BakerHostetler serves several of central Ohio's preeminent businesses. We provide counsel to diverse industries such as manufacturers, political subdivisions, healthcare suppliers and providers, insurers, real estate developers, financial institutions, energy enterprises, transit systems and race car teams. Ultimately, our clients benefit from the resources, knowledge and experience of a national firm with the responsiveness of a local office.
BakerHostetler was named by Corporate Board Member magazine as being among the top law firms in Columbus. The publication developed its list by surveying corporate directors and general counsel in 25 metropolitan areas across the United States.
BusinessThe Columbus office counsels clients in business and financial matters, including domestic and foreign mergers and acquisitions. Our counsel also covers sophisticated financing, the issuing of securities, venture capital financing and initial public offerings. We prepare and negotiate complex multicurrency credit facilities and represent institutional investors in connection with private placements of senior subordinated notes. The Columbus Business practice actively represents open-end management investment companies and has represented a variety of mutual fund clients.
LitigationOur Columbus attorneys have extensive experience with routine and complex business tort cases, including fraud, conspiracy, conversion, defamation, business disparagement and false advertising. We also counsel clients in breach of fiduciary duty, interference with contractual and prospective business relationships, trade secrets, covenants not to compete and usurpation of corporate opportunity. We represent clients in common law breach of contract cases arising from purchase and sale agreements, equipment leases, oil and gas interests, real estate transactions, and stock purchases, as well as more complex litigation, including class action, securities, RICO and unfair business practices litigation.
Employment and LaborThe Columbus Employment and Labor Group has vast experience representing clients in employment litigation evolving from discrimination, harassment, civil rights issues, wage disputes, and wrongful discharge claims. We represent private and public sector clients in collective bargaining, union organizing campaigns, grievance/arbitration disputes and other traditional labor matters. We counsel employers on workplace policies, drafting and interpreting employment contracts, and providing sexual harassment and other workplace training. We also assist with staffing issues such as disciplinary action, terminations, buy-outs, layoffs and reductions in force.
Tax, Personal Planning and Employee BenefitsThe Columbus office handles federal and state tax matters related to the formation, financing, acquisition, disposition and liquidation of closely held and publicly held corporations. We are experienced in tax planning for partners, shareholders and proprietors of closely held and family-owned businesses and their executives.
We counsel employers in developing and designing pension, profit-sharing, 401(k), cash balance and other retirement plans to meet the individual needs of employers as well as their employees. We assist employers in the design and implementation of all types of benefit plans and compensation programs, prepare plan documents, obtain favorable government rulings, and assist with the administration of their plans on a daily basis. We routinely counsel employers on matters involving cafeteria plans, retiree medical issues, benefit cutbacks, cost containment, VEBA deduction rules, and the related tax rules, as well as all aspects of executive compensation programs such as option and bonus plans, deferred compensation and “phantom” stock arrangements, ESOPs, and employee stock purchase plans.
The Columbus office provides counsel in the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration, guardianships, and custodial accounts. Our practice ranges from relatively simple plans to far more sophisticated planning involving the formation of complex interrelated trusts, exempt organizations and other business entities. Our estate planning practice is particularly valuable to owners of closely-held businesses. Given the illiquid nature of closely-held business interests and the high estate tax rates, proper planning is imperative to successfully transition a closely-held business from one generation to the next. We can design and restructure business entities to create tax savings for family business interests, as well as provide vehicles for the continuation of those businesses by the next generation. We provide representation in the resolution of tax disputes and audits with state and federal taxing authorities, ranging from the early administrative stages through the state and federal court process in gift, estate and generation-skipping disputes and audits.
Government and Regulatory RelationsFor more than 30 years, the Columbus office has represented the interests of numerous public sector clients and, more particularly, Ohio municipalities on a wide variety of legal issues and projects. While we represent certain cities on a regular, on-going basis, we are most often engaged to perform services in the role of Special Counsel to a City Attorney or Director of Law on project-specific or issue-specific matters. Our municipal legal representation includes employee and labor relations, planning and zoning, subdivision regulations and building codes, economic development and litigation.
Industry FocusWe also provide more focused counsel in specific industries and market segments, including environmental law, healthcare and real estate.
Community Commitment in Columbus, OhioIn the tradition of BakerHostetler offices nationwide, attorneys in our Columbus office are active in a variety of civic and professional organizations. These include the King Arts Complex, The Buckeye Ranch, The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, American Heart Association, YWCA, YMCA, Recreation Unlimited, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Big Brothers Big Sisters – Central Ohio and Easter Seals.
Our office is active in the Columbus Bar Association including the Managing Partners' Diversity Initiative. We are active sponsors and participants of the Columbus Bar Foundation's Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence and the Legal Aid Society's Project Dignity for victims of domestic abuse. Many of our lawyers share their professional experience through pro bono legal service in the community. They also participate in the Bar Association's assistance program for the homeless, and volunteering at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. The entire office conducts an annual fundraising campaign to benefit "Operation Feed," the umbrella organization for many of the state's food pantries.