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 plastics manufacturers, and multi-generational family-owned businesses.

Representative transactions include:

  • Advising Myers Industries, Inc. (NYSE) in its acquisitions of 
    • Signature Systems for $350 million (and related $400 credit facility)
    • Mohawk Rubber Sales of New England
    • Trilogy Plastics, Inc.
  • Advising Farmers National Banc Corp. (NASDAQ) in its acquisitions of
    • Emclaire Financial Corp. for approximately $105 million 
    • Cortland Bancorp for approximately $115 million
    • 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
    • Bowers Insurance Agency, Inc., an insurance agency
  • Advising Famers National Banc Corp. in its private placement of $75 million in subordinated notes
  • 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
  • Advising Liberty Bancshares, Inc. in its acquisition by Middlefield Banc Corp. for approximately $64 million
  • Advising A. Schulman, Inc. (formerly NASDAQ) in connection with
    • Securities law compliance and disclosure aspects of its sale to LyondellBasell for $2.25 billion
    • $1.0 billion senior secured credit facility used to fund its $800 million acquisition of HGGC Citadel Plastics Holdings, Inc.
    • Offering of shares of its common stock upon its acquisition of ICO, Inc. for $237 million
    • Acquisition of ECM Plastics, Inc. for $36.5 million
    • Successful resolution of proxy solicitation efforts by a privately owned investment sponsor
  • Advising franchisee in its acquisitions and sales of McDonald's restaurant franchises
  • 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.

Honors & Recognitions

The Best Lawyers in America, Banking and Finance Law “Lawyer of the Year,” 2019, 2024

The Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2016, 2018, 2020

The Best Lawyers in America, Banking and Finance Law, 2017-2024; Corporate Governance Law, 2008-2024; Corporate Law, 2010-2024; Nonprofit / Charities Law, 2023-2024

Ohio Super Lawyers, Mergers and Acquisitions, 2005-2006 and 2008-2010, 2018-2022

Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated

Professional & Community Activities

Akron Community Foundation, Director, 2018 to present; Secretary

Advisory Council, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, 2013 to present

Cleveland Clinic/Akron General Health System, Director, 2010 to present; Chair

Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation, Director, 2009 to present

Akron Metro YMCA Endowment Foundation, Director, 2004 to present

Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, Director, 2006 to present

International Soap Box Derby, Director, 2021 to present

News & Insights




Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1985

Case Western Reserve Law Review, Editor, 1985

Bowling Green State University, B.S., magna cum laude, 1982

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Ohio
  • 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.

Judicial Clerkships

  • The Honorable Leroy J. Contie, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1985-1987
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