiums across the country including Orioles Park in Baltimore and Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati?

The SLS construction group has worked on power plant projects across the country?

In 2007 SLS was selected for an Honorable Mention as one of the Best Places To Work in Washington DC?

Ron Shapiro, Steve Schram and Judd Lifschitz have all been selected as SuperLawyers by Law and Politics?

The SLS office building is an historic townhouse constructed in the late 1800s?

SLS has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell as a Preeminent Law Firm?

SLS trial lawyers have argued appeals in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal for the 4th, 5th, 9th, D.C. and Federal Circuit?

SLS trial lawyers have been lead trial counsel in cases in Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia, - to name just a few?

Virtually all the cases that SLS trial lawyers mediated have been favorably settled at mediation?

The transactional group at SLS was lead counsel on one of the largest, most complex mixed-use projects in downtown Washington, DC involving 4 lenders and 6 property owners?

In appreciation for the outstanding efforts of each of its employees during 2007, SLS gave everyone (attorneys, paralegals, and staff) a 4 day/3 night expense paid trip to Key West, Florida?

The transactional group at SLS has represented tenants in more than 200 retail leases in the Mid-Atlantic region?

Every attorney in the transactional group at SLS has at least 15 years experience?

The transactional group at SLS has represented developers in the purchase, construction, financing and/or sale of more than 75 multi-family apartment projects?

The transactional group at SLS has represented real estate investors and developers with respect to property in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan and the U.S. Virginia Islands?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented eight national banks in commercial real estate loans?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented the FDIC, the Resolution Trust Corporation and several banking institutions in loan workout transactions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region?

The transactional group at SLS has represented homebuilders and commercial real estate developers in work-outs of individual loans and also for work-outs of large portfolios involving dozens of properties in several states?

The trial lawyers of SLS have numerous reported decisions to their credit?