Stephen J. Knerly, Jr. focuses his practice on matters involving art transactions, nonprofit corporate law, closely held and family-owned businesses and international commercial transactions.
Josh serves as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Non-Profit Institutions section.
In his art law practice, Josh has represented museums, foundations, trusts and collectors in the acquisition, disposition, lending and borrowing of and estate planning for works of art, including domestic and international transactions, claims and dispute resolution involving cultural property and the Nazi era.
Josh has been a frequent speaker on art-related matters before meetings of the ALI-CLE Museum Law Conference, the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the American Bar Association (Section of International Law), the Institute of Art and Law and the Federal Cultural Property Advisory Committee. Josh is a former adjunct professor of art law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He has been a guest lecturer at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, University of Akron School of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and DePaul University College of Law.
Josh also represents nonprofit corporations, trusts, foundations and museums on formation issues, general business and corporate matters, governance issues, conflict of interest policies, accessions, deaccessions, contracting, outsource agreements, executive compensation and employment agreements, tax planning, international transactions and construction projects.
Josh counsels closely held and family businesses on various matters, including mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, financings, generation transfers and recapitalizations.
Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., 1976
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Boston, Massachusetts, A.M., 1973
Bowdoin College, A.B., History and French, summa cum laude, magna cum laude in historium, 1972
Honors & Activities: Cyrus Hoover History Prize; Phi Beta Kappa, Member; James Bowdoin Scholar
University School, 1968
Honors & Activities: Cum Laude Society, Member; Sherman French Prize
Hawken School, Lyndhurst, Ohio, 1964
Former Consul Honoraire de France, Cleveland, Ohio
The Holden Arboretum, Director
French American Chamber of Commerce, Trustee and Secretary
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Assistant Secretary
Leadership Cleveland, Class of 2001
Chevalier of the Legion of Honor (France)
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
Society of Benchers, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
The Best Lawyers in America®, Non-Profit/Charities Law, 2007-24, Art Law, 2017-24, Closely Held Companies and Business Law, 2023-24, Cleveland Lawyer of the Year, Non-Profit/Charities Law, 2021
Chambers and Partners HNW Guide, Art and Cultural Property Law, 2021-23
Working Group, Reproduction of Art and Cultural Heritage (ReACH) Project
State of Ohio, 1976
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
International Council of Museums, Legal Committee, Past Member
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
Institute of Art and Law, Member