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Philip M. Dawson Chief Operating Officer

Phil became Chief Operating Officer in January of 2008 after almost 36 years practicing law at the firm. In this role, he shepherds the implementation of strategic initiatives on behalf of the Management Committee of the firm. Phil has chaired the following committees: Hiring, Marketing and Client Services, Diversity & Inclusion, Firm Contributions, Pro Bono, and New Business and Conflicts.


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His primary focus as a lawyer was general corporate law, including corporate succession planning, mergers and acquisitions.  He counseled clients in structuring their privately-held business enterprises.  Phil negotiated mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, and worked closely with both borrowers and lenders to facilitate business financings and capitalizations.  He also counseled corporate owners and executives involved in estate planning and worked with privately-held companies in matters of succession planning.
He was a member of the Family Firm Institute, Attorneys for Family Enterprises and is a former member of the Inc. Speakers’ Bureau.  He has served on the board of trustees of the Lutheran Medical Center Foundation and on the Achievement Centers for Children Executive Committee.  Phil has given lectures at Case Western Reserve University, University of Michigan, Weatherhead School of Management, Owner Managed Business Institute and Executive Education Program.  He served as vice president and trustee of the Westlake Education Foundation and as a member and delegate of United Way Services.  He is formerly a member of the Zoological Society Development Board’s Rainforest Development Committee, volunteer for Junior Achievement and is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland.
Phil began his tenure with Calfee in 1972, becoming a partner in 1979.  He was elected to the firm’s executive committee in 1998.