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Tod Northman

Cleveland, OH | D 216.696.5469 | F 216.592.5009

Tod Northman has more than 20 years of broad business and corporate law experience in areas including commercial law, business transactions, contract negotiation and dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions, and real estate.

With a skillful combination of negotiations and corporate counseling, Tod helps guide clients through difficult situations with pragmatic advice and a can-do attitude. Tod represents publicly traded and privately held companies in diverse industries across the country and has particular expertise in aviation law.

In his aviation practice, Tod represents cargo conversion companies, maintenance and repair organizations, financial institutions, high-net worth individuals, and middle-market corporations in connection with the acquisition and disposition of corporate and commercial aircraft portfolios and the related financing and/or leasing thereof. He also advises clients on conversion contracts, maintenance, service and supply contracts, leases, and FAA and DOT regulatory matters.

In his real estate practice, Tod focuses on advising real property investors on acquisition, leasing, and disposition of real property.

education & admissions


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1994); CWRU Law Review, Articles Editor; Dean Dunmore Moot Court Champion, first place for oral advocacy (1994)
  • New York University (M.A., 1991); Committee on Theory and Culture, Coordinator
  • Portland State University (B.A., 1988); Presidential Merit Scholarship (1984-88); Student Body President (1987-88); Associated Students of Portland State University; Portland State Vanguard, Editor (1986-87), Sports Editor (1984-86)

state admissions

  • Ohio, 2011
  • Oregon, 1994
  • Washington, 1995

federal admissions

  • United States Tax Court
services & industries

service areas

industries represented

  • Aerospace Products
  • Air & Airports
  • Real Estate
  • Transportation Equipment

Representative Matters

  • Represented a publicly traded company in the acquisition of a global specialty manufacturing business
  • Represented a family-owned business in the sale of its oil refinery business and real property in Southern California
  • Represented an aircraft conversion company in negotiating an agreement for a mainland China-based aircraft maintenance organization to provide touch labor to convert aircraft from passenger to freighter configuration
  • Represented an aircraft conversion company in negotiations with prospective customers from China, Brussels, England, Brazil, and the United States to convert aircraft from passenger to freighter configuration
  • Represented an international frozen food distributor on distributorship relationships
  • Represented an aircraft museum on the real-property acquisition and construction of a new museum facility and the acquisition of vintage aircraft
  • Represented aircraft owners in myriad transactions to purchase, sell, lease, maintain and charter aircraft of various sizes and ages
  • Advised a privately held middle-market company on structure for aircraft ownership and tax matters
  • Represented aircraft conversion companies in negotiating master and one-off vendor agreements with engineering services and parts providers
  • Represented a seller in the reorganization and $28-million stock sale of a company holding three destination resorts in Oregon
  • Represented a national HVAC distributor on distributorship reorganization
  • Represented an engineering company in joint venture agreement negotiations to engineer and obtain regulatory certification to convert Boeing 757 aircraft from passenger to freighter configuration
  • Represented an aircraft conversion company in negotiations with the Boeing Company to obtain license rights to use Boeing proprietary materials
publications & events

Speaking Engagements

  • "Third Wave of Legal AI," 2017 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2017)
  • "Do’s and Don’ts of Drones," 2016 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2016)
  • "I Thought I Hired You!! Conflicts of Interest Issues for Transactional Lawyers," Moderator, ICSC Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan & Pennsylvania Retail Development & Law Symposium for Lawyers and Real Estate Professionals, Columbus, Ohio (March 2016)
  • "Does Conscious Capitalism Need Conscious Lawyers? Advising Aspiring Benefit Corporations," Tucker Ellis Ohio Professional Conduct Program, Cleveland, Ohio (December 2015)


Media Quotes

in the community

Civic & Professional Involvement

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Green Initiative Committee, Vice Chair
  • American Bar Association, Air and Space Forum (2004-present)
  • Beachwood, Ohio, Recreational Program
    • Little League baseball coach (2014-present)
  • Maimonides Jewish Day School, Portland
    • Director (2008-2011)
    • President (2010-2011)
  • Village Court Homeowners Association, Portland
    • Director (2007-Present)
    • Treasurer (2008-Present)