CLEVELAND, December 14, 2022 – The business law firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP announced today that its partners have elected a new managing partner and other firm and practice group leaders who will assume their respective roles effective January 1, 2023.
Thomas M. Welsh was elected to serve as Calfee’s next managing partner. Welsh joined Calfee in 2003 and was elected partner in 2012. He has served on the firm’s Management Committee and as co-chair of the Corporate and Finance practice group. Welsh has actively served the business and legal community in Cleveland, including as president of the board of directors of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), Cleveland chapter.
Welsh, who has significant experience consummating mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and divestitures for private equity, public and private company clients, will continue to practice corporate and transactional law and serve clients while assuming the managing partner role at Calfee. Welsh is recognized in corporate/M&A law in Ohio by Chambers USA. He earned his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and his B.A. from Miami University.
“I am grateful for the trust and support of Calfee’s partners. Our Management Committee has spent years planning for this transition. I am fully committed to the attributes that have made Calfee a career destination and the law firm of choice for our clients, namely loyalty, caring for and respecting each other, and competitiveness. This firm means a lot to me, and I am extremely excited about its future and to have the opportunity to play a role in building upon the growth that we have demonstrated,” stated Welsh.
Welsh continued, “We cannot thank Brent Ballard enough for his efforts over the past 18 years as Calfee’s managing partner. His tireless dedication resulted in the addition of four offices and significant international growth for the firm. Brent led the renovation of the Calfee Building on East Sixth Street in Cleveland, restoring a derelict building into the landmark that it is in our Business District. The firm has experienced significant improvements in diversity and inclusion under his leadership, and he has led us through multiple economic downturns and a global pandemic. We are also grateful to Brent for the leadership roles he has taken in the community at organizations like Playhouse Square, the Union Club, and University School. I am personally grateful to Brent for his willingness to continue to serve the firm and our clients through this important transition and to continue to support our strategic growth efforts into the foreseeable future.”
After 18 years serving as Calfee’s managing partner, Brent D. Ballard will transition to a newly formed role as chief strategy officer. During his tenure as managing partner, Ballard successfully led the firm’s growth from two Ohio offices to its current six offices in three states and the District of Columbia, serving clients in major metropolitan areas across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. In his new role as chief strategy officer, Ballard will focus on accelerating firm growth in areas that support Calfee’s clients. He will work closely with other firm leaders to continue to attract top attorneys who are committed to the firm’s goals of supporting diversity and inclusivity and serving clients in an entrepreneurial and collaborative manner. Ballard will continue to serve as a member of the firm’s Management Committee.
Ballard stated, “These past years have taught me a few things about leadership, which have greatly informed our succession planning. Calfee’s steadfast culture has carried the firm through 120 years of economic, political, and business cycles, and our culture requires our next leader to possess courage, resourcefulness, and a sense of humor. Over the past several years, the Management Committee carefully considered several worthy candidates to identify a leader who is well-respected by the partnership and within the business community, focused on delivering exceptional client service, and who will help lead the firm in two key directions: hiring, developing, and retaining top talent; and accelerating growth and momentum within our legal markets. Tom Welsh embodies each of these critical characteristics. He has significant leadership experience, he is intelligent, he leads with humility and a sense of humor, and he has earned the necessary trust within the firm and in our community to successfully serve in the role of managing partner. The firm and our clients are in very capable hands going forward, and I am honored to continue to serve the firm in a new role focused on supporting strategic growth for our clients.”
Ballard joined Calfee in 1985 and was elected partner in 1993. He joined the Executive Committee in 1999 and the Management Committee in 2002. Ballard has served as managing partner since 2004. An active member of the community, he served on numerous boards and committees including the Greater Cleveland Partnership, University Circle Inc., Playhouse Square Foundation, University School, CWRU School of Law Society of Benchers and Visiting Committee, Ohio Business Roundtable, Union Club of Cleveland, the Bluecoats, and 50 Club. He is recognized in corporate and real estate law by The Best Lawyers in America® (2006-2023) and by Crain’s Cleveland Business recognized as “Notable in Law” in 2022. Ballard earned his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, his M.P.S. from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and his B.A. in economics from Bates College.
The firm also announced that two partners have been elected to serve as firm vice chairs. Jennifer L. Vergilii, a member of the firm’s Management Committee and co-chair of the Corporate and Finance practice group, and Terrence F. Doyle, newly elected to the firm’s Management Committee and co-leader of Calfee’s Private Equity practice area, will join the current firm vice chairs Mitchell G. Blair and John S. Cipolla. Douglas A. Neary will continue to serve the firm as chairman.
Partners K. James Sullivan, leader of Calfee’s Insurance Recovery practice, and Terrence F. Doyle have been elected to serve on the firm’s Management Committee. They join current members Brent D. Ballard, Mitchell G. Blair, John S. Cipolla, Arthur C. Hall III, Maura L. Hughes, John A. Mongelluzzo, Douglas A. Neary, Leah Pappas Porner, Todd Tucker, Jennifer L. Vergilii, and Thomas M. Welsh.
Calfee partner Brent M. Pietrafese is being elevated from vice chair to co-chair of the Corporate and Finance practice group, and Ann Z. Seger will serve as vice chair of the group. Pietrafese and Seger join current co-chairs Jennifer L. Vergilii and Karl S. Beus. With more than 45 attorneys, Calfee’s Corporate and Finance practice consummates 60 – 75 M&A transactions annually; provides a full range of corporate governance, SEC reporting and compliance, and capital markets services; and represents clients in all aspects of domestic, international, and public financing deals.
Billy C. Raulerson is being elevated from vice chair to co-chair of the Intellectual Property practice group, and Kimberly A. Pinter will serve as vice chair of the group. Raulerson and Pinter join current co-chair Mark W. McDougall. Calfee has one of the largest Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law practices within a general practice corporate law firm in the Midwest. With 35 IP attorneys and patent agents, the group manages 23,000+ active patents and trademarks, of which 15,000 are international. Calfee’s IP practice also handles complex, high-value patent and trademark litigation, trade secret, and technology transfer matters across the U.S. and globally.
Calfee also welcomes three newly elected partners. Andrew Alexander is an Intellectual Property attorney in the firm’s Cleveland office. Michael W. Bowen is a Government Relations and Legislation attorney in the firm’s Cleveland and Columbus offices. Joshua A. Friedman is an Intellectual Property attorney in the Cleveland office.
All newly elected and appointed positions will be effective January 1, 2023.
About Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP
Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP is a full-service corporate law firm with 160 attorneys and professionals and six offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, New York, and Washington, D.C. Calfee serves clients in the Midwest, nationally, and globally in the areas of Business Restructuring and Insolvency, Corporate and Finance, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Energy and Utilities, Estate and Succession Planning and Administration, Government Relations and Legislation, Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment, Litigation, and Real Estate Law. Calfee has been recognized as a leading law firm by the Chambers USA 2022 Legal Guide in Antitrust, Banking & Finance, Corporate/M&A, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Insurance: Policyholder, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Litigation: General Commercial, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, Natural Resources & Environment, and Real Estate Law and by Chambers 2022 High Net Worth Guide in Private Wealth Law. The firm earned Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification in 2022 for its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the legal industry. A founding member of Lex Mundi, Calfee offers international representation through a network of independent law firms with access to 22,000 attorneys located in more than 125 countries. Additional information is available at Calfee.com.
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