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Frantz Ward LLP


Frantz Ward LLP - Cleveland
  • 2500 Key Center
  • 127 Public Square
  • Cleveland
  • Ohio
  • USA
  • OH 44114-1230
  • Number of partners: 37
  • Number of other lawyers: 23

Firm Overview:
Founded in 2000, Frantz Ward LLP has quickly grown to become one of the premier law firms in the Midwest. The firm’s growth to 60 attorneys, who provide a broad range of services, and its joining ALFA International, a global legal network of independent law firms across the United States and around the world, demonstrate its commitment to client service.

Main Areas of Practice:
Bankruptcy/Debtor & Creditor Rights:
The Bankruptcy/Debtor and Creditor Rights Group is highly skilled at representing debtors and creditors in bankruptcy proceedings and complex nonbankruptcy workouts; represents financial institutions and borrowers in troubled loan transactions and advises on restructuring obligations in anticipation or avoidance of bankruptcy.

Class Actions:
The Class Actions Group defends clients throughout Ohio and other jurisdictions in lawsuits on a variety of issues, including alleged violations of consumer protection statutes, claims of deceptive trade practices, lender liability, product liability and breach of warranty, ERISA violations, insurance issues and employment discrimination disparate impact claims.

Commercial Lending:
The Commercial Lending Group represents banks, thrifts, and other lending institutions throughout all phases of the negotiating, structuring, closing, and enforcing of a variety of lending transactions, and counsels clients on issues pertaining to lending matters and their ramifications.

Competition Law:
The Competition Law Group advises and represents clients on competition issues and litigation affecting their businesses, including antitrust, franchise, intellectual property, business tort and consumer protection laws. The group also counsels companies in the development and implementation of compliance programs.

The Construction Group is recognized for their knowledge and experience in all aspects of construction law, including project conceptualization and planning, contract preparation, project financing, project management, construction contracts, construction litigation, construction claims prosecution and analysis, and alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including arbitration and mediation.

Corporate/Business Law:
The Corporate/Business Law Group counsels clients in traditional corporate and transactional areas, including corporate governance, commercial finance transactions, mergers/acquisitions, public and private debt offerings and licensing, and represents both target and acquiring corporations in the buying and selling of their privately-held businesses.

Employee Benefits:
The Employee Benefits Group advises clients on all aspects of design, implementation, administration and termination of tax-qualified retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, health and other welfare benefit plans and fringe benefit programs. Represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Estate Planning/Probate:
The Estate Planning/Probate Group provides a full range of estate planning services and advises clients regarding succession issues in closely held businesses. The firm’s probate practice includes estate administration and other representation in probate-related proceedings.

The Healthcare Group guides healthcare organizations through regulatory compliance and operational matters, including employment/labor issues, risk management, medical malpractice/liability, governmental/third party billing and reimbursement, licensure and certification, survey and enforcement, managed care contracting, Medicare and Medicaid enrollment, HIPAA compliance and healthcare contracting.

Labor & Employment:
The highly regarded Labor and Employment Group represents employers nationally with respect to litigation and issues arising in the ever-changing modern employment relationship. The group is adept at providing effective personnel management strategies, counseling and training to assist clients in avoiding costly litigation, lengthy government investigations, labor disputes, and other outside party intervention.

Highly skilled trial lawyers represent clients nationally in federal, state and appellate courts, and in arbitrations, mediations and other dispute resolution procedures. The Litigation Group represents clients in disputes involving a wide range of business issues, including nationwide toxic tort cases, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, industrial equipment, and consumer products, and serving as national coordinating counsel in multi-jurisdictional litigation.

Real Estate:
The Real Estate Group represents businesses and individuals, whether property owners or property users, in all types of real estate transactions, including acquisition, development, lease and finance of real estate and related property interests, retail, industrial and office leasing and construction contracts and disputes.

The firm’s client base is national in scope, encompassing individuals to small privately-held businesses to publicly-traded Fortune 500 companies.


Construction - Ohio

What the team is known for Represents a series of construction, building and insurance companies on a range of issues including dispute resolution and contractual matters relating to various projects. Also assists clients in projects management and documentation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We are very impressed with the quality of the work, including the in-depth knowledge of the construction industry and relevant issues." 

Work highlights Advised H.M. Miller Construction on compensation claims for extra work and differing conditions, achieving a $12.5 million settlement.

Represented Kenmore Construction in arbitration for a dispute over scheduling, field directives, design changes and site conditions. The client was awarded damages of $1.4 million.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Natale represents various construction clients including owners, designers, developers and subcontractors among others. He regularly advises on loss prevention and engages in all forms of dispute resolution.

Ian Frank practices construction and surety law, and has experience advising a variety of clients. According to sources, "Ian has strong technical skills, and is very attuned to the business issues we face."

Significant clients Welty Building Co., The Beaver Excavating Company, The Shelly Company, Ohio Farmers Insurance, Tremco.

Labor & Employment - Ohio

What the team is known for Highly regarded Cleveland-based firm active on employment and labor matters nationwide. Operates a diverse practice which includes both advisory work and litigation. Extensive experience in relation to collective bargaining agreements, contract interpretation and work stoppage issues, as well as labor arbitration. Well known for its representation of healthcare industry employers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Frantz Ward has the capability and talent to compete nationally with many of the widely recognized labor law firms."

"I am very pleased with them - a well-run firm full of strong performers."

Work highlights Acted for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation on a claim brought by a former member of the clinic's private police force, involving allegations of wrongful discharge and seeking emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and lost wages and benefits.

Advised USF Holland on a lawsuit involving allegations of disability discrimination, brought by a driver who was disqualified after losing consciousness numerous times at the wheel.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Frantz has an extensive practice spanning healthcare, construction, employee benefits and litigation. One client said: "He is a fantastic attorney who is always calm and clear-thinking - he always helps us get to where we need to go." Recent work highlights include acting as labor counsel to Alco Industries in relation to its sale of U.S. Chemical & Plastics.

Department head Merritt Bumpass represents clients in federal and state courts, arbitration proceedings and collective bargaining negotiations. He is praised by one client as being "very intelligent and strategic. Merritt is very thoughtful and makes sure he understands the crux of the issue." Another added: "He has extensive experience in labor relations and working with arbitrators. He has a keen feel for negotiations with unions." 

Clients say Brian Kelly is "excellent; responsive, practical, and a good problem solver" with an "exceptional knowledge of the law." He advises employers on a range of matters, including FMLA and ADA compliance and reduction in workforce planning.

Daniel Ward provides "practical guidance and outstanding labor law advice and counsel," say interviewees. He advises clients on a range of matters, including workers' compensation, executive contracts and wage compliance.

Keith Ashmus has a great deal of experience in employment dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation.

Significant clients Medical Mutual of Ohio, Alco Industries, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Babcock & Wilcox, Oberlin College.