Chair, Franchise Law Group
For nearly 35 years Scott Lewis has represented business clients of all sizes, from inception through exit or next generation ownership, applying his analytical and negotiating skills along with a pragmatic approach in resolving complex matters. He has counseled both nonprofit organizations as well as for profit companies in a broad range of industries in mergers and acquisitions, business succession plans, corporate governance issues, capital raises, debt financing, employee equity incentive plans and executive compensation, and real estate transactions. In addition to his general business practice, Scott represents clients in licensing, registering and enforcing trademarks and copyrights and in the area of franchising law, representing both franchisor and franchisee.
As outside general counsel to many businesses, Scott takes his role as “first responder” seriously so his clients can focus on what they do best – operating their businesses. He has built his practice on understanding each client’s business, listening patiently to its objectives from both operational and business culture perspectives, and crafting a successful and cost-effective solution that protects the client’s interest. His commitment to timeliness, responsiveness and clarity of expression are attributes that have enabled him to establish longstanding relationships with his clients.
Resident of Orange Village for more than 25 years, Scott has two adult children and lives with his wife and two “doted on” beagles, who also happen to be the Meyers Roman mascots. He enjoys vocal and instrumental music (having been recently invited to sing the National Anthem at veterans’ ceremonies and at Quicken Loans Arena), travel, reading, golf, jogging, basketball and “yoga for seniors.”
• Represented expanding professional softball league and helped poise the league for future growth as outside counsel by handling wide range of matters including franchising, contract negotiations with sponsors and suppliers, player contract review and working with the league commissioner in developing operations manual and league policies.
• Represented large steel service company in public/private finance acquisition of complementary business, purchase of real estate and renovation of 100,000 square foot building.
• Instituted set of business succession mechanics to ensure seamless progression and appropriately timed transfer of aligning equity for second generation leadership.
• Served as counsel to direct digital marketing services and software company startup company that eventually sold the business and negotiated ongoing terms.
• Structured and implemented an affiliation between two large regional nonprofit service organizations.
• Served as counsel to major regional insurance benefits brokerage and human resources consulting firm in sale to leading national insurance agency.
Civic and Professional Involvement
• Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Trustee, 2013-2016
• Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation, Director, 2019-present
• Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Corporate & Securities Law Sections, Former Co-Chair
• Member, Orange Village Planning and Zoning Commission, 2006-present
• Orange Board of Education, Community Task Force, 2014–2017
• Orange Village Charter Commission, Former Member
• Board Member, HFLA (formerly known as Hebrew Free Loan Association), 2017-present
• Writing Council, Minds Matter, (Cleveland Chapter), 2012-2018
• College Now (Cleveland Chapter) Mentoring Program, 2019-present
• Cleveland Civic Leadership Institute (2019) Participant
• Board Member, ORT America (Cleveland Chapter), 1987-2000, 2019 – present
• South University, Legal Studies Community Advisory Board, 2013-2018
• Park Synagogue Choir, Member, 2012-present
• Volunteer, Eliza Bryant Village (pet therapy)
• Board of Directors, Bet Olam Cemetery, 2017-present
• Notoriety Show Choir (formerly SELREC Singers), Member, 2000-present
• International Hockey League, Former Board of Governors Alternate Member
• Cleveland Jewish News, Former Board Secretary and Member, Executive Committee
• Cleveland Sight Center, Former Board member
• Cleveland Sight Center/Ideastream (subscription radio service), Volunteer reader
• International Services Center, Former Board member
• Cleveland Hillel Foundation, Former Board member
• Crain’s Cleveland Business “2013 General and In-House Counsel,” Award Winner
• Ohio Super Lawyer, 2015-2020
• 2016, 17, 18, 19 & 20 Editions, The Best Lawyers in America©: Mergers and Acquisitions Law
• Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, “Beware the ‘One-Stop Shop’ Business Broker.” 2009.
• Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, “Bargain Basement Buying – Identifying the Targets and Structuring the Deal.” 2015
• White paper, “When the Trademark Office Tells you “No”…There’s Always the Supplemental Register.”2015
• White paper, “IOIs and LOIs – How to Use Them Effectively, What to Include and What to Avoid”
• University of Michigan, B.A., magna cum laude, 1981
• University of Chicago, J.D., with Highest Distinction, 1984