Marc J. Kessler
Partner

65 East State Street
Suite 1400
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Marc J. Kessler is an experienced trial lawyer who is widely regarded as one of the nation’s preeminent business litigators. He has extensive experience with large scale, “bet-the-company” matters and is widely recognized for his ability to handle the most complex and critical litigation issues. Marc’s expertise includes complex commercial transactions, procurement, healthcare, trade secrets and non-competition, product liability, business torts, real estate, intellectual property rights, and toxic tort defense.

During his almost 30 years of practice, Marc has tried, litigated, arbitrated, mediated or otherwise resolved a wide variety of disputes and other client matters across the country. Marc’s clients include large publicly traded corporations, healthcare companies, chemical companies, steel manufacturers, financial institutions, accounting firms and a variety of governmental entities.

As part of his sophisticated practice, Marc counsels healthcare clients as they navigate the complex regulatory environment and assists clients in resolving disputes with state government entities through administrative litigation. Marc has significant experience representing clients in administrative hearings through contested case hearings and defending favorable decisions through appeals. His representation includes serving as national counsel to one of the largest health insurance providers in the country for more than 12 years. In this representation, Marc has built a reputation based on providing top-notch innovation, quality and service in all aspects of state and local government procurement, including leading the firm’s representation of this client in numerous matters where billions of dollars are at stake.

In addition to his representation of clients in the healthcare industry, Marc represents a large range of clients in non-compete, non-solicitation, and trade secret matters, helping them protect their competitive advantage.

Marc has also achieved significant trial success for his clients in complex, high-stakes product liability litigation.

In addition to his thriving litigation practice, Marc is a member of Hahn Loeser’s Board of Directors and is the former CEO and Managing Partner of the firm. He leads the firm’s Litigation Practice Area in Columbus and mentors other attorneys across the firm’s six offices.

As part of his national recognition, Marc has been listed in Best Lawyers in America® every year since 2005 and was recently recognized by Best Lawyers as a “Lawyer of the Year” in Columbus for 2022. He is also recognized by Chambers USA as one of the top litigation attorneys in Ohio. He is further consistently recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer.

Outside of his practice and contributions as a leader at Hahn Loeser, Marc is active in community organizations supporting Central Ohio.

Professional History

  • Partner, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, 2002-present; Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner, 2017-19; Partner-in-Charge, Columbus, Ohio office, 2011-17
  • Vice Chair, Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists
  • Successfully represented a publicly traded company in a sensitive trade secret and non-compete case where a long-time executive left the company and surreptitiously began working with a direct competitor.
  • Represented a professional sports league against charges of antitrust, constitutionality and breach of contract. The case was ultimately dismissed.
  • Effectively represented large health insurance provider in defending a successful bid award valued at $3 billion with contentious discovery, extensive briefing, and a hotly contested hearing on a claim for a permanent injunction.
  • Successfully represented large health insurance provider where our client was wrongfully deprived of a Medicaid-managed care contract valued at more than $2.5 billion.
  • Successfully represented a large national health insurance provider in protesting a bid award for four contracts to Managed Care Organizations. This was the largest procurement in the State’s history, totaling over $6 billion in contract awards. The Office of State Procurement upheld the protest and ruled that the Department of Health erred by not issuing an award to our client.
  • Spearheaded a protest matter against a Department of Finance and Administration to protest the award of a population health management contract to another bidder based on the Agency’s use of an undisclosed factor in the cost proposal evaluation process. The Protest was successful and the bidders were required to resubmit their respective cost proposals pursuant to modified evaluation criteria. Our client was ultimately awarded the contract.
  • Defended forklift manufacturing client in a bet-the-company wrongful death/product liability case. After a seven-day trial, the jury returned a complete defense verdict. The case was appealed and ultimately dismissed.
  • Successfully defended client in a wrongful death product liability action involving cable median barriers. The case settled for less than five percent of the original demand.
  • Defended a mini mill against a $60 million class action complaint filed by 527 putative plaintiffs asserting claims premised upon toxic tort and specifically the emission of particulate matter. Affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Effectively defended national car rental companies against a class-action lawsuit alleging fraud and unjust enrichment with the car rental companies’ fuel service fee. Affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Lead counsel in adversary proceeding successfully representing the Southwest’s largest home health care provider in litigation related to the collapse of $3 billion health care financier.
  • Positively defended a telecommunications company in adversary proceedings defending purported fraudulent conveyance.
  • Successful representation of a national real estate firm against claims for alleged CAM overcharges in multiple properties throughout the United States.
  • Prepared and argued successful dispositive motion premised upon intentional tort claims levied against an international manufacturing company.
  • Prosecuted and obtained summary judgment in a multimillion dollar claim for breach of contract and fiduciary duty.
  • Achieved a complete defense verdict disputing consumer claims for a major home builder in Central Michigan premised upon clean water act and environmental claims.
  • Obtained a declaratory and specific performance judgment confirming consumer credit card rights for financial services arm for a major German automobile manufacturer.
  • Represented a major developer in complex commercial litigation involving stock transfer rights whereby the matter was disposed of on summary judgment.
  • Successful defense of company and CEO against multimillion dollar claims premised upon fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and wrongful discharge.
  • Prepared and argued successful dispositive motion in precedent setting dispute relating to contractor liability.
  • Appeared and argued in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals representing directors and officers of a corporation allegedly in breach of contract and enforcement of covenant not-to-compete whereby judgment was overturned in our client’s favor.
  • Obtained a complete defense verdict in product liability case where glass was purportedly improperly packaged.
  • Obtained a verdict 100 times the last settlement offer in a plaintiff’s claim for medical malpractice.
  • Successfully represented county and deputy sheriff in a 1983 action against municipality and arresting officer.
  • Successfully defended manufacturer of storage tanks on motions practice premised upon toxic tort claims.

Credentials

Education

Capital University Law School, J.D., 1992

Honors & Activities: Dean’s Fellowship Award

Dickinson College, B.A., cum laude, 1989

Community Involvement

Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA), Board of Directors

 

United Way, Member, Young Leaders

 

Children’s Hospital Development Board, Executive Board

Awards & Distinctions

Chambers USA, Commercial Litigation, 2013-21

 

Ohio Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation, 2004-21; Top 100 Ohio, 2011; Top 50 Columbus, 2011, 2021

 

The Best Lawyers in America®, Franchise Law, 2012-22; Commercial Litigation, 2016-22; Mass Tort Litigation /Class Actions – Defendants, 2016-22; Product Liability Litigation-Defendants, 2019-22; Columbus Lawyer of the Year,  Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, 2018; Columbus Lawyer of the Year, Franchise Law, 2022

 

“Top Lawyers,” Columbus CEO, 2010 – 2021

 

AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell

Bar Admissions

State of Ohio, 1992

 

U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio, 1993; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1993; U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2007; U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio, 1993

Memberships & Affiliations

American Bar Association, Member; Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries; Young Lawyers Division, Arts, Entertainment and Sports Law Committees, Vice Chair

 

Ohio State Bar Association, Member; Sports and Entertainment Law Committee, Chairman; Litigation Committee

 

Columbus Bar Association, Member; Construction Law Committee; Sports and Entertainment Law Committee

 

Capital University School of Law: Adjunct Professor, Professional Sports Law