Gerald Cowden

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Gerald Cowden of Calkins Law Firm

Gerald W. ‘Gerry’ Cowden is an accomplished attorney with several decades of experience serving Ohio businesses in the areas of corporate finance, banking and commercial finance, corporate governance, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Cowden is also well-equipped to advise business owners regarding capital markets and venture capital matters. 

Gerry began his legal career following his education at Washington and Jefferson College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 1975, and The University of Akron, where he earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1977. From his first firm to his later joint endeavor––Cowden Humphrey––Gerry quickly learned that there was a serious, real-world disconnect between business and law. Experience taught him that instead of viewing attorneys as an integral part of their team, business owners looked to lawyers as the solution for their legal problems. Mr. Cowden knew that businesses should actually be focusing on their rights from the outset, integrating these with effective business solutions to best position and protect their companies from legal threats.

Gerry’s thoughts were reinforced during a brief sabbatical from law in the early 1980s, during which time he invested in and developed real estate, among other entrepreneurial endeavors. When he returned to the legal scene, Gerry knew that merging legal and business know-how would be instrumental in the formation of a firm that could accurately and effectively address entrepreneurs’ concerns. That challenging experience helped him to crystalize his theories, reinforcing his natural entrepreneurial inclinations and enabling him to help many like-minded business owners. Mr. Cowden developed an approach that allows him to effectively strategize, plan, and address clients’ business issues while also handling their legal needs.

Gerry’s firm grew over time, eventually earning several distinctions, the most notable being a spot on the Weatherhead 100 list of the fastest growing private companies in Northeast Ohio. This was a rare honor for a law firm and a point of pride for Mr. Cowden. The recognition emphasized that his work was valuable to Ohio businesses and provided clear direction that would inform his future. 

Gerry’s holistic mindset has served him well over his extensive legal career, and aligns perfectly with the ideology employed at Calkins Law Firm. By operating with an “outside general counsel” approach, Mr. Cowden can successfully steer clients through a host of business issues before they ever become legal problems. Clients who work with Gerry can be sure that he will provide legal counsel from an insider perspective, illuminating everyday situations to highlight potential issues and then charting a strategic path forward. He is committed to his clients’ goals and objectives and has a tolerance for uncertainty, because he knows firsthand that it’s part of any entrepreneur’s environment.

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