Jon R. Stefanik
Business Practice Group Leader
I am a business attorney with a unique tax background. I represent privately-held companies, individual business owners and emerging growth companies. My clients seek my counsel on a wide range of general business matters, but my focus is in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and business succession planning.
I work closely with my clients to understand the issues that are important to them, and those that aren’t, so that I am able to maximize returns on my drafting and negotiating efforts. Because tax issues are pervasive in virtually all business endeavors, clients value my tax experience and training, as I am uniquely positioned to assess tax issues and opportunities at every step of the agreement drafting and negotiation process.
No matter the business need or issue, I am committed to my clients’ success. I keep the best interests of my clients at the forefront when approaching the various legal issues that are so prevalent in today’s business world.
- Focuses practice on general business and corporate matters, including related tax planning and consulting
- Tax practice experience includes analysis of a wide range of tax issues, including issues related to LLC and partnership taxation, estate and gift taxation, corporate taxation and state and local taxation
- Business practice experience includes assistance with entity formations, start-up ventures, software licensing arrangements, contract drafting and buy and sell-side mergers & acquisitions representation
- Represented early stage software client in receiving multi-million dollar Series A and Series B preferred equity investments.
- Represented start-up company in $3M convertible debt bridge financing round.
- Regularly advise wealth management client in multi-million dollar strategic asset acquisitions.
- Regularly advise public accounting firm client in multi-million dollar strategic asset acquisitions.
- Regularly advise national disaster restoration business client in roll-up acquisitions throughout the US.
- Regularly advise restaurant franchisee client in acquisition of additional restaurant locations, including a 37-store acquisition in 2017.
- Represented client in tax-free split up of professional services corporation into two separate corporations to facilitate a split of conflicting shareholder groups.
- Represented client in acquisition of software company competitor via asset purchase.
- Regularly represent clients in the sale of their businesses to strategic and financial purchasers.
- Represented client in purchase of automobile dealership via asset purchase.
- Regularly advise national real estate group in structuring capital stack and distribution waterfall for each LLC formed to acquire property.
- Represented client in sale of right to occupy restaurant space in Las Vegas casino under Management Agreement.
- Represented family office client in the acquisition of a controlling interest in a global restaurant concept.
- Represented S corporation client in contribution of appreciated assets to a newly-formed LLC co-owned by an institutional investor, with a simultaneous partially liquidating distribution to S corporation. Structured as a part-sale/part-contribution resulting in significant tax deferral.
- Restructured an S corporation client prior to sale so that unwanted assets could be distributed tax-free and buyer could purchase stock while receiving asset sale treatment for tax purposes.
- Represented a management group in the sale of their investment in a private LLC on a favorable tax basis while reinvesting in the successor company on a tax-free basis.
- Regularly advise clients in the negotiation of various commercial contracts, including Distribution Agreements, License Agreements, Non-Disclosure Agreements, and Joint Development Agreements.
- Education & Admissions
- The University of Akron School of Law, Akron, Ohio (J.D., summa cum laude, 2007)
- The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio (Master of Taxation, 2007)
- The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio (B.S., summa cum laude, 2004)
- Ohio Bar
- U.S. Tax Court
- Awards & Honors
- Named Best Lawyers in America® ‘Lawyer of the Year’ (2019 & 2021)
- Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America® (2017-2021)
- Recipient: 30 for the Future Award by the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce (2011)
- Selected for inclusion in Ohio’s Super Lawyers® - Rising Stars™ (2011-2013,2016-2017), as voted by his peers
- Recipient: University of Akron Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award (2015)
- Recipient: Ernest Karam Award for Academic Excellence
- Recipient: Beta Gamma Sigma Outstanding Graduate Student Award
- Professional & Civic
- Board Member: American Red Cross - Greater Akron and Mahoning Valley Chapter
- Board Member and Past President: Akron Roundtable
- Board Member and Past President: Akron Tax Club
- Member: Leadership Akron, Class XXVII
- Board Member: ACCESS Inc.
- Board Member: Torchbearers
- Chair: Akron Bar Association – University of Akron Liaison Committee
- Board Member: Project Learn of Summit County
- Member: Akron Bar Association
- Member: American Bar Association, Taxation and Business Law Sections
- Member: Ohio State Bar Association, Taxation Committee
- Presentations &
- <strong>Presentations:</strong> <ul> <li>"Liability Sharing and Disguised Sales: The Proposed Regulations," University of Akron National Tax Conference (2014)</li> <li>"Partnership Allocations,” University of Akron National Tax Conference (2012)</li> <li>"Recourse and Nonrecourse Liability in Partnership Agreements,” Stafford Legal Webinars (2012)</li> <li>“Federal Income Tax Developments,” Akron Tax Club (2011)</li> <li>"Choice of Entity and Federal Taxation Issues," Akron Global Business Accelerator (2010)</li> <li>"Taxation of Carried and Profits Interests," University of Akron National Tax Conference (2010)</li> <li>“Transaction Structuring: Avoiding Potential Pitfalls," Akron Tax Club (2010)</li> <li>“Selected Issues in Private Equity Acquisitions: A Case Study,” Akron Tax Club (2008)</li> </ul> <strong>Publications:</strong> <ul> <li>"<a href="http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20150419/CUSTOM04/304199999/dont-forget-the-buy-sell-agreement" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Don't Forget the Buy/Sell Agreement</a>," <em>Crain's Cleveland Business Blog</em> (2015)</li> <li>"Allocating Recourse and Nonrecourse Liabilities under Subchapter K,” <em>Journal of Taxation and Regulation of Financial Institutions</em> (2013)</li> <li>“Fisher and Price: The End of Annual Exclusion Gifts of FLP Interests, or Mere Child’s Play?,” <em>Taxes- The Tax Magazine® </em>(2011)</li> <li>“Joint Committee Refund Review: Twelve Questions to Consider,” <em>Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure </em>(2008)</li> <li>“Crew 4 You, Inc. v. Wilkins: The Ohio Supreme Court Misapplies Statute and Precedent to Eliminate the Resale Exception to Sales of Employment Services,” <em>Akron Tax Journal </em>(2007)</li> </ul>