David J. Willbrand
Chair, Early Stage & Emerging Company Practice
David focuses his practice on working with entrepreneurs and emerging companies, accelerators and incubators, early stage investors and venture capital funds, and research institutions and BigCo corporate innovation teams. He is also chair of the firm's Early Stage & Emerging Company practice.
Prior to joining Thompson Hine, David worked in the technology industry, holding the dual role of CFO and general counsel at a series of venture-backed companies. Prior to that, he practiced law in Boulder, Colorado.
David's unique background is reflected in the creative assistance he provides his clients during their formation, financing, growth and exit. He combines corporate, governance, securities, intellectual property and transactional legal knowledge with a practical understanding of all relevant financial and business issues.
David's real-world experience allows him to efficiently drive, facilitate and close transactions – whether spin-outs, license agreements, venture capital investments, executive employment agreements, option awards or liquidity events. In addition to providing substantive business and legal knowledge, David creates value for his clients through his relationships and contacts.
David teaches "Mergers & Acquisitions" at the University of Michigan Law School, as well as "Startups, Venture Capital and Private Equity" at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He is also a lecturer at the nationally-ranked Miami University Institute for Entrepreneurship, where he is currently serving as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
- “What the Heck Is a B Corp?” Thompson Hine Business Law Update, Summer 2018
- “Let the Buyer (of Preferred Stock) Beware,” Thompson Hine Business Law Update, Summer 2017
- “Ohio’s Crowdfunding Bill,” Thompson Hine Business Law Update, Spring 2017
- “A Historic Day for Startups – The SEC’s New Crowdfunding Rules,” Thompson Hine Early Stage & Emerging Company Update, November 2015
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2008-2021 in the field of Venture Capital Law; named the Best Lawyers® 2014, 2017 and 2020 Venture Capital Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Cincinnati
- Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Corporate/M&A, Ohio, 2013-2020
- Listed in The Legal 500, Mergers and Acquisitions, 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020
- Named a Cincy Leading Lawyer by Cincy Magazine
- Included in "Forty Under 40," Cincinnati Business Courier, 2009
- C-Change, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Leadership Development Program for Young Professionals, Class 1 (2006)
- Adjunct professor, The University of Michigan Law School, 2019-present
- Adjunct professor, The University of Cincinnati College of Law, 2002-2008; 2017-present
- Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Miami University, 2018-2019
- Member, Board of Visitors, The University of Cincinnati College of Law
- Chair, Advisory Board, Entrepreneurship Institute, Northern Kentucky University
- Member, Advisory Board, Entrepreneurial Signature Program, CincyTech
- Member, Advisory Board, INKUBATOR, Northern Kentucky University
- Member, Advisory Board, Uptech Accelerator