Thompson Hine LLP > Chicago, United States > Firm Profile

Thompson Hine LLP
20 North Clark Street
Suite 3200
Illinois 60602-5093
United States

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 2

Thompson Hine LLP is a midwestern firm whose work is dominated by M&A transactions for small-to-medium sized public companies, start-ups, and investment managers. Team head Frank Chaiken splits his time between Chicago and Cincinnati and assists with a diverse range of corporate transactions, with a notable penchant for advising on foreign direct investment into the US. William Henry is based in Cleveland, where he advises private equity firms and Fortune 1000 companies on mergers and acquisitions as well as on commercial contracts and governance matters. Also in Cleveland is Tony Kuhel, who is noted for his ability to advise major corporate clients such as The Home Depot on corporate takeovers. Emma Off departed the firm in December 2023.

Practice head(s):

Frank Chaiken

Other key lawyers:


‘The team knows our business practices and appetite for risk better than any other.’ 

‘The attorneys are detail-oriented, thoughtful and very responsive.’

‘Tony Kuhel is highly intelligent and works easily with different levels of our employees.’

Key clients




Gorilla Glue

GE Aerospace

Emmi Group

Buckeye Power

The Home Depot

Crown Equipment Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised The Home Depot on its acquisition of Home Express Delivery Service.
  • Advised Designer Brands on its acquisition of Keds.
  • Advised ProMach and its management team in connection with an investment from BDT Capital Partners and a reinvestment by Leonard Green & Partners.

Transport > Rail and road: litigation and regulation Tier 2

Thompson Hine LLP‘s motor carrier practice assists shippers, intermediaries, and carriers with regulatory rule-making proceedings before the US DOT and other federal agencies. It also acts in litigation involving federal preemption matters as well as claims for loss, damage, and delay. The team additionally advises on safety and licensing issues, as well as legislative developments. On the rail transportation side, the firm acts for shippers, electric utilities, and chemical and crude oil companies on regulatory matters, and it also has enviable experience in rail rate cases. Karyn Booth, who is ‘an excellent leader of this group’, represents multinational corporations, trade associations and transportation intermediaries; Sandra L. Brown‘s practice includes regulatory proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board; and Jeff Moreno represents shipper clients and transportation intermediaries. The group also features David Benz, whose workload covers freight railroad regulation; Jason Tutrone, an adviser to motor carriers on regulatory matters; and Columbus-based Dan Ujczo, who assists with both domestic and international matters involving motor carriage. All attorneys listed are in DC unless otherwise mentioned. Former partner Tim Goodman  left the firm in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Karyn Booth

Other key lawyers:


Karyn Booth is an excellent leader of this group and provides great client service.

Karyn Booth is efficient and always delegates assignments to the right level associate or junior partner.

Karyn Booth is a leader in her practice area. Her connectivity to regulatory agencies and upcoming changes in law and regulations allows her to deliver the highest quality advice to clients.

Key clients

American Chemistry Council

American Forest & Paper Association

Corn Refiners Association

Costco Wholesale Corporation

Dead River Company

Dow Chemical Company, The

Fertilizer Institute, The

Health and Personal Care Logistics Conference, Inc.

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.

LFS Freight Solutions

National Association of Chemical Distributors

National Industrial Transportation League, The


NiSource Inc.

Southern Company

Toyota Tsusho America, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Representing multiple organizations (ACC, NITL, TFI, and Dow) in urging the STB to adopt revised rules to expand access to competitive switching.
  • Representing the plaintiffs (Southern Company, Ameren Corporation and NiSource) in large antitrust litigation against four large railroads, in relation to fuel surcharges.
  • Advised National Industrial Transportation League on matters involving DOT and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration  policies.

Real estate > Construction (including construction litigation) Tier 3

Thompson Hine LLP’s construction practice houses a ‘deep bench of experienced partners and bright associates’, who advise construction companies and owners on complex projects in the healthcare and sports industries. Led from Cleveland by Alan Ritchie, the team also handles the drafting and negotiation of IPD agreements and construction contracts, risk management, and insurance proceedings. Partners Jeffrey Appelbaum and Daniel Haymond assist on transactional matters and project management of public infrastructure projects. With experience in EPC agreements and claim resolutions, Erin Luke is another key member of the team, alongside Columbus-based Amy Riedel, who negotiates project agreements and assists with closeout issues and administration. Other key contacts in the group include New York's James Frankel and Columbus-based Jack Clark. All team members are based in Cleveland unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Alan Ritchie


‘The professionals at the firm have been uniformly high-quality, both professionally and personally. The subject matter expertise is very impressive as well.’

‘Erin Luke and Amy Riedel have been great to work with on our construction matters.’

‘Thompson Hine’s construction practice is top notch. Our company relies heavily upon both their transactional practice and their construction litigation group to further our interests. On the transactional side, Thompson Hine’s team is able to quickly get themselves up to speed on the project specifics and apply their extensive knowledge about my company’s risk tolerances to negotiate the terms most favorable to our interests.’

‘The Thompson Hine team have a deep bench of experienced partners and bright associates to help analyze issues and assist our company in achieving its goals.’ 

Transport > Shipping: litigation and regulation Tier 3

Thompson Hine LLP is consistently mandated to represent shippers and intermediaries in policy and rulemaking matters concerning the Shipping Act of 1984 (as amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act). The team additionally advises on Federal Maritime Commission regulations, in relation to containerized cargo’s ocean transportation services. The group is also well known for acting for the National Industrial Transportation League, which represents shippers’ interests in freight transportation matters; and the practice regularly applies its regulatory expertise to the drafting and reviewing of international service contracts, charter agreements, ocean bills of lading, and towage contracts. Heading up the department, Karyn Booth is a specialist in multimodal transportation and logistics services; and Jason Tutrone‘s practice covers transportation regulatory compliance and protections for shippers, along with logistics-related litigation. Also key to the practice, Columbus-based Dan Ujczo is an expert in ocean and barge transportation. All attorneys are in Washington DC unless otherwise mentioned.

Practice head(s):

Karyn Booth

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Coalition for Fair Port Practices, The

Costco Wholesale Corporation

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, The

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.

National Association of Chemicals Distributors

National Industrial Transportation League, The

National Retail Federation

Work highlights

  • Advising National Industrial Transportation League on the implementation of OSRA 2022 by the US Federal Maritime Commission.
  • Assisted NITL with preparing comments in response to FMC Docket No. 2022-0066-0090—Demurrage and Detention Billing Requirements.
  • Representing NITL in various ocean shipping supply chain legislative matters before the US Congress, including the Ocean Shipping Enforcement Act, the Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act, H.R. 1836, and the Ocean Containers Rail Storage Charges Fairness Act.

Government > Government contracts Tier 4

Contractors in the life sciences, telecoms, intelligence, logistics, and manufacturing industries enjoy comprehensive support from Thompson Hine LLP  on regulatory compliance, procurement and termination process, contractual performance, and dispute resolution. Francis Purcell chairs the Washington DC-based practice, leveraging extensive counseling and litigation experience to assist with pre- and post-award disputes, M&A, subcontractor issues, and small business matters. Jessica Haire focuses on contract negotiations, and federal and state claims, as well as bid protests and litigation, while Ryan Spiegel is highly valued for his regulatory compliance guidance, business counseling, and dispute resolution expertise. Counsel Joe Berger is a key contact for bid protests, litigation, investigations, and FCA cases.

Practice head(s):

Francis Purcell

Other key lawyers:


‘Francis Purcell is always available when I need him. He is very knowledgeable, upfront about proving, and always stays on the scope. I feel super confident when he advises me and represents my company.’

‘In my dealing with Francis Purcell, he set himself apart by digging into technical specifics outside of the law that proved invaluable in balancing the legal approach/recommendation.’

‘Thompson Hine is top notch when it comes to knowledge of the legal aspects of government contracting, especially when it comes to the nuances and intricacies. They have never disappointed.’

‘Ryan Spiegel is smart, very knowledgeable in government contracting, but most importantly he listens to the concerns and wishes of his clients while at the same time providing his vast legal expertise.’

Key clients

Accent Designs LLC

AutoFlex Fleet

Costello Construction Company

ESCgov Inc.

G&C Fab-Con LLC

LION Group Inc.

Mission Essential LLC

National Recoveries Inc.

Norair Engineering


Work highlights

  • Represented Costello Construction of Maryland in a subcontractor dispute relating to a $140m project for the construction of a mixed-use development.
  • Assisted Mission Essential, a major provider of translation services and intelligence support to military and commercial customers, with general government contracts counseling.
  • Assisted NRI with preparing its termination for convenience settlement proposals for submission to the DOE, as well as helping it update its requests for equitable adjustment and preparing certified claims.

Industry focus > Sport Tier 4

Representing major NFL, NBA, and MLS teams in renovation projects and risk management programs, the Thompson Hine LLP practice displays extensive knowledge in both the construction and sporting space. Based out of Cleveland, Alan Ritchie heads the group, frequently advising clients on project finance and development agreements, while Jeffrey Appelbaum acts on behalf of design professionals and construction managers across the US and Canada. Jack Clark consistently assists with structuring and negotiating agreements for construction and financing initiatives from Columbus.

Practice head(s):

Alan Ritchie

Other key lawyers:


‘Thompson Hine’s value to our project has been tremendous. Their participation in the project has been extremely valuable to us as a client both in terms of accurately assessing risk throughout the construction of the project as well as avoidance of unnecessary litigation expenses.’

‘Jeff Appelbaum is extremely well-versed in risk assessment and instrumental in clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of contracting parties. He is solution-based in his approach to a project and works in the best interest of their client throughout the development of the project.’

Key clients

Haslam Sports Group

Cleveland Guardians

Jacksonville Jaguars LLC

Cobb County

Bank of America, N.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised the Jacksonville Jaguars on the drafting and negotiation of a project architect agreement and construction contract as well as on structuring insurance and the risk management program for the Stadium of the Future.
  • Advised The Cleveland Guardians Baseball Club on its $200m Ballpark Improvement and Renovation project.
  • Advised on the development and construction of Field, a $314 million, 20,000-seat MLS Stadium.

Investment fund formation and management > Mutual/registered/exchange-traded funds Tier 4

Thompson Hine LLP handles the full range of registered funds products, among which are mutual funds, interval funds, business development companies and increasingly exchange traded funds, with their clients ranging from broker-dealers to fund service providers and independent directors and trustees. Clients turn to the investment management team for support in structuring funds as well as on transactional and regulatory mandates. Columbus-based JoAnn Strasser leads the team and is well equipped to handle novel product development in the space, mergers and reorganizations as well as SEC examinations and staying compliant. Other key members of the Investment Management department are ETF expert Bibb Strench in Washington DC and Cassandra Borchers in Cincinnati.

Practice head(s):

JoAnn Strasser

Other key lawyers:


In addition to the experience and knowledgeable advice the thing that has really stood out from competitors has been the responsiveness of the team. We tend to have a lot of “last minute” priorities that we need advice and attention to and the Thompson Hine team always comes through for us.

JoAnn Strasser has been the partner on our mutual fund trust since inception. She has always been proactive in identifying potential issues before they become issues. She is also very knowledgeable and usually has the answers to various questions off the top of her head She will also acknowledge if she’s not sure and get back promptly with well researched answers.

Key clients

Simplified Exchanged Traded Funds

Northern Lights Fund Trust, Variable, III & IV

Sprott Funds Trust

Advisers Investment Trust

ALPS Series Trust

The Mexico Fund, Inc.

Meeder Investments

Boston Trust Walden Funds

Bluerock Total Income + Real Estate Fund

Work highlights

  • Assisted the HCM Funds in achieving a new distribution target by listing two of the HCM ETFs on the Mexican stock exchange Bolsa Mexican de Valores (“BMV”).
  • Registered eleven additional ETFs for Simplify Exchange Traded Funds, with each of the funds involving a derivatives strategy of varying degrees of complexity, or unique “niche” strategies.
  • Advised Institutional Investments Strategies Fund. This new interval fund is sponsored by an investment adviser to private wealth with an expertise in private investments.

Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design Tier 4

The ‘very capable’ employee benefits and executive compensation team at Thompson Hine LLP advises large corporate clients on compliance, integration, and redesign . Cleveland-based Julia Ann Love heads the practice, with a strong record in helping clients navigate ‘the legislative minefield’ of various healthcare mandates, including the recent SECURE 2.0 Act. Laura Ryan, ‘extremely knowledgeable about US benefits and 401(k) plans’, is a key name, while Kim Wilcoxon and Timothy Brown are well-versed in the benefits plan space. Shane Starkey is adept at advising clients on defined pension plans, defined contribution plans, and health and welfare plans. Washington DC-based Dominic DeMatties focuses on 401(k) plans and ERISA matters.

Practice head(s):

Julia Ann Love


‘Thompson Hine has very strong knowledgeable talent in the areas of benefits, 401(k), and leave of absence.’

‘Thompson Hine is able to achieve the difficult task of explaining benefits issues to clients with varying levels of knowledge in the area.’

‘The team is very nimble, has great responsiveness and attention to details’

‘Thompson Hine is able to boil down rapidly changing government regulations to the salient points and make it understandable for the client to interpret and to weigh the options.’

‘Julia Love has helped clients to navigate the legislative minefield of the CAA, SECURE, SECURE 2.0 and various other healthcare mandates.’

‘Laura Ryan is extremely knowledge about US benefits and 401K. She has a great attention to detail.’

‘Laura Ryan can communicate benefits understandably, and she knows the area inside and out.’

Key clients

Cardinal Health

McDonald’s Corporation

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated


US Foods


Delta Air Lines



NCR Corporation

Verizon Communications

News Corp

Work highlights

  • Advising Nordstrom as ERISA counsel and advising on their multi-billion 401(k) plan as well as other benefits related compliance issues.
  • Assisting Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc on the harmonization and integration of all retirement and health and welfare plans.
  • Represent Chick-fil-A on all aspects of its qualified and nonqualified retirement plans and health and welfare programs.

Real estate Tier 4

Advising clients that include Brookfield Asset management, Huntington Bank, and Raytheon Technologies Corporation, the real estate team over at Thompson Hine LLP represents numerous large developers, financial institutions, and Fortune 500 companies on a range of real estate mandates spanning from affordable housing to retail. Industrials, distribution, manufacturing, and data centers are also core areas of expertise, benefitting from Ohio’s growing tech and chip manufacturing scene. The practice is noted for its expertise in real estate tax finance covering tax credits and government incentive schemes, among other areas. The team is led by experienced real estate lawyer Thomas Coyne in Cleveland, who has taken the lead on a number of large developments including his representation of Bedrock in the $1bn+ Cleveland Riverfront Project, together with his advising of Pratt & Whitney in the development of an engine manufacturing facility in North Carolina, also valued at $1bn. James Aronoff is also active, particularly on structuring partnerships, joint ventures, and LLCs together transactions and financings. Also in Cleveland is Robyn Minter Smyers who covers public-private partnerships and ESG-related initiatives.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Coyne

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Raytheon Technologies Corporation

Huntington Bank

SITE Centers

Brookfield Asset Management/Brookfield Properties (formerly Forest City Realty Trust, Inc.)

Pratt & Whitney

RPT Realty



Principal Financial Group

Eaton Corporation

The firm: 

Thompson Hine LLP, a nationwide full-service business law firm with approximately 400 lawyers in eight offices (Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, New York, Washington, DC), is widely recognized for its innovative, value-driven approach to delivering legal services. The firm’s groundbreaking SmartPaTHTM program was created to respond to clients’ needs for a more predictable, efficient and transparent service experience. It combines legal project management, value-based pricing, flexible staffing and process efficiency to align service delivery with clients’ business goals. Thompson Hine has made significant investments in talent, proprietary technology and processes, and infrastructure to increase efficiency and provide greater value.

As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance service delivery, Thompson Hine continually collects feedback from in-house counsel about what innovations align best with clients’ needs and has conducted three formal analyses of the state of innovation in the legal market. The firm commissioned detailed surveys and interviews of in-house counsel and other senior executives and published its findings in comprehensive reports. These surveys aim to monitor developments in the corporate legal market and identify opportunities to further refine the firm’s delivery of efficient, predictable and transparent legal solutions.

In an industry first, Thompson Hine in 2024 transitioned its leadership from Deborah Read, one of the first women to lead a large U.S. firm, to Tony White, who will be one of a handful of African Americans currently occupying the top role at an Am Law 200 firm and one of only about a dozen to have held the position at any point.

Thompson Hine. Always Innovating.

Main Areas of Practice:

    • Admiralty & Maritime
    • Antitrust, Competition & Distribution
    • Art Law
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Automotive & Mobility
    • Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies
    • Business Litigation
    • Business Restructuring, Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy
    • Cannabis Industry
    • Climate Change & Sustainable Business Solutions
    • Commercial & Public Finance
    • Construction
    • Corporate Transactions & Securities
    • Emerging Technologies
    • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
    • Energy
    • Environmental
    • ERISA Litigation
    • ESG Collaborative
    • Food & Beverage Industry
    • Global Supply Chain Services
    • Government Contracts
    • Government Enforcement, Internal Investigations & White-Collar Defense
    • Health Care
    • Immigration
    • Insurance
    • Intellectual Property
    • International
    • International Arbitration
    • International Trade
    • Investment Management
    • Labor & Employment
    • Life Sciences
    • New Ventures
    • Personal & Succession Planning
    • Privacy & Cybersecurity
    • Private Equity
    • Product Liability Litigation
    • Real Estate
    • Securities & Shareholder Litigation
    • Site Selection
    • Tax
    • Tax Credit Finance
    • Telecommunications
    • Transportation
    • Water Technology, Finance & Regulation
Photo Name Position Profile
Frank Chaiken photo Frank Chaiken Frank is a partner in the firm and leads Thompson Hine’s Corporate…
Number of Partners : 202
Number of Other Lawyers : 191
Locations of Offices : Atlanta, Georgia
Locations of Offices : Chicago, Illinois
Locations of Offices : Cincinnati, Ohio
Locations of Offices : Cleveland, Ohio
Locations of Offices : Columbus, Ohio
Locations of Offices : Dayton, Ohio
Locations of Offices : New York, New York
Locations of Offices : Washington D.C.