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James J. Chester
Partner

JAMES J. CHESTER is a partner focused on representing clients in all aspects of real estate, general business and corporate law. Jim advises clients in connection with the organization, finance, control, acquisition and disposition of businesses, including corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies, as well as general business and contract matters. He also counsels clients in all aspects of commercial real estate law including the purchase, finance, development, construction and leasing of apartments, office buildings, shopping centers, residential developments, commercial and manufacturing facilities. His clients include owners, developers, tenants and financial institutions.

Jim has a special focus in the area of motor vehicle auction, dealer and title law areas. He routinely advises businesses in the motor vehicle industry, including motor vehicle auto auctions and dealers.

Representative Experience

  • Assist clients in the purchase and sale of land, office buildings, shopping centers, apartment complexes, commercial and manufacturing facilities throughout Ohio and the United States, including the purchase of a 636 unit apartment complex in Dallas, Texas for an institutional pension fund client, the sale of 151 acres of land in Phoenix, Arizona and purchase of a mixed portfolio consisting of Walgreen’s and medical office condominiums in Phoenix and Denver pursuant to a 1031 exchange of property.
  • Assist clients in finance of office buildings, shopping centers and apartment complexes, including the financing of new academic buildings at an independent college preparatory day school, and the refinancing of an Ohio shopping center portfolio with Prudential Insurance Company.
  • Assist office building and shopping center landlords and tenants with leasing, including the leasing of office space in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Denver for international architectural and engineering firm.
  • General Counsel to Columbus-based shopping center and apartment developer in purchase, development, finance and leasing of portfolio comprising 30 plus commercial strip centers and apartment complexes.
  • Serves as outside general counsel to real estate equity investment firms and several family equity investment firms.
  • Assist clients with stock and asset purchase and sale transactions including the sale of a locally based, national specialty foods manufacturer, an employee purchase of a custom plastics manufacturer, and an investor group's purchase of 39 restaurants from corporate franchisor.
  • Assist clients in day to day business and commercial transactions in various industry sectors, including preparation of agreements and commercial terms and conditions for coal fired electric generation plant in Marietta, Ohio, specialty foods producer, international architectural and engineering firm, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and Federal Department of Homeland Security grant recipient.
  • General counsel to largest motor vehicle auction in Ohio, auctioning several thousand motor vehicles per week with over $1B in annual revenue; assist with motor vehicle title and secured transaction issues, litigation, legislative representation, commercial and real property transactions.

Achievements and Awards

  • AV Peer Review (Preeminent) Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability.
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America - Business Organizations (including LLCs & Partnerships), Corporate Law and Real Estate Law

Professional Memberships and Community Service

  • Columbus Bar Association
  • Ohio Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • The Nature Conservancy, ad hoc Campaign Task Force Committee (2014)
  • Columbus Zoological Park Association, Board of Trustees (2002 – present)
  • The Columbus Zoo Youth Leadership, Board of Trustees (1997 – 2002)
  • The Wellington School, Board of Trustees (2002 – 2010)
  • Charity Newsies, Member and voluntary general counsel (1997 – present)
  • Upper Arlington Community Foundation, Board of Trustees (2003 – 2010)
  • City of Columbus Board of License Appeals, Chairman (1990–present)
  • Pelotonia, 180 mile rider for Stephanie's Team of Hope (2009 - present)

Speeches and Publications

  • "Tenancy-in-Common Investments Offer Another Option to Defer Gain" Columbus Business First, May 5, 2006