Brent M. Buckley

Managing Partner

While fully engaged as Managing Partner, Brent maintains an active practice representing public and privately-held companies, financial services, businesses and executive management. He is nationally recognized for excellence in business and corporate law, corporate governance, banking and finance law, futures and derivatives, and commercial litigation. His business sense and trial experience combine to make a distinctive impact whether at the closing table or in the courtroom in matters involving:

  • Business and Corporate Transactions
  • Business and Finance Litigation
  • Commercial and Complex Litigation
  • Corporate Governance
  • Finance (Debt and Equity)
  • Government Investigations (D&O, Federal/State Investigations/White-Collar Matters)
  • Professional Liability, D&O/E&O

Brent has successfully represented companies, directors, and officers in both business and transactional matters, and is often in litigation ranging from corporate and contracts, to governance and financial matters.

When Skill Matters

  • Represents/defends directors and officers of closely-held and publicly-traded companies, attorneys, law firms, accountants and accounting firms in matters involving corporate conduct, white-collar allegations, business judgment, derivative and shareholder disputes, and business tort claims.
  • MDL, “bet the company” litigation, and class actions engagements include:
    • Multi-national bank victimized in securitized transactions involving $500 million
    • National retail pharmacy involving opiates
    • Pharmaceutical manufacturer of an over-the-counter drug involving product composition
    • Endoscopy mass tort involving thousands of plaintiffs, physicians practices, medical products, and allegations of Hepatitis C
    • Medical device manufacturer of orthopedic bone screws, including FDA matters and insurance coverage dispute, resulting in a significant eight-digit settlement
  • Represents candidates and political office-holders in FEC and OEC matters, including compliance, inquiries, enforcement, and proceedings.
  • Represented national banks in investigations and litigation involving white-collar, international scam operations by crime syndicates reaching across the U.S. and other countries, including terrorist funding with wrongdoers being extradited to the U.S.
  • Represents banks and businesses in coordination with federal law enforcement and secret federal grand juries involving money-laundering, white-collar crimes, embezzlement, fraud, SARs, Patriot Act, RICO, wire fraud, Financial Anti-Terrorist Act, FinCEN, and BSA matters.
  • Successfully defended, through appeal, a bank and mezzanine lender against allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, civil conspiracy, and fraudulent transfer.
  • Defense verdict for one of the world’s largest insurance companies in an action against insurance companies, a closely-held corporation, and shareholder/family members for millions of dollars involving split-dollar agreements.
  • Represents large and regional banks in corporate investigations and matters of first impression involving banking crimes, lender liability, misconduct, business torts, claims involving directors, officers, employees, and borrowers, and in UCC matters.
  • Defense of one of the country’s top universities in state and federal courts in high-risk litigation involving wrongful deaths, confidential circumstances, hazing incidents, tenure, demotion, and discrimination.
  • Counsel in management-led buyouts of mid-market subsidiaries and international companies in acquisition and complex financing.
  • Represented national bank in series of loan portfolio sales aggregating hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Represented lenders in negotiation and structuring of multi-million dollar credit facilities to corporate and subsidiaries/affiliates.
  • Represented lender in restructuring syndicated credit facility, including municipal bonds and letters of credit.

Articles + Presentations

  • Corporate Governance and Risk Management (Presenter, Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce, May 2020)
  • Governance in the New World of Uncertainty (Presenter, Ohio Land Title Association, May 2020)
  • Coronavirus: More Business “Unusual” (Presenter, March 2020)
  • Lawyers Serving on Non-Profit Boards: Ethical Considerations and Obligations (Presenter, Lake County Bar Association, September 2019)
  • Judicial and Prosecutorial Efficiency in the U.S. (Panelist, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, March 2018)
  • Ohio Insurance Litigation (Contributing Author, LexisNexis Practice Guide, December 2017)
  • Coalition Building for NGOs (Panelist, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, December 2017)
  • Managing Risk: Tools for Building an Effective Risk & Crisis Management Program (Presenter, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, June 2017)
  • Commercial Transactions Contract Clauses: Equitable Remedies in Ohio (Contributing Author, Practical Law, October 2016)
  • Corporate Political Activity: Are You and Your Company – Or Your Clients – RNC Ready? Parts I and II (Program Chair/Moderator, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, June 2016)
  • True Reagan: What Made Him Great and Why It Matters, A presentation by James Rosebush (Program Chair, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, June 2016)
  • Cybersecurity: Breach Response (Presenter, Lake County Bar Association, July 2015)
  • Financing Options: Well, You Do Have Alternatives! (Co-Author, Properties Magazine, March 2015)
  • Cybersecurity: Investigation-Prosecution-Prevention (Presenter, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, December 2014)
  • Information Governance: What Every D&O Needs to Know (Author, Crain’s Cleveland Business, November 2014)
  • Corporate Responsibility: Data Privacy and Protection (Author, Properties Magazine, November 2014)
  • Cybersecurity Strategies That Every Business, Director, and Officer Needs to Know (Presenter, Mid-Market Business and Technology Conference, July 2014)
  • M&A Strategies: 10 Ways to Enhance Value for the Day you Sell (Presenter, “Profitable Growth…Doing it Better,” The Presidents’ Forum of Cleveland, June 2013)
  • Navigating the D&O Coverage Maze in an Era of Increased Scrutiny (Presenter, Association of Corporate Counsel, Northeast Ohio Chapter, March 2013)
  • Independent Advice is Critical Anytime Internal Roles are Unclear (Author, Counsel to Counsel, 2012)

Distinctions + Awards

  • Distinguished Law Alumni Award – 2019 Recipient/Honoree (Cleveland State University)
  • Legal Who’s Who – Prestigious Recognition as “One of the Nation’s Top Lawyers for Major/High-Impact Litigation” (Corporate Responsibility Magazine)
  • Best Lawyers in America
    • Banking & Finance Law
    • Banking & Finance Litigation
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Corporate Governance Law
    • Corporate Law
    • Futures & Derivatives Law
  • Top 50 Lawyers in Cleveland – Super Lawyers
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Ohio – Super Lawyers
  • Ohio Super Lawyers
  • Top Rated Lawyers – Commercial Litigation
  • Cleveland’s Top Rated Lawyers
  • The Top Legal Minds in Northeast Ohio
  • Leading Lawyers – Corporate Law
  • People of Vision Award – 2012 Recipient/Honoree (Prevent Blindness Ohio)
  • Leadership Cleveland – Class of 2000
  • AV-Preeminent Peer Review Rated (Martindale-Hubbell

Civic Involvement

  • Cleveland Institute of Music
    • Vice Chair, Board of Trustees; Chair, Governance Committee
  • Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
    • Chair, Board of Visitors
  • College Now Greater Cleveland
    • Secretary, Board of Directors
  • Cleveland Ballet
    • Board of Directors; Chair, Governance Committee
  • Cleveland Sight Center
    • Board of Trustees; Chair, Campaign Advisory Committee, Join The Journey Campaign
  • Lakeland Foundation
    • Board of Directors
  • American Heart Association
    • Chair, Attorneys with Heart Campaign
  • Prevent Blindness Northeast Ohio
    • Executive Council

Professional Affiliations

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association – Board of Trustees; Chair, Business Banking & Corporate Counsel Section; Governance Committee
  • Judicial Conference of the Eighth Judicial District – Life Member
  • Judge John M. Manos Inn of Court
  • Defense Research Institute
  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association


  • Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, JD

  • Case Western Reserve University, BA/BA


  • Ohio

  • Georgia

  • U.S. Supreme Court

  • U.S. Court of Appeals – Sixth Circuit

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

  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Ohio

  • U.S. District Court – Middle District of Georgia

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