Christopher S.W. Blake focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, recapitalizations, and financings for a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, gaming, and real estate. As co-chair of Hahn Loeser’s International Practice Group and Corporate Transactions Group, Chris’ practice spans domestic and international transactional matters. Chris has worked with clients in countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia.
Chris regularly uses his in-depth understanding of the complexities of joint ventures, distributorships and sales agreements to counsel public and private companies through determining the best approach to enter into a new market. Chris has extensive experience identifying cross-border issues and creating detailed plans for his clients. Additionally, Chris represents foreign and domestic public and private companies as buyers and sellers of divisions, “going concern” businesses, equity stakes and discrete assets, and the financing of such purchases and sales
On the financing side, Chris focuses on negotiating commercial lending, including senior, subordinated and mezzanine debt arrangements. Chris has represented governmental, institutional, and private lenders and borrowers in sophisticated transactions involving traditional and nontraditional collateral.
Chris’ gaming law practice focuses on regulatory compliance, licensing, ownership structures and operations of gaming establishments in seven states. He has assisted with the diligence, acquisition and financing of more than 25 gaming operations, and has helped the acquiring parties become licensed by the applicable gaming authorities in each instance. He has also interacted with charitable and for-profit gaming regulators to coordinate on-going licensing reviews and completion of suitability investigations of key owners or employees of gaming operations.
Chris also has an extensive real estate law practice. With a wealth of experience completing surveys, environmental audits and other due diligence, Chris is skilled in facilitating the negotiation of purchases, sales and leases of commercial and residential real estate and mortgages, and other liens on such properties.
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 1999
University of Missouri-Columbia, M.A., Spanish, 1994
University of Missouri-Columbia, B.A., Spanish and B.J., Journalism, 1992
Cleveland International Film Festival, Board of Directors, President 2019-present, President-Elect, June 2018-19; Strategic Planning, Vice President, 2005-present; Strategic Planning Committee, Co-Chair 2008-present; Finance Committee, Member, 2005-present; Selections Committee, Member, 2005-present
Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Board of Directors, 2009-present; Vice Chair of Governance, 2016-2020, Vice Chair of Development, 2013-16
Adoption Network of Cleveland, Member; Board of Trustees, 2006-08; Special Events Committee, Co-Chair, 2008; Public Development Committee, Co-Chair, 2008
Cleveland Bridge Builders, Member; Flagship Program, Class of 2004; Flagship Program Selection Committee 2010-present
University of Missouri Alumni Association, Member; Cleveland Area Contact
The Best Lawyers in America®, Corporate Law, 2021-23; Real Estate Law, 2021-23.
Leadership Cleveland Class of 2018
Rising Star, Ohio Super Lawyers®, 2010
Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2004
State of Ohio, 1999
International Bar Association, Member, 2008-present; Legal Practice Division Council Member, 2023 – present, Commerce and Distribution Committee, Co-Chair, January 2020 – 2021, Senior Vice Chair, 2018 – 2020, Vice Chair 2016-2020, Membership Chair, 2014-2016; Corporate & M&A Committee Member
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Member, Business, Banking & Corporate Counsel Section
Alliott Global Alliance, Member, North American Advisory Committee and Worldwide Advisory Committee, 2016 – present
Court of Nisi Prius, Member