William L. Caplan

Partner | Akron

Download Bio

Download V-card

Assistant  |  Nancy Whitman  :  [email protected]

About William:

I serve as general counsel and a trusted business advisor to many successful businesses of varying size, scope and complexity. Because I have both a law degree and an MBA in finance, clients rely upon me to assist them in the development of innovative solutions to oftentimes vexing business problems. I invest time to learn my clients’ strategies, long-term goals and methods of doing business which enables me to provide sophisticated legal advice and tailor appropriate legal and business solutions.


Businesses look to me for legal guidance in connection with such areas as entity formation and structure, shareholder and governance issues, trade secret protection, executive compensation, contractual matters, sales and purchases of businesses, and those difficult environmental compliance matters that impact the operation and structure of businesses and business transactions. I represent numerous manufacturers, distributors, and sales and service concerns. My leadership roles in community organizations have also afforded me the opportunity to forge valuable business and community relationships that enhance my service to clients. I focus consistently upon great client service, teamwork, excellence and results.


  • Focuses in the areas of corporate, business succession, mergers and acquisitions, and environmental law
  • Joined the firm as an associate attorney in 1980; was elected partner in 1987
  • Served as the head of the firm’s corporate and business law department
  • Served as a member of the firm’s board of directors
  • Served as chairman of the firm’s executive committee
  • Served as the partner-in-charge of firm’s Akron office
  • Served as head of the firm’s environmental law practice

  • The University of Cincinnati College of Law (J.D., 1980)
    • Order of the Barrister
  • The Ohio State University (M.B.A., 1976)
  • The Ohio State University (B.S., 1973)


  • Ohio (1980)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of International Trade

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® (2009-2024)
  • Named as a Best Lawyers in America® ‘Lawyer of the Year’ 2015 in Akron for Environmental Law, 2022 in Akron for Real Estate Law
  • Selected for inclusion in Ohio’s Super Lawyers® (2004-2006), as voted by his peers
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™, which is the highest possible rating in both legal and ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar.

  • United Way of Summit County, Member, Board of Trustees
  • American Heart Association, Great Rivers Affiliate, Member, Board of Trustees
  • College of Business Administration’s Advancement Council at the University of Akron
  • Lloyd and Louise K. Smith Foundation, Co-Trustee
  • Laura and Lucian Q. Moffitt Foundation, Co-Trustee
  • Proudly Cincinnati Campaign Leadership Committee for the Cleveland Region
  • Bluecoats Incorporated
  • Leadership Akron, Class VI (1990)
Past Affiliations
  • United Way of Summit County, Community Campaign Chairperson (2016)
  • The University of Akron School of Law, Adjunct Professor; Environmental Aspects of Real Estate Transactions
  • Executive Committee of Jewish Family Services, Member
  • Akron Jewish Community Foundation, Trustee
  • College of Business Administration’s Advancement Council at the University of Akron, Chairman
  • Environmental Law Journal of Ohio, Editorial Advisory Board
  • Junior Achievement, Trustee
  • University of Akron Foundation, College Centered Committee Member


  • Akron Bar Association, Fellow
    • Environmental Law Committee, Past Chairman
  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association


  • Instructor: National Business Institute – Environmental, Business and Real Estate Topics
  • Frequent speaker on environmental, finance and corporate law issues for University of Akron, College of Business Administration, and various other organizations.
  • Contributing author: Banks Baldwin’s Ohio Environmental Law Handbook


Our attorneys will provide a collaborative, thoughtful approach to your legal needs. We look forward to connecting with you.