- University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., 1991
- University of Nebraska, B.S., 1987
Bar & Court Admissions
Michael is a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and serves as the firm's managing partner. Michael is a member of the corporate and business organizations group and serves as corporate counsel to both large companies (Fortune 1000 corporations) and small businesses (start-up, emerging and mature closely held businesses) engaged in multiple industries including manufacturing, retail, financial institutions and the restaurant and food industry.
Michael focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising transactions, divestitures, joint ventures, corporate governance, contract matters and licensing.
- Representing The Ohio State University in its negotiations with Nike concerning licensing rights and equipment/apparel products.
- Representing ScottsMiracle-Gro in multiple transactions with Monsanto relating to ScottsMiracle- Gro serving as the exclusive agent for the marketing, sale and distribution of Round-Up products in the consumer lawn and garden market
- Representing multiple firm clients in structuring, negotiating and completing exclusive license and branding agreements with the National Football League, Major League Baseball and over 50 colleges and universities
- Representing Bob Evans Farms, Inc. in its sale of 145 Mimi’s Cafe restaurants to Le Duff America, Inc.
- Representing ScottsMiracle-Gro in its divestiture of the Smith & Hawken Brand to Target Corporation
- Representing Camco Financial Corporation in its merger with Huntington Bancshares, Inc.
- Representing Thirty-One Gifts, LLC in its acquisition of Jewel Kade Holdings LLC
- Representing CBC Companies, Inc. in its acquisition of Kroll Factual Data, Inc.
- Representing Thirty-One Gifts, LLC in its acquisition of Rendi LLC
- Representing multiple public companies and start-up companies in capital raising transactions
- Representing Citizens Independent Bancorp, Inc. in its $4 million equity raise
- Representing Venture Med, LLC in its Series A preferred equity raise
- Representing the owner of Safety Solutions, Inc. in a sale of stock to W.W. Grainger, Inc.
- Structuring, negotiating and completing numerous intellectual property licensing agreements, including numerous celebrity licensing and endorsement deals
Other Career Highlights:
Michael serves as the co-chair of the Legal Aid Society of Columbus' 2019-2022 Capital Campaign.
Michael accompanied Ohio Governor Robert Taft and representatives of the Ohio Department of Development on a trade mission to France and Germany in 1995.
Michael was chief presenter and organizer of a seminar for general counsel of Fortune 1000 corporations located in Ohio addressing aspects of corporate law of particular interest to Fortune 1000 corporations.
Professional and Community Activities
- President of the Board of Trustees of the Columbus Museum of Art, November, 2016 to present
- Columbus Chamber of Commerce, board member
- Vice President of the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Development Committee for the Columbus Museum of Art, 2013 to November, 2016
- Columbus Museum of Art, Board of Trustees, 2010 to present
- Godman Guild Association, Board of Trustees, 1995-2001; Secretary, 1998-2001
- Association for Corporate Growth, member
- Columbus Bar Association, member
Honors & Awards
- Ohio Super Lawyers, Corporate, 2017-2019
- Chambers and Partners, Leading Lawyer in Corporate/M&A, 2016-2017
- Columbus CEO, Top Lawyers in Columbus, 2015-2016
- The Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law, 2013-2019
- 8/15/2018One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019.
- 7/18/2014Michael Martz, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the corporate group, was included on Columbus Business First’s “20 People to Know in Banking and Finance” List. Martz was selected for his work representing financial institutions.
- Spring 2015As 2015 gets under way, bank compensation committees are tasked with setting the bank’s executive compensation strategy for the year and effectively communicating that compensation structure to shareholders. Compensation committees need to strike a balance between a compensation program that attracts and retains employees and encourages those employees to take appropriate business risks while advancing the bank’s growth strategies and discouraging inappropriate risks.
- Spring 2015Maybe at one time your company was reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and your company’s stock was listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ). You were relieved when the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act allowed you to terminate your SEC registration, even though it meant that your stock could no longer be listed on NASDAQ.
- Spring 2015During the past three years, a significant number of community banks and their holding companies (collectively, banks) throughout the United States elected to “go dark” by taking advantage of a provision in The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). These banks were able to suspend their reporting obligations under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and deregister with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because they had fewer than 1,200 shareholders of record.
- 3/23/2015Enhanced Opportunities for Community Banks: The Federal Reserve’s Proposal to Raise the Threshold for Qualifying as a “Small” Holding Company from $500 million to $1 billion in Consolidated AssetsIn December 2014, Congress modified portions of Dodd-Frank to provide additional opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden on community banks. In response to this legislation, on January 29, 2015 the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) requested comment on several related proposals (and an interim rule) focused primarily on increasing the number of holding companies eligible for the reduced reporting and other requirements under the “small” holding company exclusion.
- Winter 2014Following an extended dry spell for de novo bank applications, in what could be interpreted as a gesture to “kick-start” de novo conversations, the FDIC issued in November a somewhat “out of the blue” financial institutions letter (FIL-56-2014) containing a series of Q&As relating to procedural issues surrounding applications for deposit insurance.
- 1/21/2013On January 10, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a number of mortgage-related rules, including its long-awaited qualified mortgage (QM) rules in an 804-page set of complex guidelines for residential real estate lending mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. The rules take effect in January 2014.