Taft Stettinius & HollisterWhy We Support Entrepreneurs

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP’s entrepreneurial roots trace back to its founding in 1885, through the initial combination of its founding partners, Judge William Worthington and Edward W. Strong.  Since that time, Taft has become a preeminent law firm with over 325 lawyers. Based in Cincinnati, Taft is proud to have achieved local prominence, but also national stature, across a variety of practice areas.

Over the course of its history, Taft has continuously supported the small and growing business as a key component of its client base. Over 40 attorneys practice within Taft’s Emerging Companies and Private Equity and Venture Capital practice areas—which represent subsets of Taft’s larger overall Business and Finance Practice Group. Taft’s early stage and small business clients are further supported by a full array of ancillary service offerings, from Intellectual Property, to Tax, to Employment and Benefits issues. Taft attorneys also support and sit on positions of leadership for various organizations whose mission includes promotion of small business and the entrepreneur, including the Ohio Venture Association, Cincinnati Innovates, Cintrifuse, the Brandery, the Cincinnati Venture Association, and FlashStarts.

One of the reasons that Taft supports entrepreneurship is because it is good for business. Many of Taft’s largest and most successful clients originally came to the Firm as start-ups. Taft often represents the same “serial entrepreneur” through the growth, development, and exit of multiple businesses across a range of industries.

However, Taft’s support of the entrepreneur goes beyond mere finances. As individuals, entrepreneurs and their management and investors number among Taft’s brightest, and most energetic, creative, and talented clients. It is extremely rewarding to work with such individuals on a daily basis.

Legal matters generated by our early stage clients also  tend to be sophisticated, challenging, and fulfilling from a professional standpoint. For example, any venture capital or other early stage financing is likely to involve a range of complex (often inter-connected) legal and business issues, ranging from tax, to securities, to corporate governance. We enjoy serving as the single point of contact for our early stage clients, who tend to have legal needs spanning across a number of substantive areas.

At Taft, we view our engagements as a partnership where we work with the client to grow something together. From a professional standpoint, few accomplishments are more rewarding than helping a business navigate through its entire life cycle, from initial start up, during its capital raising and growth, and through to a sale, IPO, or other strategic transaction.

Finally, Taft understands the importance of entrepreneurs and small business to the overall business community and economy. Within the communities where we work and live, we have personally observed how support of small business can enhance employment, the tax base, and overall economic growth.

Entrepreneurship also leads to innovation. In today’s environment, it is absolutely critical that Florida establish an ecosystem that will foster the high-growth, technology-intensive industries of tomorrow. Support of the entrepreneur can drive skilled employment, contribute to economic competitiveness and diversification, and encourage the recruitment of businesses and outside investment.

We have seen this process first-hand as, within the past decade or so, various regions within Ohio and the larger Midwest have transitioned from manufacturing-based economies to hubs for technology, innovation, and outside investment. This is an exciting time to be a part of the Florida market, and stand ready to assist Florida’s entrepreneurs and supporting ecosystem in any way that we can.

Taft Stettinius & Hollister

200 Public Square, Suite 3500

Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Peter Nealis                                                 Peter Nealis, Partner

Peter Nealis is a partner with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, a full service law firm. Peter has substantial experience representing both public and private companies and investors in a variety of securities, regulatory, and corporate governance matters. A large part of Peter’s practice consists of the representation of start-ups and emerging growth companies, including in their initial capital raising ventures and subsequent private placements. Peter also has substantial experience in the area of partnership and limited liability company formation and governance, as well as related tax issues. He has also represented businesses and their owners in connection with all aspects of the mergers and acquisitions process, and he regularly counsels clients on a wide variety of general corporate and business matters, including intellectual property protection and licensing.