- Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., 1985, cum laude
Case Western Reserve Law Review, Editor, 1985
- Bowling Green State University, B.S., 1982, magna cum laude
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
- The Honorable Leroy J. Contie, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1985-1987
Bret is the managing partner of the Vorys Akron office and a member of the corporate group. His practice focuses primarily on representing public and significant private companies, which he counsels regularly on a broad range of matters involving acquisitions, dispositions and other transactions, corporate and board governance, securities law compliance and reporting, including executive compensation and disclosure issues, and public offerings of debt and equity securities. Bret is particularly experienced in representing public financial institutions and multi-generational family-owned businesses.
Recent transaction highlights include:
- Advising franchisee in its acquisition of six McDonald's restaurant franchises
- Advising Farmers National Banc Corp. in its acquisitions of
- Maple Leaf Financial, Inc. for approximately $42 million
- Monitor Bancorp Inc. for approximately $8 million
- Tri-State 1st Banc, Inc. for approximately $14 million
- National Bancshares Corporation for approximately $73 million
- National Associates, Inc., a retirement planning consultancy
- Advising The Farmers National Bank of Canfield in its acquisition of insurance agency Bowers Insurance Agency, Inc.
- Advising Farmers National Banc Corp. in connection with its offering of common shares in a shareholder rights offering and sale to standby investors, and the sale of common shares in a “best efforts” public offering, totaling 5,000,000 common shares with gross proceeds of approximately $15 million
- Advising A. Schulman, Inc. in connection with securities law compliance and disclosure aspects of its sale to LyondellBasell for $2.25 billion
- Advising A. Schulman, Inc. in connection with its entry into a $1.0 billion senior secured credit facility used to fund its $800 million acquisition of HGGC Citadel Plastics Holdings, Inc.
- Advising A. Schulman, Inc. in connection with its offering of shares of its common stock upon its acquisition of ICO, Inc. for $237 million
- Advising A. Schulman, Inc. in its acquisition of ECM Plastics, Inc. for $36.5 million
- Advising A. Schulman, Inc. in successful resolution of proxy solicitation efforts by a privately owned investment sponsor
- Advising industry segment leading distributor of other hydraulic, hose, connector, and electro-mechanical products and related tools in its sale of assets for $71 million to a public company leader in the aerospace and industrial distribution markets
- Advising Akron General Health System in the negotiation and execution of various joint venture relationships
Bret is a member of the American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association and the Akron Bar Association.
Bret has lectured on various corporate and banking topics, including shareholder activism, corporate governance, executive compensation, and corporate ethical issues. He also coauthored a book on mergers and acquisitions for wholesale distributors.
Bret received his J.D. cum laude from Case Western Reserve University School of Law where he was a member and editor of the Case Western Reserve Law Review. He received his B.S. magna cum laude from Bowling Green State University.
Bret served as a federal judicial clerk for the Honorable Leroy J. Contie, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Professional and Community Activities
- Akron Community Foundation, Director, 2018 - present
- Advisory Council, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, 2013-present
- Cleveland Clinic/Akron General Health System, Director, 2010-present
- Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation, Board Chair, Director 2009-present
- Akron Metro YMCA Endowment Foundation, Director, 2004-present
- Ohio & Erie Canalway Association, Director, 2010-present
- Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, Director, 2006-present
Honors & Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America, Akron Banking and Finance Law “Lawyer of the Year,” 2019
- The Best Lawyers in America, Akron Corporate Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2016, 2018, 2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, Banking and Finance Law, 2017-2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Governance Law, 2008-2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law, 2010-2020
- Ohio Super Lawyers, Mergers and Acquisitions, 2005-2006 and 2008-2010, 2018-2020
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
- 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.
- 8/15/2018Nine lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently named 2019 Lawyers of the Year by Best Lawyers.
- 4/16/2014Vorys ranked seventh nationally in the number of bank merger and acquisition transactions completed in FY2013, based on a report released by SNL Financial. Vorys was the only Ohio-based firm in the top 30 on this list.
- 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.