Luis M. Alcalde has a deep and varied legal background which includes complex civil and criminal litigation, corporate investigations, business, international transactions, and entrepreneurship.

Alcalde is a founding member of two companies focused on business with the Republic of Cuba that have included licensed travel tours, business development and pharmaceuticals. He is also a frequent speaker and writer on business matters and U.S.-Cuba relations. Alcalde currently focuses his time in the firm’s Corporate, Global and Emerging Business practices, including the emerging medical marijuana field. He is a native Spanish speaker and holds a master’s degree in business and tax law. Alcalde joined the firm in 2011.


Advising clients at every stage of the business lifecycle, Alcalde assists with initial entity formation, structuring and capital raising including private placements, convertible instruments, and warrants. He also assists with the negotiation and drafting of contracts such as licensing, supply, agency, distribution, joint ventures, mergers, and acquisition agreements. Alcalde provides counsel on strategic planning and risk management issues, assisting with project management and risk assessment to help clients establish procedures that drive their business goals.

Global Business

Luis offers strategic advice to the firm’s clients in developing global markets, with a specific emphasis in Latin American markets. With over 25 years of experience in Latin America, he counsels organizations of all sizes regarding business establishment, international trade, strategic alliances, and contracts respecting joint ventures, acquisitions, mergers, licensing, agency and distribution, as well as compliance with the FCPA and other regulatory matters. Alcalde is equally comfortable working in English or Spanish and can work with local counsel throughout Latin America on the drafting of English and Spanish language agreements. Luis also has experience obtaining various licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), is knowledgeable concerning its sanction programs and regulations, and has provided counsel to a variety of U.S.-based clients on Cuba-related activities authorized by U.S. law.

Corporate Investigations

Alcalde strategically manages and offers advice and solutions regarding domestic and international corporate investigations involving FCPA and other regulatory matters, business due diligence, anti-piracy and counterfeiting.

Practice Areas


  • Capital University Law School (LL.M., 2000)
  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (J.D., 1980)
  • The Ohio State University (B.A., 1977)

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • Ohio
  • California, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, state and federal courts (pro hac vice)

Professional Affiliations

  • Columbus Bar Association
  • Ohio Bar Association

Special Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating of AV
  • Selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list
  • Recognized in Columbus CEO, Best Lawyers, 2022
  • Ohio Latino Affairs Commission, Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan (2011)
  • Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Region X President Award (2015)

Charitable + Civic Involvement

  • Columbus Medical Association Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Columbus Council on World Affairs, Chairman, Board of Trustees (2005-2007)
  • Ohio Supreme Court Client Security Fund, Commissioner (2003-2008)
  • Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, Board of Trustees, Treasurer (2006-2012)
  • Otterbein University, Board of Trustees (2013-2015)


  • Spanish

Career Highlights

  • Assisted medical marijuana clients in winning 6 medical marijuana licenses from the State of Ohio, including a successful appeal of an initial license denial
  • Assisted multinational public company in establishing and operating greenfield operations under the IMMEX Program in Mexico
  • Managed privately held U.S. company’s shutdown of operations and sale of its assets in Mexico
  • Managed multinational public company’s internal corporate investigation in Asia
  • As lead trial counsel, successfully established jurisdiction in the U.S. against the Republic of Venezuela in a case filed pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act involving $100 million in promissory notes and requiring factual and legal investigations in Venezuela and various European countries
  • Served as outside and in-house counsel to a world-wide investigation and brand protection company and helped manage its several offices throughout Latin America
  • As lead defense counsel, defended and managed federal civil rights claims against the cities of Powell and Columbus involving police actions
  • As lead defense counsel, defended the State of Ohio in three class action lawsuits involving several State Mental Health Hospitals and the funding of local mental health boards
  • Organized and led Ohio Agricultural Trade Mission to Cuba for high level meetings with Cuba’s Foreign and Commerce Ministries, Alimport and the Cuban Chamber of Commerce
  • Awarded the Army Commendation Medal while serving as a United States Army Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps) where he prosecuted and/or defended over 120 courts-martial, provided legal advice to U.S. Army commanders and acted as sole defense counsel for 7,000 infantry troops in West Germany