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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 in Corporate/M&A (Ohio)

For more than a decade, Calfee has been ranked for Corporate/M&A in Ohio by Chambers USA; most recently, Calfee was ranked in Band 2. Chambers USA 2020 commentators note that, "The practical nature of the firm is what makes them special. They are experienced and knowledgeable enough to interact with larger firms, but they are more effective because they are responsive and focus on the most important issues."

Chambers USA 2020 further stated that Calfee "draws from an impressive statewide 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."

Chambers USA 2020 researchers report that a client stated, "They're practical and responsive, coupled with great experience and deep expertise." Another source noted, "Our overall experience has been outstanding. We have found that Calfee is capable of handling highly sophisticated work at reasonable rates."

Calfee Firm Chairman Douglas A. Neary was ranked in Chambers USA 2020, Band 2 in Corporate/M&A. Chambers commentators noted, "Douglas Neary combines his position as the firm's chairman with an active corporate practice, where he advises a range of private and publicly held businesses on M&A, financing matters and wider advisory issues. One client says, 'He is very insightful, smart and personable and has become a trusted adviser to me.'"

Firm Administrative Partner, Arthur C. Hall III was ranked in Chambers USA 2020, Band 3. "The 'superb' Arthur Hall wins praise for his 'expert but practical advice," with clients also citing his 'extensive knowledge in federal securities law' as a key strength. He is particularly well versed in advising public companies and investors on financing issues and corporate governance matters."

Calfee's Senior Chairman, Thomas F. McKee, was ranked as a Senior Statesperson in Chambers USA 2020. "Thomas McKee is considered a trusted adviser to corporate clients on transactional and governance-related issues, most notably on capital markets work."

Partner John J. Jenkins was ranked in Chambers USA 2020 Band 2. "The 'very well-regarded' John Jenkins has attained a 'great reputation' for his corporate law practice according to commentators, with clients describing him as a 'very responsive, pragmatic and technical expert.' He focuses on advising on capital markets matters and M&A, acting for a broad range of businesses, issuers and underwriters."

Terrence F. Doyle, Partner, was ranked in Band 4 in Chambers USA 2020. "Terry Doyle is held in particularly high regard for his abilities in advising private equity investors on transactional matters, alongside broader corporate work for portfolio companies. Sources commend his 'excellent corporate practice' and report that 'he is skillful and has a broad range of knowledge.'"

Jennifer L. Vergilii, Partner and Corporate and Finance practice Co-Chair, was ranked in Band 4 in Chambers USA 2020. "Clients cite her 'practical and responsive' demeanor as a key asset in corporate work and regularly call upon her to handle a broad array of M&A and capital markets transactions. One source adds: 'She got us out of a good number of tight spots and get the deal over the line. She was very hardworking and available at any time of the day.'"

Chambers USA, Band 2 Ranking in Banking & Finance (Ohio)

For more than a decade, Calfee's Corporate and Finance group has been recognized by Chambers USA in Banking & Finance (Ohio); most recently, the Firm was ranked in Band 2. In 2020, Chambers USA researchers noted that the team is "esteemed for its experience in advising major financial institutions and corporate borrowers across a host of banking and finance-related issues, with particular expertise in the manufacturing and industrials sectors. Areas of significant strength include financing corporate transactions, capital markets work, bankruptcy and workout matters and counseling on regulatory compliance."

Chambers USA researchers further reported that a client commented: "They really do offer a one-stop shop – they could handle the finance work as well as the day-to-day commercial issues. Their expertise is wide and far-reaching; they give us everything we need and more." Another client is quoted as saying, "The firm has surprised me in an extremely positive way, and it competes on a global scale in finance matters."

Karl S. Beus, Chair of the practice, has been ranked in Chambers USA 2020 in Banking & Finance (Band 2), and has been recognized for his "strong knowledge of the law and vast experience in negotiating deals and financing," with sources commenting on his abilities to bring "very complex matters to their practical essence." – Chambers USA 2020

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2021 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in the following areas:

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

IFLR1000 (United States), Guide to the World's Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms and Lawyers

Calfee was selected for inclusion in IFLR1000 – Guide to the World's Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms:

  • Nationally in Banking and Finance as Other Notable – United States and for 2019-2020 in Tier 1 Ohio.
  • In the areas of Capital Markets (Recommended – Ohio) and M&A (Tier 2 – Ohio) from 2019-2020.

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."

IFLR1000 researchers quoted a Calfee client describing Calfee's Banking Group in the following way: "Everything they did seemed a level above all my prior dealings with other law firms."




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.
  • Represented a developer of a telehealth physical therapy application in its seed financing round.
  • Represented an investment holding company focused on essential service businesses in its formation and initial financing round.
  • Advised the developer of a mobile payment and rewards management platform for the travel and hospitality industry in its seed financing round.
  • Represented the developer of a global identity verification network in its Series A offering.
  • Represented a student loan refinancing platform in its initial structuring and subsequent Series A and Series B financing rounds.
  • Represented a blockchain credentialing company in its initial structuring and Series A financing round.

News & Events



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. They also offer notable capital markets expertise, with particular strengths in acting for underwriters."

Chambers USA 2020

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