Bruce H. Burkholder

Bruce H. Burkholder

P: 614.221.2121 | F: 614.365.9516 | D: 614.340.7434

Assistant Bonnie Spicer 614.340.7404
about BruceX+X+

A renowned expert in property and business legal issues with a loyal following and shelves brimming with awards, there are no half-measures in Bruce Burkholder’s approach. He’s an all-in, passionate kind of guy with a rare combination of diplomacy and honesty.

Bruce focuses intensely on relationships and problem solving. To make deals happen, he turns his joyful intensity toward the removal of roadblocks and complications. Bruce has a gift for seeing the simplest path to a solution – even in the most complicated of situations.

His long career has yielded two sub-specialties: real estate land development and homebuilding, and restaurant & hospitality.

Characteristically, Bruce has developed deep ties in the trade associations and key local players that permeate those industries. He has a unique depth of experience in land development, entitlements, governmental approvals, development agreements with municipalities, townships and counties, and acquisition, construction and development financing, operating and development entities, development standards, HOA's, permanent loans and take out financing, in addition to DUS, FNMA and FHLMC financings, tax credits, sale agreements, and real estate tax valuation contests and strategies for avoidances of tax valuation increases.

Bruce has also spent considerable time assisting the restaurant and hospitality community particularly with respect to developing brands, dealing with expansion issues, including protecting trademark and trade dress, franchising, licensing, leasing including minimizing percentage rent, maximizing tenant improvement allowances and capping cam expenses, employment issues and wage and hour matters, buy sell agreements with key employees, equity raises including PPM's and credit facilities, and sale of businesses including private equity, family office and strategic buyers.

Bruce is Chair of the Real Estate practice group at Isaac Wiles.

education & admissionsX+


  • Capital University Law School, J.D., 1980
  • Bowling Green State University, B.S., 1977

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Ohio, 1980
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 1981
case studiesX+

case studies

Finding Hidden Opportunity

Burkholder became aware of the availability of undeveloped/unzoned property and confirmed the same was in a desirable school district (although most would not have recognized the same based on its ancillary location to the school district), advised client of possible opportunity and assisted client in obtaining a purchase contract for the same. Thereafter, Burkholder worked with client on the rezoning of the property and assisted in obtaining utility service to the property including sanitary sewer from municipal provider (requiring a significant extension of the line with cooperation from and at the expense of the municipal provider) and preliminary and final development plan approval. The project culminated with Burkholder introducing the client to various potential purchasers that desired to develop the property into its intended use as a single-family residential development, and completing the assignment of the purchase contract to the developer. Burkholder and the real estate lawyers at Isaac Wiles take pride in working with existing clients and providing both advice and opportunities outside of the traditional legal relationship.
articles & presentationsX+

articles & presentations


Author of numerous articles for Builder Update detailing Ohio law on land development and home building.


Lecturer, Real Estate Law, Fisher School of Business—The Ohio State University

Frequent speaker for Building Industry Association, Ohio and Columbus Bar Associations, International Conference of Shopping Centers, Ohio Land Surveying Association, Ohio Society of Certified Public Accounts, Professional Education Systems Institute, National Business Institute, Lorman Education Services, CLE, Inc. and various other private seminar providers.
professional & community activitiesX+

professional & community activities


Trade Associations

  • Building Industry Association
  • Member, Professional Standards Committee, 1988-present and Political Action Committee 1993-present
  • Ohio Restaurant Association fka Central Ohio Restaurant Association
  • Member, Political Action Committee 2001-present

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association, Member, Probate and Property Law Committee
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Board Member Specialty Certification Board for Real Estate, 2007-present
  • Columbus Bar Association, Board Member CBA For Profit Subsidiary 1995 – 2001, Member, Real Property Law Committee; Chairman, 1993-1995


  • Trustee, Ronald McDonald House Charities, 2014-present
  • Trustee, Building Industry Association Foundation, 1993-present


Trade Associations
  • Inducted into Building Industry ”Hall of Fame”, 2012 and recipient of "Presidential Award", 1998 and 2003 and "Associate of Year Award", 2000
  • Recipient of "Associate of the Year Award", Ohio Home Builders, 2005

Bar Associations
  • Certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Business, Commercial, and Industrial Real Property
  • Certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Residential Real Property

Professional Awards
  • Named to Best Lawyers in America©, 2001-present, including being named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers®, 2013, 2016
  • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers, 2004-present, including being named to Top 50: Columbus Super Lawyers, 2011, 2014 and being featured in Super Lawyers Business Edition—Real Estate, 2012
  • Named “Top Lawyer in Columbus Real Estate” by Columbus Monthly, 2004
  • Named “Top Lawyer in Columbus Real Estate” and “Who’s Who In Law” by Business First, 2004 and 1995 respectively
  • AV – Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • AVVO “Superb” – Top Rated Real Estate Lawyer

  • Named Outstanding Community Supporter, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, 2016