Stephen J. Petras Jr.

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7862
F +1.216.696.0740

Overview

Steve Petras practices international business transactions as a partner in the Business Group. He has facilitated commercial and corporate transactions in most countries throughout the world. When representing companies seeking to expand operations in foreign jurisdictions or in business transactions with parties from different countries, Steve seeks to create effective and efficient corporate and tax structures and enforceable agreements in the multiple jurisdictions involved. Furthermore, he advises on the compliance of the business activities and the parties with the applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations. Steve has deep experience representing clients in the manufacturing and technology industries, where his technical background and interest enable him to better fit each transaction with the underlying technology of his clients' businesses.

Steve led BakerHostetler's International Industry team from 1998 through 2012. He is actively engaged in the international community of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, having served as president of the Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group, chair of the International Section of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, chair of the board of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs and president of the Cleveland World Trade Association. He is also a member of the board of directors of the World Affairs Councils of America. Additionally, Steve is an adjunct professor in the International LL.M. program at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Dedicated to increasing international business in the U.S. and Ohio, Steve had been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce as a member of the Northern Ohio District Export Council and by Governor George Voinovich as an Ohio Commodore. Steve is the USA National Director of the Canada – United States Law Institute and is also a member of the board of directors of the Council of the Great Lakes Region.

Select Experience

  • On behalf of the Clinton Foundation's HIV/AIDS Initiative, negotiated agreements for the supply of antiretroviral medicines to treat adults and children suffering from or living with HIV/AIDS in the numerous developing countries of that program. The agreements covered the supply of drugs by pharmaceutical companies as well as the supply of testing equipment and supplies by the biomedical equipment manufacturers. These agreements, and the infrastructure created, enabled millions of people to receive lifesaving treatment.
  • Was involved in structuring working capital financing transactions for the mining and delivery of natural resources using innovative security and payment methods, enabling the client to provide working capital on a trade-by-trade basis at very low risk but significant revenue.
  • Has conducted numerous international mergers and acquisitions spanning the transaction value range from nominal to more than $1 billion. 
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Experience

  • On behalf of the Clinton Foundation's HIV/AIDS Initiative, negotiated agreements for the supply of antiretroviral medicines to treat adults and children suffering from or living with HIV/AIDS in the numerous developing countries of that program. The agreements covered the supply of drugs by pharmaceutical companies as well as the supply of testing equipment and supplies by the biomedical equipment manufacturers. These agreements, and the infrastructure created, enabled millions of people to receive lifesaving treatment.
  • Was involved in structuring working capital financing transactions for the mining and delivery of natural resources using innovative security and payment methods, enabling the client to provide working capital on a trade-by-trade basis at very low risk but significant revenue.
  • Has conducted numerous international mergers and acquisitions spanning the transaction value range from nominal to more than $1 billion.  
  • Has prepared major sourcing and outsourcing agreements, enabling the expansion of clients' operations into India, the Philippines and other countries.
  • Has prepared numerous international joint venture agreements for manufacturing, software development, marketing, research and other purposes for expanding clients' businesses into China, Brazil and other countries. These projects cover various technologies, products and services including automobile parts, appliance components, food products, machinery, environmental remediation equipment and others.
  • Has established U.S. operations for foreign companies through new entities, startup operations, joint ventures and other arrangements, including selections of available incentives.
  • Has performed international coverage analysis of reinsurance and insurance issues concerning large losses caused by such things as legal compliance failures and product defects.
  • Has prepared product representation and distribution agreements across the world for technology-based clients, including the auto, medical, life sciences, machinery, gearing, software, housing, plumbing supply, aviation and numerous other industries.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • Alpha Kappa Epsilon International Business Honor Society (2005 to present)
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law: Adjunct Professor of the Year (2017)
  • Global Directory of Who's Who
    • Top Lawyer
    • VIP Member

Memberships

  • Canada-United States Law Institute
    • National Director (2015)
    • Executive Committee
  • Council of the Great Lakes Region: Board of Directors (2015)
  • World Affairs Councils of America: Board of Directors
  • Ohio Commodore: Appointed by Governor Voinovich (1996)
  • Cleveland Council on World Affairs: Immediate Past Chair of the Board
  • Cleveland World Trade Association: Past President
    • World Trade Center of Cleveland: Advisory Board
  • Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group: Past President
  • Northeast Ohio International Business Network: Founding Board Member
  • United States Department of Commerce: Northern Ohio District Export Council Member
  • American Bar Association: International Law Section
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association: International Law Section, Past Chair

Community

  • Cleveland State University James J. Nance College of Business Administration International TRADE Program: Advisory Board
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law: Society of Benchers, Member
  • MetroWest Kiwanis Charitable Foundation: Chairman

Admissions

  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 1979
  • B.A., Wittenberg University, 1976