Biography Photo of William J Kelly

William J. Kelly

Retired Member

Bill practices in the areas of corporate and business law, with a concentration in securities law and financial transactions. He assists emerging businesses and investors in venture capital financings and other private placements of securities, represents issuers in public offerings of securities, and advises them on securities law reporting, compliance and corporate governance. He also assists companies in structuring and negotiating mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances, and counsels clients on general business and transactional matters. Bill's transactional experience includes advising clients on the acquisition and disposition of oil and gas assets.

Bill's practice focuses on entrepreneurial businesses in the software, information technology, biotech, and medical device industries. He is a frequent speaker on corporate and securities topics and is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Corporate Governance Law and Corporate Law and was listed in Best Lawyers® as a 2013 Columbus Corporate Law Lawyer of the Year and by Ohio Super Lawyers®.

Education & Credentials


The Ohio State University

B.A., 1973
  • cum laude

The Ohio State University College of Law

J.D., 1976
  • summa cum laude

Bar Admission

  • Ohio


  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Corporate Governance Law, 2015, 2016, 2020
  • Ohio Super Lawyers®
    • Business & Corporate Law, 2004-2005, 2007-2015

Professional Involvement

  • American Bar Association, Section of Business Law, Venture Capital and Private Equity Committee; Negotiated Acquisitions Committee; Middle Market and Small Business Committee
  • Columbus Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Corporation Law Committee, (Chairman 2009-2011); Securities Regulation and Legislative Review Subcommittees

Community Involvement

  • Dublin Arts Council, Board Member
  • Ohio Public Expenditure Council, past Board Member and Secretary


  • Moderator, "Regional Resources for Emerging, Expanding and Attracting Companies," BioOhio Annual Conference, October 2013
  • Proponent Testimony on HB 48, Ohio House of Representatives, Financial Institutions, Housing and Urban Development Committee, February 2011
  • Proponent Testimony on HB 379, Ohio Senate, Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee, May 2010
  • Speaker, Practicing Law Institute, Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Business, "Letters of Intent and Other Preliminary Considerations," May 2010
  • Proponent Testimony on HB 379, Ohio House of Representatives, Civil and Commercial Law Committee, January 2010
  • Moderator and Speaker, Ohio Division of Securities, Ohio Securities Conference, "Legislative Update," November 2008
  • Speaker, Ohio State Bar Association, Cutting Edge Corporation Law Seminar, "Recent Legislative Developments in Ohio’s Corporation Law," November 2008
  • Speaker, Practicing Law Institute, Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company, "Legal Opinions in Acquisitions of Privately Held Corporations" and "Letters of Intent," June 2007
  • Speaker, Ohio State Bar Association, Resources for Corporate Counsel of Small Corporations Seminar, "Corporate Governance Issues for Ohio Private Corporations," May 2007
  • Moderator and Speaker, Ohio Division of Securities, Ohio Securities Conference, "Venture Capital/Third Frontier," October 2005
  • Speaker, BAI Internet Risk Issues Conference, "Cybersmearing: Your Reputation’s At Stake," April 2001   
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