Joe Weis is a co-founder of Cafardi, Ferguson, Wyrick, Weis + Stotler and head of the Firm’s Corporate Practice Group and Estate Planning Group. Joe earned both an MBA and J.D. and is 80% towards his Masters in Taxation.
Joe spent the first seven years of his career in a non-legal role in corporate finance, analyzing corporate acquisition opportunities in a wide range of industries and conducting due diligence on hundreds of companies.
Joe’s corporate law practice has focused on helping small and medium size companies for more than 20 years. Joe’s involvement as part owner of several growth oriented companies, enables him to bring a unique ‘owner perspective’ to his role as legal counsel for his business clients.
Joe has assisted hundreds of business clients in addressing such legal matters as:
- Starting a new business
- Bringing on a new partner
- Employment matters
- Contract review
- Transferring shares to employees and family members
- Selling the business and buying other businesses
In connection with helping business owners sell their companies, Joe began advising such clients on the impact a sale would have on their estate planning. Joe also helps many other individuals with estate planning needs ranging from young couples with a new family to older individuals with a more focused perspective on passing on a legacy to their family.
Joe has helped clients:
- Establish a basic estate planning strategy
- Create trusts to protect children’s inheritances from their ex-spouses
- Design family partnerships to pass down family assets such as family vacation houses and farms to make sure it stays in the family
- Insure that strategic business decisions are closely aligned with estate planning
Before forming CFWW+S, Joe was Corporate Counsel for BillingZone, a joint venture between PNC Bank and Perot Systems. At BillingZone, Joe managed all legal matters including complex contract negotiations with Fortune 100 companies, human resources and intellectual property work.
Before that, Joe was an owner and General Counsel of Gemini Holdings, Inc. Gemini acquired and managed companies in a variety of industries including specialized medical practices, distribution companies, equipment leasing and petroleum testing. Joe managed all legal matters for Gemini’s five companies including negotiating all aspects of ten acquisitions (due diligence, purchase agreements, leases, license agreements, supply contracts, employment and non-compete agreements).
Joe began his legal career at Reed Smith, LLP, one of the nation’s largest corporate law firms. Joe concentrated his practice in corporate law with emphasis on transactional matters including acquisitions. An example of Joe’s high profile work at Reed Smith include the negotiations and drafting of a complex lease extension for a local arena and sports team. Joe also founded the Entrepreneur Group at Reed Smith, which focused on developing relationships with regional entrepreneurs and start-up companies.
Joe has been named as one of Pennsylvania’s Super Lawyers for the last several years.
In the community, Joe has served as a Councilman for O’Hara Township, on the Board of the North Pittsburgh Regional Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of Family Hospice, President of his Parish Council, Chair of the local chapter of Middlebury College, as a leader with the local Boy Scout Troop, the Vice Chairman on the Fox Chapel School District Authority Board, and on the Board of the Fox Chapel Area Community Library.