Michael J. Heller

Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Philadelphia

(215) 665-4141

(215) 701-2441

Recent News:

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch

210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Michael is the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cozen O'Connor. Under his leadership and strategic direction, the firm has grown in revenue by more than 70 percent, with revenue of $600 million, and has been recognized as one of the top 100 law firms globally. He chairs the firm's Board of Directors and serves on its Management Committee. His business, entrepreneurial, and investing experience arms him with a unique ability to manage a global law firm in an ever-changing market and provide legal and business insight on countless complex client matters. Michael joined Cozen O’Connor in 1994 as the firm's first transactional lawyer, and has held numerous leadership positions at the firm including President of the firm and Chair of the Business Law Department.

Since Michael began his tenure as CEO, the firm has received countless accolades for its commitment to a quality and diverse workplace and the firm’s dedication and generosity to the communities and causes in which our employees and clients live and work.   

In addition to his role as CEO of the firm, Michael is a recognized leader in the venture capital, private equity and emerging business space and began his career as a young associate during the IPO craze of the late 1980s. He understands, first hand, the critical roles of modern executives. An important element of Michael’s practice is making the necessary introductions to help clients raise capital and find joint venture partners, and he is constantly relied upon for his business acumen and investment instincts. Michael’s practice is focused on all forms of equity and debt capital-raising transactions, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and initial public offerings.

Michael is a frequent speaker on venture capital and entrepreneurism in the Mid-Atlantic region and is regularly quoted as a thought leader in local, regional, and national publications. He is Chambers-ranked for Corporate Law - M&A and Private Equity. Each year since it was first established in 2015, the Philadelphia Business Journal has named Michael one of the most influential people in the Philadelphia region.

Michael has significant personal business and investing experience, which differentiates him from his peers in the venture capital and private equity space. Michael was an early investor and currently serves on the board of directors of The Beachbody Company, Inc. (NYSE: BODY), the creator of the popular fitness programs P90X and Insanity, the leading health and fitness direct marketing company in the country. Michael was also one of the original principal owners of the Valley Forge Casino and Resort. 

Michael is a member of the board of directors of a number of for-profit companies, including Franklin Square Holdings, L.P. and Hanover Fire and Casualty Co. He also sits on several nonprofit boards, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Villanova Law School (as the current chairman of the board of trustees), Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT). 

Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Michael received his undergraduate degree in 1986, summa cum laude, from The Pennsylvania State University, and his law degree in 1989, magna cum laude, from Villanova University, where he was a law review editor and a member of the Order of the Coif.

Experience

News

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch

August 22, 2022

210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Cozen O’Connor Named Pennsylvania Powerhouse by Law360

August 01, 2022

Cozen O’Connor is one of four firms to receive this distinction in 2022.

Chambers Ranks 86 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 22 Practice Areas in Chambers USA 2022 Guide

June 02, 2022

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 86 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2022 edition.

Cozen O’Connor PEP Surpassed $1M in 2021 'Perfect Storm'

February 25, 2022

Michael Heller spoke with Am Law discussing Cozen O'Connor’s 2021 financial results, which showed growth and strong performance all around.

More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Michael Heller Unanimously Re-Elected CEO of Cozen O’Connor

April 14, 2021

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Michael J. Heller has been unanimously re-elected to a fourth, three-year term as CEO of the firm.

Cozen O’Connor Named Law Firm of the Year Finalist by The Legal Intelligencer

October 13, 2020

We previously announced that Jillian Flax, a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice, was named a Lawyer on the Fast Track, Bernard Lee, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Real Estate Practice, was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement award, and Meredith Slawe, co-chair of the firm’s Class Actions Group and co-chair of the firm’s Retail Industry Group, was named a Best Mentor.

How Law Firms Are Handling the 'Most Interesting' Budgeting Season in Years

October 05, 2020

Michael Heller discusses law firm budgeting in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and one of the most challenging areas to plan for 2021 expenditures — marketing and client development.

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

Fifty-Eight Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 05, 2020

Super Lawyers has selected 58 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Michael Heller Recognized Among Philadelphia Business Journal Power 100

November 04, 2019

Michael Heller has been included in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Power 100” list for the fifth consecutive year.

Michael Heller Named One of 2019’s Most Admired CEOs by Philadelphia Business Journal

October 17, 2019

Heller, along with the other named CEOs, will be honored at a dinner reception at the Union League on December 3.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

64 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 21, 2019

Super Lawyers has selected 64 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Michael Heller Talks to Law360 about the Future of Law Firms

May 01, 2019

Cozen O'Connor Executive Chairman and CEO Michael Heller spoke to Law360 about the changes that have reshaped his firm since he joined nearly 25 years ago and the legal industry at large.

57 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2019 Guide

April 25, 2019

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the USA, has ranked 57 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the Guide’s 2019 edition.

Heller Named to Philadelphia Business Journal’s Power 100

November 02, 2018

Michael Heller has been included in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Power 100” list for the fourth consecutive year. The “Power 100” list honors individuals in the greater Philadelphia region who have a large influence in the area and are shaping the future of the region.

Cozen O'Connor Named Pennsylvania Powerhouse by Law360

August 28, 2018

Law360 named Cozen O'Connor a Pennsylvania Powerhouse, an honor given to five law firms who have used their roots in the Keystone State to embark on aggressive national and international expansions.

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Fifty-four Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 12, 2018

Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Cozen O’Connor Board Re-Elects Heller, Promotes McGuinness and Rinaldi Bailey

February 07, 2018

The Board of Directors of Cozen O’Connor unanimously re-elected Michael J. Heller to a third, three-year term as Chief Executive Officer of the firm, and added the title Executive Chairman effective immediately.

Education

  • Villanova University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1989
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.S., summa cum laude, 1986

Awards & Honors

Chambers & Partners USA, 2009-2022
* This award is conferred by Chambers & Partners. A description of the selection methodology can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2004-2021
* This award is conferred by Super Lawyers. A description of the selection methodology can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Board of Directors, The Beachbody Company, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, Franklin Square Holdings, L.P.  
  • Board of Directors, Hanover Fire & Casualty Insurance Company
  • Board of Directors, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
  • Chairman, Board of Trustees, Villanova Law School
  • Board of Directors, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Directors, Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT)