Stephen J. Knerly, Jr. (Josh) focuses his practice in nonprofit corporate law, art law, closely-held and family owned businesses and international transactions. He served as the firm's Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner from 1993 through 2008.

At Hahn Loeser 

As the co-chair of the business practice area Josh counsels closely held and family owned businesses in acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, generation transfers, dispute resolution and commercial transactions. He also has experience in international commercial transactions, including counseling U.S. companies in foreign operations and foreign businesses in their U.S. activities.

Josh assists non-profit corporations, trusts, foundations and museums in matters such as corporate governance, legislative issues and general corporate matters and tax issues. He has also represented museums in many different matters including acquisitions, construction and expansion projects, outsource agreements, legislative issues, dispute resolution and executive compensation agreements.

Josh represents buyers and sellers of art in domestic and international transactions; negotiation and documentation of acquisition, sale and auction transactions; claims with respect to return of stolen or illegally exported art; and estate planning concerning art collections.

Josh also serves as a mediator and arbitrator for complex commercial and business disputes, including the International Chamber of Commerce, the American Arbitration Association, and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution.

He is listed in the The Best Lawyers in America for Art Law (2017) and Non-Profit/Charities Law (2007-2017). Josh is also AV® Preeminent™ Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.


  • Consul honoraire de France, Cleveland, Ohio
  • French American Chamber of Commerce, trustee and secretary.
  • French American Chamber of Commerce Foundation, secretary
  • The Holden Arboretum, director, co-chair audit committee, member executive committee.
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art, assistant secretary.



Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., 1976


Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Boston, Massachusetts, A.M., 1973


Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, A.B. (history and French), 1972. Honors and activities: Summa Cum Laude; Magna Cum Laude in Historiam; Cyrus Hoover History Prize; member, Phi Beta Kappa; James Bowdoin Scholar


University School, Shaker Heights, Ohio, 1968. Honors and activities: member, Cum Laude Society, Sherman French Prize


Hawken School, Lyndhurst, Ohio, 1964

Memberships & Affiliations

International Bar Association (Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law Committee): member


American Bar Association (International Law Section, Art and Cultural Law Heritage Committee): Steering Committee


State of Ohio, Global Markets Advisory Team: Member, 2008, 2009 and 2010

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia Court of Appeals


State of Ohio


U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

Awards & Distinctions

Chevalier of the Legion of Honor (France)


Society of Benchers, Case Western Reserve University School of Law: member


The Best Lawyers in America, Non-Profit/Charities Law and Art Law, 2007-16


American Bar Foundation: fellow


Legal Committee of the International Council of Museums: member