Ben F. Wells


Ben leads the firm's Fringe Benefits Committee. Over a period of more than 25 years, he has advised and counseled clients on a full range of issues relating to employee benefits, executive compensation and business succession planning.

He works with employers of all sizes, both public and private, to assist with the design and implementation of their qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, including stock option, deferred compensation and incentive plans. Ben advises boards of directors and compensation committees on senior executive compensation, including the requirements of Sections 162(m), 280G and 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, and compliance with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts. He also represents senior executives in the negotiation of employment, incentive, change in control and severance agreements. 

Ben received the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) certification through the Exit Planning Institute. The CEPA designation enables its participants to better serve business owners by integrating exit strategy into their business, personal and financial goals.

He is also a nationally recognized authority on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and is a frequent author and lecturer on ESOP issues. He counsels ESOP trustees, fiduciaries, sponsors and lenders on the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA,as they relate to ESOPs and also in the use of ESOPs as tools of business planning and succession.


  • University of Cincinnati College of Law  (J.D., 1983)
  • University of Cincinnati  (B.B.A., 1980)

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio


  • Cincinnati Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee chair (2007 - 2008)
  • American Bar Association, Tax Section, Committee on Employee Benefits
  • ESOP Association
    • Mid Atlantic Chapter
    • Ownership Culture Committee
    • Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee on Fiduciary Issues secretary
  • National Center for Employee Ownership
  • Catholic Social Services of Southwestern Ohio, board member
  • St. Xavier High School
    • Development Committee
    • Planned Giving Committee
  • Cincinnati Concours d'Elegance Foundation, board Member
  • Watergate East, Inc. 
    • Legal Committee
    • Membership Committee
    • Board member
  • Exit Planning Exchange DC Metro Chapter
  • Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, DC Metro Chapter Steering Committee
  • Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA)


  • Peer Review Rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA®: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation 
  • Ohio Super Lawyers®
  • Best Lawyers® 
    • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (2021-2024)
  • Cincy Magazine
    • Cincy Leading Lawyer
    • Leading Lawyers Power 100 (2021)