PEPPER PIKE, Ohio --- Kaufman, Drozdowski & Grendell, LLC (KDG) is a new law firm with a sharply-defined focus: reduce overhead, increase client satisfaction and become an innovator in the crowded legal services market in Northeast Ohio. Having spent time on both sides of the attorney-client relationship – as partners in large Cleveland law firms and as in-house counsel to area businesses – the firm’s founders saw a real need for a more personal and practical approach to the delivery of legal services.
KDG’s value proposition lies in its ability to deliver the same top-quality legal work to clients more efficiently and cost-effectively than its competitors. The firm focuses exclusively on seven specific areas affecting businesses: corporate law, labor and employment, insurance, commercial real estate, banking and financial services, litigation, and outside general counsel services.
“KDG’s attorneys have worked as inside or outside General Counsel, which has allowed us to truly see things from the client’s perspective,” says KDG partner Jim Drozdowski. “We know they want lower costs, more personalized attention, depth of experience, and manageable legal strategies grounded in business reality, because that’s what we wanted when we were in their positions.”
The firm has made calculated operations decisions at every stage of its development in order to eschew unnecessary overhead expenses and to build in ease and accessibility for its clients. KDG opted out of high downtown rent in favor of its East Side office space at 29525 Chagrin Boulevard in Pepper Pike. KDG has seven experienced and highly-skilled attorneys: Arthur Kaufman, James Drozdowski, Henry Grendell, Steve Owendoff, Matt McCracken, Rose Marie L. Fiore, and Amie LaBahn.
The attorneys of Kaufman, Drozdowski, & Grendell, LLC:
Arthur Kaufman, Partner:
Art Kaufman is a business litigator who has handled disputes ranging in size from tens of millions of dollars to small, general business lawsuits. In addition to his law practice, Kaufman is a sought-after speaker on franchising, legal ethics, mental health and other issues confronting lawyers in the new millennium. He has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America.
James Drozdowski, Partner:
Jim Drozdowski, a former law firm labor and employment practice chair, has represented employers in Title VII, ADEA, ADA, FMLA, wrongful discharge and civil rights cases, labor arbitrations, union avoidance campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations and NLRB proceedings. He has extensive experience in counseling employers on litigation avoidance strategies and compliance issues, and regularly conducts training for executives, supervisors and employees. He also currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for North Coast Container Corporation, a major manufacturer of steel shipping containers. Several additional clients have retained Jim as their outside general counsel, providing day-to-day legal advice on commercial contracts, corporate governance and overall business strategy.
Henry Grendell, Partner:
Henry Grendell is a business lawyer with deep litigation and corporate law experience. As a litigator, he has handled a variety of commercial and general corporate lawsuits with extensive practice in both state and federal courts. His litigation matters have included commercial, real estate and securities litigation cases. As a corporate lawyer, Grendell served as Family Heritage Life Insurance Company’s first ever general counsel for more than 10 years. He received the Crain’s Cleveland Business Outstanding General Counsel, Private Company award in 2012.
Stephen Owendoff, Partner:
Steve Owendoff serves as General Counsel for Liberty Development Company. He previously was General Counsel for Liberty Bank, N.A. He has overseen public and private securities offerings for issuers and underwriters, acquisitions and sales of businesses. Extensive expertise in the areas of real estate and family business, focusing on the legal, psychological and business consulting that is unique to family businesses. He has assisted in developing a team approach practice between business and estate planning lawyers to provide the unique legal services needed that are sensitive to both the family and business components of family based business clients.
Matthew McCracken, Partner:
Matt McCracken represents lenders and borrowers in all aspects of commercial real estate and corporate financing, including loan origination, due diligence, title issues, and out-of-court workouts for distressed businesses and properties. He also provides general business advice, strategic planning, and negotiation and drafting support for various business needs, including entity creation and governance, commercial real property acquisition, development, and leasing, all-types of contractual relationships, and compliance with consumer protection laws, among others. McCracken currently serves as outside general counsel to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Universal Windows Direct, Inc., and numerous regional and closely-held businesses.
Rose Marie L. Fiore, Partner:
Rose Marie is an experienced litigator and trial attorney who represents individual and business clients in a wide variety of industries, including commercial real estate, financial services, insurance and franchising. She regularly litigates disputes on behalf of real estate developers, property management companies, business owners and investors, mortgagors, finance companies and creditors. She is a frequent speaker and published author on cutting edge legal issues and an active member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
Amie LaBahn, Of Counsel:
Amie LaBahn represents employers in a wide range of Title VII, ADEA, wrongful discharge, civil rights, labor arbitrations, collective bargaining negotiations and NLRB proceedings. She is a highly reputable trainer on labor and employment best practices training “from hire to fire,” including performance management and supervisory training, and for presentations to employers on legislative updates.