Michael is the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cozen O'Connor. He chairs the Firm's Board of Directors and serves on its Management Committee. Michael's business, entrepreneurial, and investing experience arms him with a unique ability to manage the law firm in an ever-changing market and provide legal and business insight on a variety of complex client matters. He understands, first hand, the critical roles of modern executives.
Michael is a recognized leader in the representation of entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies and began his career as a young associate during the IPO craze of the late 1980s before joining Cozen O’Connor in 1994 as the firm's first transactional lawyer. 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 is responsible for assisting clients in all industries and plays an active role from the formation and business planning stages to structuring and negotiating joint ventures and strategic alliances. He also represents venture capital funds and angel investor groups in all forms of equity and debt capital-raising transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, and beyond.
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 and he has been named a Pennsylvania "Super Lawyer" by Law Politics from 2004 to present.
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 continues to be a principal owner of Beachbody, LLC, 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 Beachbody, LLC, ESF Camps, and Hanover Fire and Casualty Co. He also sits on several nonprofit boards, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Villanova Law School, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology (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.
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.
May 21, 2019
Super Lawyers has selected 64 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June 12, 2018
Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
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.
August 23, 2017
Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.
May 30, 2017
The Distinguished Leaders award recognizes lawyers who achieved impressive results in the past year and demonstrated clear leadership skills that helped them achieve those results.
May 26, 2017
Chambers USA recognized 47 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 14 attorneys were recognized nationally and 11 were ranked in the top band.
January 10, 2017
An article in the Philadelphia Business Journal titled "Law firm’s unusual move: Sponsoring a PGA golfer" discussed Cozen O'Connor's sponsorship of a veteran PGA golfer.
November 10, 2016
Michael Heller and Howard Schweitzer both discuss how the election will increase firm work in The Legal Intelligencer.
August 15, 2016
Sixty-two Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 13 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
August 01, 2016
Joseph Tilson, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment, and Michael Heller, CEO of Cozen O'Connor, discuss the MB&T and Cozen O'Connor merger last summer.
May 27, 2016
Chambers USA recognized 41 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 12 attorneys were recognized nationally and 11 were ranked in the top band.
April 25, 2016
Launches New “COpilot” Website Designed to Address Emerging Businesses’ Needs
April 25, 2016
Cozen O'Connor partners with Dreamit to provide legal services to a group of health-tech startup companies.
October 30, 2015
Michael J. Heller and Ira C. Gubernick are quoted in Philadelphia Magazines - BizPhilly discussing the upcoming IMPACT 2015 Capital Conference and the Philadelphia entrepreneurial community.
August 17, 2015
The current edition is based on more than five million detailed evaluations by the top lawyers of the country. This list will be included in dozens of city and regional publications in the United States including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
July 06, 2015
Chambers USA recognized 37 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 12 attorneys were recognized nationally and 10 were ranked in the top band.
December 02, 2014
Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Michael J. Heller has been unanimously re-elected to a second, three-year term as president and chief executive officer of the firm.
August 20, 2014
Moved by the viral sensation the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Michael Heller and Vince McGuinness have challenged all Cozen O'Connor employees to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Employees at all of Cozen O'Connor’s 23 offices have 24 hours to either donate to ALS (www.alsa.org) or dump a bucket of water on their head (or both). For each employee who accepts the challenge, Michael and Vince will donate $5 to ALS and the firm’s charitable organization will match their donations. Our goal is $20,000.
May 30, 2014
Chambers USA recognized 29 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; six attorneys were recognized nationally and eight were ranked in the top band. Stanley Sher was named a “Senior Statesman” in the “Transportation: Shipping: Regulatory (outside New York)” industry, for the pivotal role Sher plays in the firm’s continued success in the transportation industry.
December 13, 2013
In an article titled “How past law leaders would function in today’s legal world,” Cozen O’Connor CEO Michael Heller discusses whether law firm managers of the 1990s and 2000s could thrive in today’s legal market. The business of running a law firm has changed dramatically since the recession hit in 2008 and clients have increasingly more power in the relationship between law firms and the clients, who have tightened legal budgets and demand a high level of value from the firms they employ. Law firm leaders now are faced with new challenges, including staffing, hiring, real estate, budgeting and weaker demand. Additionally, technology is ever-evolving and leaders must adapt to new advances. Michael Heller states “with technology, leaders 20 years ago did not have time to think about some of that. It’s a critical component today and changing daily. Rate pressure, efficiency, alternative fee arrangements. These issues are not new but they are more prevalent than they were back then.”
August 28, 2013
Forty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from eight of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America. Attorneys were selected based on a rigorous peer-review of more than 4.3 million detailed evaluations. The list will be included in publications such as The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and New York magazine.
May 29, 2013
On June 7, the American Diabetes Association will recognize and honor Michael Heller, Cozen O'Connor's CEO, as its 2013 Father-of-the-Year in Philadelphia.
February 01, 2013
In an interview titled, "Newly Elected CEO Guides Cozen O'Connor Toward Practice Diversity and Market Expansion," Michael Heller speaks with author Steve Taylor on a variety of topics.
January 28, 2013
Michael will be honored along with Jeffrey Brown, founder, president & CEO of Brown's Super Stores, and renowned NFL Head Coach Dick Vermeil.
December 18, 2012
Michael J. Heller, Larry P. Laubach, Steven N. Haas, Jeffrey A. Leonard, Herman C. Fala and Jeffrey G. Weil were named to the Philadelphia SmartCEO’s 2012 list of Legal Elite.
September 25, 2012
Cozen O’Connor Announces Michael J. Heller as Chief Executive Officer In Planned Leadership Transition Amid Growth
June 11, 2012
Chambers USA has recognized 28 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their fields; five attorneys were recognized nationally and three were ranked in the top band.
October 12, 2011
Cozen O’Connor Expands Executive Management Team
June 16, 2011
Chambers USA has recognized 27 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their fields.
February 09, 2011
Forty-three Cozen O’Connor lawyers from six of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2011 edition based on a rigorous peer–review of more than 3.1 million detailed evaluations.
November 03, 2010
Lisa Haas and Michael Heller Elected to GPCC Board
June 18, 2010
Chambers USA has recognized 18 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their fields. The annual rankings are based on client and peer references, as well as information gathered from Chambers’ own independent research. Given both nationally and regionally, the rankings are based on qualities including technical legal ability, professional conduct, and client service.
September 29, 2009
Forty-two Cozen O’Connor attorneys from seven of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
August 19, 2009
Cozen O’Connor Ranked Among Top 10 For Public Finance Underwriter’s Counsel
May 28, 2009
Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that 52 attorneys from the firm’s Philadelphia and West Conshohocken offices have been named 2009 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics, and will appear in the June 2009 issues of Philadelphia magazine and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.
October 29, 2008
Twenty-five Cozen O’Connor attorneys from six of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2009 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
October 10, 2008
Cozen O’Connor Member Michael J. Heller Speaks On Client Advocacy
May 29, 2008
Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that 42 attorneys from the firm’s Philadelphia and West Conshohocken offices have been named 2008 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics, and will appear in the June 2008 issues of Philadelphia magazine and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.
Events & Seminars
January 12, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA
November 03, 2015 - Philadelphia, PA
April 28, 2010 - Philadelphia, PA