Aaron A. O'Brien

Associate

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7589
F +1.216.696.0740

Overview

Aaron O'Brien assists clients engaging in mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, capital financing and other key strategic corporate transactional plays. A substantial part of Aaron's practice focuses on the representation of early stage, middle-market and publicly traded companies in the financial services industry, including broker-dealers and investment advisers, alternative trading systems, and exchanges. Clients turn to him for advice in the capital formation process, specifically for assistance with and thoughtful guidance in conducting private placements of securities in compliance with federal and state securities laws. Aaron is well-informed with respect to developments in Securities and Exchange Commission rules and regulations affecting clients, such as Rule 506 and the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act.

Select Experience

  • Counseled a full-service international investment bank after it failed to report several thousand bond transactions over a three-year period to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Successfully negotiated a settlement with FINRA and avoided substantial monetary sanctions and negative publicity against the banking client. Advised the client to take proactive steps to address and remediate potential violations.
  • Assisted in the development of a complex and unique structure to facilitate the financing of mineral/commodity trade transactions so a U.K.-based hedge fund client could provide financing in a multi-border-crossing venture. The transaction structure was designed to facilitate seamless financing in future transactions involving sugar and iron ore producers in Mexico and Brazil.
  • Represented an investment banking subsidiary during an investigation of and defense against securities trading violations alleged by the Ohio Division of Securities in connection with the sale of securities without registration as a broker-dealer. Developed an innovative settlement, allowing the client to avoid undoing more than $100 million in sales transactions. As part of the settlement, the client was permitted to register with the division and was not forced to pay additional penalties.
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Experience

  • Counseled a full-service international investment bank after it failed to report several thousand bond transactions over a three-year period to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Successfully negotiated a settlement with FINRA and avoided substantial monetary sanctions and negative publicity against the banking client. Advised the client to take proactive steps to address and remediate potential violations.
  • Assisted in the development of a complex and unique structure to facilitate the financing of mineral/commodity trade transactions so a U.K.-based hedge fund client could provide financing in a multi-border-crossing venture. The transaction structure was designed to facilitate seamless financing in future transactions involving sugar and iron ore producers in Mexico and Brazil.
  • Represented an investment banking subsidiary during an investigation of and defense against securities trading violations alleged by the Ohio Division of Securities in connection with the sale of securities without registration as a broker-dealer. Developed an innovative settlement, allowing the client to avoid undoing more than $100 million in sales transactions. As part of the settlement, the client was permitted to register with the division and was not forced to pay additional penalties.
  • Represented Texas Health Resources in an acquisition of a more than 400-practitioner medical group, ancillary businesses and a management company, including the subsequent sale of the management company. It was the largest acquisition of a medical group in the prior 10 years (as measured by the practitioner). (Law360: "Baker Hostetler Represents Texas Health in MedicalEdge Buy.")
  • Counseled an early stage company through the regulatory process to establish a crowdfunding platform pursuant to which the company would facilitate the purchase of shares in companies in a unique market sector by accredited investors.
  • Represented a nonprofit library that serves as a centralized research and study resource organization for four colleges and universities with a variety of contractual matters including the review of corporate governance documentation, donor materials and other related operational documents.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Presidential Volunteer Service Award
  • Ohio Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2016, 2017)

Memberships

  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Green Initiative Committee: Chairman
  • BakerHostetler Diversity Committee: Member

Community

  • Legal Aid Society: Board of Trustees
  • Rotary Club of Cleveland: Board of Trustees 
  • Minds Matter Cleveland: Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Friends of the Cleveland Public Library: Board of Directors
  • Greater Cleveland Morehouse College Alumni Association: President

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 2009
  • B.A., Morehouse College, 2006, cum laude