Cooperative and Collaborative Enterprises Legal and Accounting Resources Directory

Cooperative business planning requires an understanding of the unique aspects of the co-op model.

Cooperative businesses operate under a unique structure which can create a variety of complex considerations in the business's strategic and operational decision-making. The following directory was compiled from a survey by the Center for Cooperatives of legal, tax, and accounting professionals who are friendly to or have experience working with cooperatives.

The information in this directory was provided by the listed individuals and does not indicate a referral or reference by the Center for Cooperatives or The Ohio State University.

Are you a legal, tax, or accounting professional with experience working with cooperative or collaborative businesses? If you are interested in adding your information to this directory, please contact Joy Bauman at the CFAES Center for Cooperatives at bauman.67@osu.edu or 740-289-2071 ext. 111. 

 

David C. Barrett, Jr., Managing Partner, Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Eselgroth LLP

Office Location: Dublin, Ohio

Locations Served: Ohio and nationwide

Contact Information: Phone: 614-210-1840; Email: dbarrett@farmlawyers.com

Areas of Practice: Cooperative formation; Governance; Transactional issues; Intellectual property; Dispute resolution

Services Statement: The law firm provides a wide range of legal services, including a special emphasis on serving the needs of agricultural producer and agribusiness clients. Areas of emphasis include agricultural legal issues, cooperatives, business and estate planning, agricultural financing, business formation, bankruptcy law, commodities law, commercial transactions, environmental law, estate administration, federal farm program issues, government regulation, tax law, litigation, mediation and arbitration.

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Eric M. Bennett, CPA Director, Blue & Co., LLC

Office Location: Southern Indiana

Locations Served: Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky

Contact Information: Direct Phone: 812-405-1729; Main Phone: 812-522-8416; 812-334-0200

Areas of Practice: Consulting; Tax; Accounting assistance; Business combinations; ASC 740 compliance

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Kevin P. Braig, Partner, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

Office Location: Columbus, Ohio

Locations Served: Ohio and nationwide and international

Contact Information: Phone: 614-628-4433; Email: kbraig@slk-law.com

Areas of Practice: Regulatory law; Corporate law; Litigation; Agricultural law; Environmental law; Commodities law; Gaming Law

Services Statement: In Ohio, agribusiness clients frequently look to Kevin for his experience representing large scale agricultural operations in the area of livestock permitting and communicating and negotiating with both state and local governments, neighbors, citizens groups, and other members of the national agribusiness community. He has experience representing clients in cases involving regulatory issues relating to livestock permitting, water, wetlands, air, solid and hazardous waste, and underground storage.

Professional Biography

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.

Eric Britton, Attorney and Co-Chair of Tax and Benefits Department, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

Office Location: Toledo, Ohio

Locations Served: Ohio, Southeast Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina

Contact Information: Phone: (419) 321-1348; Email: ebritton@slk-law.com

Areas of Practice: Tax and employee benefits; Corporate/mergers & acquisitions; ESOPs and worker cooperatives; Cooperatives; Non-profits

Services Statement: Our law firm has the knowledge and experience to provide cooperatives with the legal services they need - in organizing, operating, or, when necessary, re-organizing a cooperative, or assisting with tax or transactional issues.   I also get a real sense of satisfaction when we can assist a business run on cooperative principles. 

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.

John P. Dombrowski, Attorney, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

Office Location: Toledo, Ohio

Locations Served: Global with offices in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina

Contact Information: Phone: 419-321-1411

Areas of Practice: International, federal, state and local tax planning and litigation; Cooperatives and tax exempt entities; Mergers and Acquisitions and Divestitures; Corporate Law / Business Organizations; International Transactions; Administrative, Regulatory and Government (Local & State Agencies)

Services Statement: John’s practice entails transaction and general business tax planning, partnership taxation, business succession planning, international business tax planning, executive compensation, cooperative taxation, and tax compliance and tax controversy representation on both the state and federal levels.  John works with cooperatives to ensure compliance with federal and state tax laws when his clients look to expand organically or through mergers and acquisitions. 

LinkedIn Profile

Professional Biography

Carolyn Eselgroth, Partner, Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Eselgroth LLP

Office Location: Dublin, Ohio

Locations Served: Ohio

Contact Information: Phone: 614-210-1840; Email: ceselgroth@farmlawyers.com

Areas of Practice: Cooperative governance and mergers & acquisitions; Non-profit organizations; For-profit organizations; Business planning; Estate planning; Trust administration; Probate; Real estate; Business reorganizations and dissolutions

Services Statement: During more than 25 years of legal practice, I have worked with farmer and other types of cooperatives, from initial planning and organization to merger and dissolution. I enjoy updating articles of incorporation and bylaws, working with boards of directors, and seeing how members can organize to fulfill a need that betters their own lives and also benefits their communities.

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.

Todd R. Eskelsen, Partner, Eskelsen Law Group, LLC

Office Location: Kensington, Maryland

Locations Served: Nationwide

Contact Information: Phone: 240-460-1115; Email: teskelsen@eskelaw.com

Areas of Practice: Cooperatives; Non-profits; Corporate Governance & Transactions; Financings; Real Property

Services Statement: Attorney with 30+ years representing cooperatives, corporations, partnerships, LLCs and nonprofits in all aspects of day-to-day business, corporate governance and transactions and internal investigations.

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Gregory R. Flax, Attorney, Martin, Browne, Hull & Harper, PLL

Office Location: Springfield and Urbana, Ohio

Locations Served: Ohio

Contact Information: Phone: (937) 324-5541; Email: gflax@martinbrowne.com

Areas of Practice: Agricultural Law; Environmental Law; Administrative Law; Employment Law; Estate and Business Planning; Real Estate; Business Litigation

Services Statement: Greg Flax is a partner at Martin, Browne, Hull & Harper, a 10-attorney law firm with offices in Springfield and Urbana.  Mr. Flax is a graduate of Ohio State's College of Agriculture and formerly operated a grain and livestock farm.  He is a past chairman of the Ohio State Bar Association's Agricultural Law Committee.  His firm assists business with a full range of services, including litigation, real estate transactions, mergers and acquisition, and employment matters.

Jeffrey A. Harr, President, BHM CPA Group, Inc.

Office Location: Circleville, Columbus, and Piketon, Ohio

Locations Served: Ohio and nationwide

Contact Information: Phone: 740-474-5210; Email: jeff.harr@bhmcpagroup.com

Areas of Practice: Traditional CPA firm services with a significant niche in cooperatives, both exempt and nonexempt.  Most of them are agricultural and rural electric coops but have several other types as well.  We also serve many other industries as well as entities and individuals.

Services Statement: We have been working with cooperatives for more than 30 years.  They are a unique form of organization that requires specialized tax and accounting knowledge.  We have a professional staff of approximately 60, of which 15 to 20 work with cooperatives year round.  We have also been speakers on programs for agribusiness and cooperative accounting conferences.

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.

Dennis D. Hicks, Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP

Office Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Locations Served: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky

Contact Information: Email: dennis.hicks@claconnect.com

Areas of Practice: Assurance and tax; Agribusiness and Cooperatives

Services Statement: With more than 30 years experience, I have extensive knowledge in serving Agribusiness and Cooperatives with a focus on animal agriculture. I specialize in audit and accounting, reporting, and merger and acquisitions.

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.

Sebrina Jeffers, Accountant, Professional Accounting Solutions LLC

Office Location: Huntington, West Virginia

Locations Served: West Virginia-Ohio-Kentucky Metro Area

Contact Information: Phone: 304-730-4527

Areas of Practice: Small business startup services; Bookkeeping; Consulting; Training; Payroll; Tax preparation 

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.

Lela Klein, JD, Executive Director, Co-op Dayton

Office Location: Dayton, Ohio

Locations Served: Greater Dayton region

Contact Information: Phone: (937) 262-4628; Email: Lela.Klein@gduci.org

Services Statement: Co-op Dayton supports startup cooperative businesses as well as transitions of existing businesses to the cooperative model. Among our various services, we support the development of cooperative bylaws (or operating agreements) through conversations and workshops with the future members of the cooperative.

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.

LinkedIn Profile

Peter G. Latham, Managing Partner, Latham, Shuker, Eden & Beaudine LLP

Office Location: Orlando, Florida

Locations Served: Florida

Contact Information: Phone: (407) 481-5830

Areas of Practice: Cooperative and Corporate Law; International Trade and Food Regulation; Capper-Volstead and Antitrust

Services Statement: We act as general counsel and advisors to major citrus, dairy and other cooperatives in the state and experience in many areas of transaction and litigation.  Particular expertise has been gained in antitrust matters, Capper-Volstead as well as food regulation and class action litigation defense.

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.

Professor Ariana Levinson, Professor of Law, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law

Office Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Locations Served: Actively assists those in Louisville and Kentucky interested in opening worker-owned cooperatives.  Speaks on labor and employment and worker-owned cooperatives nationally.

Contact Information: Email: a.levinson@louisville.edu

Areas of Practice: Presentations, research updates, law student assistance if a licensed attorney can supervise the student.

Services Statement: Through University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law's Office of Professional Development public service program, I have worked with several students drafting by-laws for groups opening cooperatives in Louisville. Through my research, I have researched worker-owned co-ops and union co-ops and worked with students to perform employment law research for cooperatives. I regularly speak at conferences about my research related to worker-owned cooperatives.

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.

Brian McMahon, Partner and Chair of Agriculture and Cooperative Practice Group, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

Office Location: Toledo and Columbus, Ohio

Locations Served: Ohio, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, and South Carolina

Contact Information: Phone: 419 241-9000; Email: bmcmahon@slk-law.com

Areas of Practice: Agriculture; Cooperatives; Environmental; Real estate; Regulatory compliance; General corporate; Mergers and acquisitions. See www.slk-law.com for further information.

Robert Moore, Attorney, Wright & Moore Law Co. LPA

Office Location: Delaware, Ohio

Locations Served: Ohio

Contact Information: Phone: 740-990-0750

Areas of Practice: Agricultural Law

Services Statement: We primarily provide service to farmers and landowners.  A large part of our services involves farm succession planning.  We also provide  services related to estate planning, business entities, leases, contracts and real estate.

Sam Petsonk, Attorney, Mountain State Justice, Inc.

Office Location: Beckley, Charleston, and Morgantown, West Virginia

Locations Served: West Virginia

Contact Information: Phone: (681) 207-7510

Areas of Practice: Cooperative Law

Services Statement: Sam Petsonk is the labor and employment lawyer who manages the Workers' Rights Program at Mountain State Justice, covering numerous matters of workers' rights and workforce development. For groups of workers, consumers, or businesses interested in innovative approaches to local and regional enterprise, MSJ provides legal services to assist in forming cooperative enterprises in West Virginia---a key strategy for saving jobs and developing resilient supply chains in a diversified economy.

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.

David M. Stacey, CPA, Partner, Miller, Stacey & Associates, Inc.

Office Location: East Liverpool, Ohio; Chester, West Virginia

Locations Served: Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Contact Information: Phone: 330-385-0516

Areas of Practice: Tax; Compilation; Review; Payroll services

David R. Watkins, Attorney, Thompson, Dunlap & Heydinger, Ltd.

Office Location: Bellefontaine, Ohio

Locations Served: Northwest and central Ohio

Contact Information: Email:drwatkins@tdhlaw.com

Areas of Practice: Agriculture; Contracts; Litigation; Estate planning; Probate; Business formations; Bankruptcy; Trusts

Services Statement: I provide a wide range of legal services focused on business law, farm and agricultural law, estates and trusts, contracts and litigation.

Pro bono or reduced cost services available.