Edward J. Leader

Partner Cleveland


Ed is a trusted advisor to clients in all aspects of real estate development, including the acquisition, financing, leasing, construction, operation, disposition, and exchanging of complex commercial, retail, office, industrial, and multi-family real estate. He also serves as a business advisor to clients in structuring real estate and other investment transactions and negotiating complex contractual arrangements.

Ed’s experience includes joint ventures, commercial finance, loan workouts and foreclosures, front-end construction documents, real estate bankruptcy issues, tax valuation complaints, and the real estate aspects of corporate acquisitions, dispositions, and mergers.

Ed also helps drive Taft’s conversation, commitment, training, and action plans to foster diversity and inclusion as a member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Ed’s practice specializes in creative problem solving for difficult legal and logistical issues. Ed is a frequent lecturer on real estate issues in Northeast Ohio, and serves on the board of directors for Ohio Stream Preservation, Inc. From 2010-2021, Ed has been ranked in Best Lawyers in America for Banking and Finance Law, Construction Law, and Real Estate Law. He is listed in Chambers USA for Real Estate Law. Ed is also honored as an Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star.

Ed is licensed to practice in Ohio and Florida.


Additional Information

All Service Areas


  • University of Notre Dame Law School (1997)
  • University of Notre Dame (1994)


  • Federal - Western District of Michigan
  • State - Florida
  • State - Ohio

Speeches and Publications

Presenter, “The Current State of Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities: New and Existing Loans,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Department of Continuing Legal Education’s 45th Annual Real Estate Law Institute, November 2, 2023.

Author, “Contractual Anti-Reliance Provisions vs. Buyer Fraud Claims,” Northeast Ohio Properties Magazine, Feb. 17, 2023.

Executive Order by Ohio Governor Affects Commercial Mortgage Lenders, April 2, 2020.

Executive Order by Ohio Governor Affects Commercial Landlords, April 2, 2020.

Co-author, “Contractor Licensing Laws,” The Architect’s Guide to Design-Build Services, The American Institute of Architects, 2003.

Professional Affiliations

  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

    Past Member, OKIMP Planning Committee (2015)

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association


  • Chicago Title Insurance Company

    Board Member

  • Urban Land Institute


Community Involvement

  • Ohio Stream Preservation, Inc.

    Member, Board of Directors