Contact Us

David J. Willbrand


View Full Bio

I am the chair of the firm’s Early Stage & Emerging Companies practice group. I primarily work with tech and biotech:

  • entrepreneurs and emerging companies,
  • accelerators and incubators,
  • early-stage investors and venture capital funds, and
  • research institutions and corporate innovation teams.

Prior to joining Thompson Hine, I worked in the software industry, holding the dual role of CFO and general counsel at a series of venture-backed companies. Prior to that, I practiced law in Boulder, Colorado.

I combine broad and deep legal knowledge with real-world business and transactional experience. I drive, facilitate and close deals.

I teach “Mergers & Acquisitions” at the University of Michigan College of Law (Go Blue!).

I also teach “Startups, Venture Capital and Private Equity” at the University of Cincinnati College of Law (Go Bearcats!). Prior to that, I taught “Agency & Partnership” at UC. I also serve on its Board of Visitors.

I am a lecturer at the nationally ranked Miami University Institute for Entrepreneurship (Go RedHawks!), where I am also serving as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the 2018-2019 academic year.

I am the chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Northern Kentucky University (Go Norse!).

Last but not least, I am very active on LinkedIn, posting frequently on matters of entrepreneurship, technology, economics, culture, self-improvement and, on Fridays, music!

  • University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., valedictorian; editor in chief, Law Review, 1996
  • Harvard College, B.A., cum laude, 1992
Legal 500 Award
Chambers USA Leading Lawyer 2019
Cincy Leading Lawyer
Admissions & Experience
  • Colorado (inactive)
  • Ohio
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America, Venture Capital Law, 2008-2020; named “Lawyer of the Year,” 2014, 2017 and 2020 (Cincinnati) Venture Capital Law
  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Corporate/M&A, Ohio, 2013-2017
  • Listed in The Legal 500, Mergers and Acquisitions, 2014 and 2016
  • Named a Cincy Leading Lawyer by Cincy Magazine
  • Included in “Forty Under 40,” Cincinnati Business Courier, 2009
  • C-Change, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Leadership Development Program for Young Professionals, Class 1 (2006)
Professional & Civic
  • Chair, Advisory Board, Entrepreneurship Institute, Northern Kentucky University
  • Member, Advisory Board, INKUBATOR, Northern Kentucky University
  • Member, Advisory Board, Entrepreneurial Signature Program, CincyTech
  • Member, Advisory Board, Uptech Accelerator
  • Adjunct professor, The University of Cincinnati College of Law, 2002-2008; 2017-present
  • Member, Board of Visitors, The University of Cincinnati College of Law