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Calfee’s Emerging Company and Venture Capital practice focuses on helping innovators, entrepreneurs and investors in successfully launching businesses, raising financing and growing their companies. We offer practical, solution-focused advice with a business perspective honed from representing clients at every stage of development – from corporate formation, to initial and later-stage financing, to sale, IPO or market leadership.

Our firm-wide capabilities and team-oriented approach to service enable our clients to call upon a range of experienced lawyers in a variety of practice areas, including our Intellectual Property group with a breadth and depth of experience that has a reputation for being unsurpassed in our region.


We work with entrepreneurs to:

  • Properly set up their companies
  • Review their business plans and identify key strengths and weaknesses
  • Protect or license core technology
  • Negotiate terms for initial and later-stage financings
  • Prepare key agreements with employees and consultants
  • Structure equity incentive plans
  • Evaluate how best to achieve liquidity

We offer guidance on forming and running a board of directors or advisers, and we also attend board meetings and provide counseling on important business decisions.

We have represented entrepreneurs in a variety of business ventures, most notably in software development, financial technology, technology-enabled services and medical device design and development.

In addition to our corporate expertise, we are able to use the knowledge of our lawyers who hold degrees in various technical and scientific fields to gain a sophisticated understanding of the technical and intellectual property issues faced by companies in these industries.


Calfee has represented seed investors, angel and early-stage investors, high-net-worth individuals, venture capital firms and private equity firms in their investments in numerous technology companies as well as various other industries.

Through our experience with emerging companies, we are able to efficiently manage venture capital financings and effectively navigate more complex transactions. Our practical, solutions-driven approach and our experience enable us to cost-effectively protect investors’ interests.

With the assistance of our Intellectual Property group, comprised of more than 40 lawyers with technical and scientific degrees, we can conduct sophisticated due diligence, including landscape analyses of competitors’ patents, clearance studies and patent portfolio audits, and provide opinions and advice regarding patentability, infringement, validity and freedom to operate.

Calfee represents numerous venture capital funds, private equity funds, hedge funds, real estate investment partnerships and other investment entities in connection with their organization, management, operation and compliance. Our fund clients also draw on the resources of our corporate, litigation, tax and other practices for their investment activities and internal management and administration needs.


Chambers USA Band 2 Ranking (Ohio)

For more than a decade, Calfee's Corporate and Capital Markets group has been ranked by Chambers USA.

In 2018, Chambers USA researchers reported that clients praised Calfee's Corporate and Capital Markets group for “its high level of knowledge and sophistication...They provide big-league legal service at medium market rates. It's good value for our money, and more importantly, they are trusted advisors.”

Chambers researchers further stated that Calfee's Corporate and Capital Markets group is “an impressive team with a strong track record across a broad range of corporate and transactional matters, acting on behalf of public and private businesses and financial institutions. Areas of excellence include M&A, securities offerings and private equity and venture capital fund formation. [They] also offer notable capital markets expertise, with particular strengths in acting for underwriters."

U.S.News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firm" Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2020 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S.News –Best Lawyers in America in the following areas:

  • Corporate Law (National Tier 2 and Metropolitan Tier 1 Cleveland and Columbus)
  • Venture Capital Law (National Tier 2 and Metropolitan Tier 1 Cleveland)
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law (National Tier 3 and Metropolitan Tier 2 Cleveland and Columbus) 
  • Securities/Capital Markets Law (National Tier 3 and Metropolitan Tier 1 Cleveland)
  • Securities Regulation (National Tier 2 and Metropolitan Tier 1 Cleveland)
  • Corporate Compliance Law (Metropolitan Tier 2 Cleveland)
  • Corporate Governance Law (Metropolitan Tier 2 Cleveland)
  • Tax Law (Metropolitan Tier 1 Cleveland)

IFLR1000 Elite DealMakers Rankings

Calfee was ranked in the IFLR1000 United States Guide to USA's Leading Financial & Corporate Law Firms "Elite Dealmakers" 2020 in the areas of Capital Markets (Recommended) and Corporate and M&A (Tier 2).

Clients responding to the IFLR1000 survey reported the following regarding Calfee's M&A and Capital Markets team:

  • "Calfee solves problems. They have a deep bench with complete understanding of clients' needs. They are focused, hardworking and get the job done. They are competitively priced."
  • "Calfee, Halter & Griswold consistently goes above and beyond on providing sound counsel to our company. They are extremely responsive and even work on the weekends when an acquisition is ready to close. They anticipate our needs and will suggest alternative methods for solving legal issues. We are lucky to have them represent us."
  • "Calfee is a sophisticated law firm with good depth across many practice areas. The lawyers have a strong sense of client service and are responsive to our needs."
  • "Second to none. We have used every major law firm in the market and no one has the depth of expertise and high level of service."
  • "They are excellent. I would recommend them. We have not used them significantly before this past year, and the work we used them for was M&A and IP assistance. They have been an impressive law firm to work with."
  • "Calfee is an excellent law firm. Their lawyers are extremely knowledgeable and pleasant to work with."




We have advised issuers and investors in numerous fund-raising transactions, including these notable engagements in the past several years:

  • Represented a medical device technology company in its initial funding transaction and multiple subsequent preferred stock financings.
  • Advised numerous startup and early-stage software developers in convertible note and convertible preferred stock financings.
  • Represented technology-focused angel investor funds and early-stage venture capital funds in their initial and follow-on investments in numerous technology companies.
  • Counsel to a developer of data aggregation technology and services in various corporate matters, including the acquisition of a complementary business and the formation of a joint venture.
  • Represented a regional venture capital firm in its investment in senior debt of a financial services technology company.
  • Represented a financial technology business in the lending industry in its Series A and subsequent follow-on offerings.
  • Represented a provider of web-based clinical applications in its seed investment.
  • Represented an online, event ticket sales platform in its seed investment and the subsequent acquisition of a complementary business.

News & Events


Chambers researchers described Calfee's Corporate and Capital Markets group as “an impressive 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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