Peter A. Rome

Partner | Chair, Business Department


Practice Areas:

Chair of Ulmer & Berne’s Business Department, Peter has a passion for helping his clients—including financial institutions, public companies, private equity and venture funds, family offices, business incubators, emerging businesses, and entrepreneurs—achieve their goals.

Overseeing the firm’s Business/Tax Department, and specifically, Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity & Venture Capital, and Corporate Finance practices, Peter assists clients in all stages of business with their most significant initiatives, including:

  • Strategic planning and entity counseling for both mature and emerging businesses
  • Financings and investments, including debt and equity financings, private equity and venture capital fund transactions, and securities offerings
  • Executive leadership issues from board and governance counseling to executive and incentive compensation to corporate succession planning
  • Business combinations such as mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances
  • Exit strategies

A passionate dot connector who understands the value of relationships, Peter has worked with high-profile clients including American Greetings Corporation, BioEnterprise, BioMotiv, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cliffs Natural Resources, IMG Worldwide, Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., The Kirby Company, Lake Erie Monsters Professional Hockey Club, Lincoln Electric, Medical Growth Fund, Nordson Corporation, Park-Ohio Industries, Quicken Loans Arena, Safeguard Properties, and Scott Fetzer.

Peter has achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s® highest ranking (AV Preeminent®), was recognized by Chambers USA as one of Ohio’s leading Corporate/M&A lawyers, and has been named to The Best Lawyers in America® and the Ohio Super Lawyers list.

Education & Admissions

Education

  • Tufts University

    (B.A., magna cum laude, 1981)

  • The George Washington University Law School

    (J.D., with high honors, 1984)
    Order of the Coif

  • Gestalt Institute of Cleveland

    (Organizational Systems and Development – Intensive, 2001-2002)

Admissions

State of Ohio

District of Columbia (Inactive)

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

Experience

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Has significant experience representing a variety of corporate and other entities in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, financings (borrowers and lenders), joint ventures, private equity fund transactions, securities offerings, venture capital transactions, going private transactions, due diligence with respect to transactions, technology transfers, executive and incentive compensation, succession planning, general business, commercial law matters, and regulatory compliance matters.
  • Has served as General Counsel of numerous privately-owned corporations, including many manufacturing and/or distribution businesses, service providers and e-commerce businesses, including the largest distributor of hollow metal doors, frames and architectural hardware in the country.
  • Has significant experience in the counseling and nurturing of start-up and emerging businesses, from the preparation of the business plan through the organization and syndication of the venture, through the start-up and emerging business phase and to the exit.
  • Has significant experience in the negotiation and drafting of investment, finance, merger, acquisition, divestiture, employment, non-competition, consulting, management, indemnification, release, option, executive and incentive compensation, franchise, shareholder/close corporation, limited liability, partnership, joint venture, technology transfer, lease, licensing, distributorship and other agreements.
  • Has significant experience in strategic planning and corporate and other entity counseling.

Publications & Presentations

Publications

  • “The Importance Of Terms And Conditions Of Sale.” with Miles Free. Production Machining (June 2005)
  • “Website Compliance Becomes Increasingly More Involved,” Ulmer & Berne Business and Tax Law Letter (Winter 2002)

Presentations

  • “Post-Crunch M&A,” Ulmer & Berne LLP Business Group Series (July 2008)
  • “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About M&A But Were Afraid to Ask,” Ulmer & Berne LLP Business Group Series (January 2008)
  • “M&A in 2007 – Strategies for Success,” Ulmer & Berne LLP Business Group Series (June 2007)
  • “Winning M&A Strategies,” Ulmer & Berne LLP Business Group Series (January 2007)
  • “Value Engineering: Maximizing Value in M&A Transactions and Recapitalizations,” Ulmer & Berne LLP Business Group Series (February 2006)
  • “Incentive Compensation: How Companies Attract and Retain Top Talent,” Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Business (Spring 2005)
  • “Advanced Business Associations: Representing the Internet Start-Up Company,” Case Western Reserve University Law School, Guest Lecturer, Autumn Semester, 2000-2001 School Year.
  • “Private Placements For Emerging Businesses:  The Venture Capital Transaction,” Ulmer & Berne LLP Breakfast Forum Series (June 1998)
  • “Private Equity For Emerging Businesses,” Ulmer & Berne LLP Breakfast Forum Series (May 1997)
  • “Financing The Emerging Business,” Council Of Smaller Enterprises Entrepreneurship Conference (1995)
  • “Executive Compensation,” Cleveland Bar Association Securities Law Institute, (March 1994)
  • “Protecting Your Trade Secrets In Your Dealings With Others,” Ulmer & Berne LLP Seminar (October 1994)
  • “Venture Capital Transactions and the Protection of Minority Shareholders,” Cleveland Bar Association, Securities Law Institute (February 1993)
  • “Oppression of Minority Shareholders: Response to Direct Squeeze Out Attempts,” Cleveland Bar Association, Corporation, Banking and Business Law Institute (May 1990)
  • “Buying/Selling Part or All of a Closely-Held Business and The Federal Securities Law,” Cleveland Bar Association, Securities Law Institute (March 1989)
  • “ERISA Fiduciary Duties In Contests For Corporate Control,” Cleveland Bar Association Securities Law Institute (March 1987)

Involvement

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • American Bar Association (Member, Business Law and Franchise Law Sections, Committees on Negotiated Acquisitions and Governance)
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (Chair, Securities Law Section, 1997-1998/Vice Chair 1995-1997; Securities Council, 1989-1992; Securities Institute Planning Committee, 1986-1992)

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • American Heart Association – Cleveland Metro Section (Board Chairman, 2005-2007; Board Chairman-Elect, 2004; Board Member 2003-2014; Corporate Committee Chair, 2003 – 2006 Cleveland Metro Heart Galas; Leadership Development Committee, 2010-2014)
  • American Heart Association – Go Red For Women (Executive Leadership Team, 2014-present)
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law (Guest Lecturer, Advanced Business Associations, 2000)
  • Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management (Guest lecturer, “Attracting and Maintaining the Best & Brightest”: Human Resource Practices for Entrepreneurial Firms, 2005)
  • Centers For Families and Children (Board Member 2003-present; Member, Executive Committee 2010-2012; Member, Development Committee 2003-present)
  • Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital (Board of Directors 2010-2014)
  • Cleveland Sports Commission (Board Member, 2005-present; Governance and Nominating Committee 2010-present)
  • Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) (Leadership Council, 1992-1994; Entrepreneurship ConferenceSpeaker, 1995; Small Business Development Center Council, 1989-1995; Start-Up Business)
  • Friends of Breakthrough Schools (2011-present)
  • Friends of E Prep (Founding Board Member, 2006-2011)
  • Hawken School (Board of Trustees, 1990-1992; Alumni Board, 1986-1994; President of the Alumni Board, 1990-1992; Alumni Annual Fund Chair, 1992-1996; Development Committee of the Board of Trustees,1990-1998; Legal Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, 1992-1998; Class Parent Council, 2002-2003; Development, 1984-2007)
  • Leadership Cleveland (Member, Class of 2005)
  • Tufts University (Co-Founder, Northern Ohio Tufts Alliance, 1996-present; Tufts Alumni Admissions Program)
  • United Way (Co-Chair, Ohio – Downtown/South, 2008-2009)
  • VeloSan0 – cycling event to raise money for cancer research (Team Leader 2014)
  • Violins of Hope (Founding Board Member, 2016-present)
FIRM INVOLVEMENT 
  • Business Department, Chair
  • Committee on Legal Opinions
  • Marketing Partner

Honors

HONORS

  • Ranked as one of Ohio’s leading Corporate/M&A lawyers by Chambers USA:  America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2014-2017)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law (2011-2018)
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated – Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list (2006, 2010-2017)
  • Fellow of Hawken School, Hawken’s highest award (1992-Present)
  • Leadership Cleveland (Class of 2005)