Michael A. Ellis

  • Areas of Practice

    • Business
    • Mergers & Acquisitions
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
    • Finance Law
    • Taxation


As a corporate transactions attorney, I am often in a position, whether in an acquisition setting, a capital raise, or a situation between two partners, where it’s my job to create mutually beneficial solutions. Through my experience handling mergers & acquisitions, early stage venture capital, and corporate securities law, I’ve learned to not only identify problems, but I find creative ways to resolve issues that ensures all parties achieve favorable results.


The value I deliver to my clients stems from nearly 40 years of working directly with business owners to accomplish their goals. I view each transaction from my client’s perspective so I am able to find a solution in a cost-effective and timely manner while anticipating his or her needs. I pride myself on listening to, and spending time with, my clients. Rather than focusing only on the legal issues, I examine the business, personal and legal factors enabling me to propose and achieve reasonable resolutions for all parties so neither side feels like they’ve lost.


No matter the situation or circumstance, my clients know that I am here to anticipate their needs, listen to their goals, and work together to get all parties to “yes.”


  • Experience
      • Joined Buckingham in 2016
      • Focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions; corporate governance; public and private securities offerings; executive compensation and shareholder communication matters, and defensive tactics in tender offers
  • Education & Admissions
      • Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina (J.D., 1977)
      • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (M.A., 1974)
      • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (B.A., 1974)
    • Admissions
      • Ohio Bar
  • Awards & Honors
      • Listed in Best Lawyers in America®(2008-2022)
      • Selected for inclusion in Ohio’s Super Lawyers®(2007-2009, 2012-2016), as voted by his peers
  • Professional & Civic Involvement
      • Member, Board of Advisors: North Coast Angel Fund II
      • Trustee: Jewish National Fund, Northeast Ohio Region
      • President’s Council and Former Trustee, WVIZ/WCPN; Former Chair, Investment Subcommittee
      • Member, American Bar Association, Business Law Committee, Private Equity/Venture Capital and Merger & Acquisitions  Subcommittees
      Past Affiliations
      • Former Trustee: Cleveland Council on World Affairs
      • Former Trustee and Officer: Ort America, Cleveland Region.
    • Associations
      • Member: American Bar Association, Business Law Committee
      • Member: Ohio State Bar Association, Corporation Law Committee
      • Past Chairman: Ohio State Bar Association, Corporation Law Committee
  • Presentations & Publications
    • <strong>Presentations:</strong> <ul> <li>Webinar "Selling a Closely-Held Business," Stafford Webinars (2019)</li> <li>Co-Presenter "M&amp;A Trends," Buckingham (2018)</li> <li>“Buying and Selling a Business: Start-to-Finish,” National Business Institute (2015)</li> <li>"Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Business," Annual Practising Law Institute (1995-2009)</li> <li>"LLC Trends and Developments," National Business Institute (2006, 2009 and 2011)</li> <li>"Business Law Boot Camp,"  National Business Institute (2013)</li> </ul> <strong>Publications:</strong> <ul> <li><a href="https://businesslawtoday.org/2020/06/clawbacks-creating-fair-post-sale-deal-former-owners/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">"Clawbacks: Creating a Fair Post-Sale Deal for Former Owners"</a> Business Law Today (2020)</li> <li><a href="https://www.americanbar.org/groups/business_law/publications/blt/2019/01/planning/">"Planning Beyond the Sale of a Business: Understanding Working Capital Adjustments"</a> American Bar Association/BusinessLawToday.com (2019)</li> <li>"<a href="http://www.sbnonline.com/dealmakers/buckingham-doolittle-and-burroughs-michael-a-ellis/?utm_source=Smart+Business+Dealmakers&amp;utm_campaign=b050aa5a6c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_10_28&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_3dd8089b5b-b050aa5a6c-64119439">SMART BUSINESS: Q&amp;A Noncompete agreements can easily become a point of conflict in M&amp;A transactions</a>" with Mark Scott (2018)</li> <li>"<a href="https://businesslawtoday.org/2018/02/conflict-issues-in-the-sale-of-closely-held-businesses-tensions-among-family-members/?utm_source=newsletter&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=february18_articles">Conflict Issues in the Sale of Closely Held Businesses—Tensions Among Family Members</a>" American Bar Association (2018)</li> <li>"<a href="http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20170514/CUSTOM/305149998/the-sale-of-a-family-business-may-create-unexpected-tensions-and#utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=ccl-weekly&amp;utm_campaign=ccl-weekly-20170514&amp;email_realestate" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The sale of a family business may create unexpected tensions and conflicts</a>" <em>Crain's Cleveland Business</em> (2017)</li> <li><a href="http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20160724/CUSTOM/307249999/demystifying-convertible-debt-an-entrepreneurs-useful-tool-or-burden#utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=ccl-weekly&amp;utm_campaign=ccl-weekly-20160724">"Demystifying convertible debt: An entrepreneur's useful tool or  burden</a>" <em>Crain's Cleveland Business</em> (2016)</li> <li>"<a href="http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20131127/BLOGS05/131129825/1275/newsletter06">Caps, baskets can determine how much of a purchase price you keep</a>,"<em>Crain's Cleveland Dealmaker</em> (2013)</li> <li>"<a href="http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20130918/BLOGS05/130919839/1275/newsletter06">Providing for key employees is something to think about in doing deals</a>,"<em>Crain’s Cleveland Dealmaker</em> (2013)</li> <li><a href="http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20130612/BLOGS05/130619947/1275/newsletter06">"Considering a sale? Take early steps to protect your talent</a>," <em>Crain's Cleveland Dealmaker</em> (2013)</li> <li>"<a href="http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20130327/BLOGS05/130329853/1275/newsletter06">Is your business agreement unfairly valuing your interest</a>?,"<em>Crain's Cleveland Dealmaker</em>, (2013)</li> <li>Editor,<em>Ohio’s General and Nonprofit Corporation Laws (</em>2009)</li> <li>Coeditor,<em>Ohio’s Limited Liability Company and Partnership Laws (2009)</em></li> <li>Coauthor, "A Primer on U.S. Securities Law," chapter in<em>Immigration Options for Investors and Entrepreneurs</em> (2006)</li> </ul>