Steven J. Ellcessor

T 614.559.7225
F 614.464.1737
10 West Broad Street
One Columbus Center, Suite 2300
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3484

Steven was a partner at one of the firm's predecessors, Frost & Jacobs, resigning in 1986 to become secretary and general counsel of The J. M. Smucker Company. While at Smucker, he also served as the company's vice president of administration, vice president of finance and chief financial officer. He returned to private practice and rejoined the firm in 2003 and focuses his practice on general business matters with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, securities, and regulatory matters. His clients represent a broad range of manufacturing and service companies, including food manufacturers and distributors, domestic and international steel and automotive supply companies, the American subsidiaries of a multinational consumer products company, and one of the country's premier manufacturers of roof materials. He is the former practice group leader for the firm's Regulated Business Practice Group, and currently leads that group's food and beverage service team. He is also chair of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


  • Recently completed 14-month appointment as interim general counsel and secretary for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc., in which capacity he managed the legal function for this NYSE listed company, including the securities reporting area, and advised the board of directors and managed the legal aspects of the company’s $1.35 billion going private transaction with JAB Holdings B.V. 
  • Served in multiple executive officer capacities from 1986 to 2003 at The J.M. Smucker Company, including chief financial officer (2002-2003), general counsel (1986-2002), vice president-finance and administration (1999-2003), vice president-administration (1996-1999), and secretary (1986-2003).
  • Responsible at Smucker for management of corporate services (finance, treasury, legal, human resources, government affairs, regulatory, and change management functions).  Served as member of CEO management group and also on information services steering committee. Closely involved in both strategic and operational matters. Also responsible for investor and shareholder relations.
  • Projects while in-house included multiple acquisitions ranging in size up to $750 million and including five international transactions, sale of a major subsidiary, debt financing transactions, stock recapitalizations, a multimillion-dollar corporate services cost reduction, and design and implementation of the company's corporate compliance program and its Sarbanes-Oxley compliance structure.

Since returning to the firm, Steven's activities have included serving as outside general counsel for clients, acting as securities counsel for several of the firm's public companies and providing corporate governance advice for both public and closely-held companies. He also has represented clients in multiple merger and acquisition transactions, including a $1.4 billion joint venture in the food industry, and the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts going private transaction referenced above.

Highlights & Recognitions

  • 2011 BTI Client Service All-Stars, recognized as one of 318 attorneys across the nation by BTI Consulting Group for exceptional client service
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Corporate Law, 2015-2019

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Columbus Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals

Civic & Charitable Organizations

  • Communities in Schools of Central Ohio, Board member; Vice President and member of Finance Committee
  • St. John's Episcopal Church, Worthington, Ohio, Finance Committee

Non-FBT Publications and Events

FDLI Food Week Conference, “Managing Liability in a Litigious Environment – Perspective of a Company Counsel.” January 24, 2012

Other Contact Info


Kathy Fleming
T 614.559.7221