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Approximately 80% of today’s privately held companies will not survive into the next generation of family ownership. The failure to establish a comprehensive succession plan is a leading cause of this phenomenon.

Calfee helps privately held companies prepare and transition to the next generation of owners and managers. Our corporate, tax, and estate planning attorneys provide individualized, innovative solutions to corporate succession issues that increase survival opportunities, ensure estate liquidity, address family issues, and maximize planning flexibility.

Every successful, privately held business needs a corporate succession plan. Even if the business is young, or the next generation has not stepped forward, a succession plan should be implemented in order to avoid the hardships of an unplanned transition or worse, a government-dictated disposition.

A good corporate succession plan is a flexible plan that changes as the circumstances of the business and its owners change. The cornerstone of a good corporate succession plan is business survival. At Calfee, we work with business owners to help them understand succession options and to implement a plan that best accomplishes their goals and best meets the needs of their families. After the initial plan has been put in place, our continuing relationship with clients enables us to recommend appropriate responses to change business or family circumstances.


Chambers USA Leading Law Firm Rankings

For more than a decade, Calfee has been recognized as a Leading Law Firm for Corporate/M&A by Chambers USA, most recently in Band 2 in Ohio: North and Band 3 in Ohio: South and Central (2023).

Clients provided feedback to Chambers USA researchers, "Calfee consistently generates exceptional outcomes for their clients. They are extremely responsive and meet tight deadlines. Their lawyers represent the client's best interests while also conducting themselves in a collegial and professional manner. They offer exceptional service levels. The firm has done an excellent job with some of our most difficult transactions and brings a business sensibility while protecting and mitigating our risk."

Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2024 "Best Law Firms" rankings in the following areas:

  • Corporate Law (National Tier 2, Regional Tier 1 Cleveland, Regional Tier 1 Columbus, Regional Tier 2 Cincinnati)
  • Tax Law (Regional Tier 1 Cleveland)




Succession Planning Analysis

  • Business objectives
  • Family dynamics and objectives
  • Owner/manager estate plans
  • Key employee compensation
  • Business valuation
  • Transition financing
  • Tax planning
  • Estate liquidity
  • Active and inactive family member issues
  • Senior generation retirement security

Succession Techniques

  • Lifetime gifts in conjunction with estate plans
  • Creation and issuance of nonvoting shares
  • Mandatory buy-sell agreements
  • Preferred stock recapitalizations
  • Subsidiary corporations
  • Sidewise sales
  • Hybrid techniques
  • Sale to “outsiders”
  • Charitable options
  • Sale to nonfamily members

News & Events



Practice Contacts

Calfee's Corporate and Finance practice "draws from an impressive statewide team with a strong track record across a broad range of corporate and transactional matters. Areas of excellence include M&A, securities offerings, and private equity and venture capital fund formation."

Chambers USA

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