Wade M. Fricke

Shareholder || Cleveland

Wade Fricke has practiced management-side labor and employment law since 1989. He was one of three attorneys who founded the Cleveland office of the firm. Prior to joining the firm, Wade was a partner in Cleveland’s oldest law firm, and before that, he worked for the Cleveland office of a national full-service law firm.

Wade represents companies of all sizes across the country in virtually all aspects of employee relations in union and non-union settings. In both settings, Wade’s practice focuses on issue avoidance and positive employment practices. In union settings, Wade has extensive experience in contract negotiations and, where necessary, grievance resolution and arbitration, and strike management and resolution. His experience in non-union settings includes extensive employment relations auditing, supervisor training, union representational election work, drafting and reviewing employee handbooks and work rules, sexual harassment and other training, and most aspects of preventative-maintenance labor and employment counseling regarding state and federal regulation of the workplace.

Wade’s employment counseling experience includes practice before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board.

Wade is one of eight attorneys serving on the steering committee of the firm’s 125-plus member Traditional Labor Practice Group.

Learn more about Wade M. Fricke

Traditional Labor Experience – Collective Bargaining

Wade has extensive experience working with unionized public and privately-held companies of all sizes – from over $15 billion in annual sales to less than $1 million in annual sales. Wade has negotiated over 100 collective bargaining agreements and shut down agreements across the country with a variety of unions, including the Teamsters, the Steelworkers, the Auto Workers, the Machinists, the Food and Commercial Workers, the UE, and UNITE HERE. He has successfully first-chaired over 100 contract interpretation and discipline arbitration cases with most of those unions.

Traditional Labor Experience – Campaign Work

In non-union settings, Wade has served as the point person advisor for over 100 objection-free R-case elections at companies of all sizes across the country. Those campaigns were for clients in heavy manufacturing, light manufacturing, retail, higher education, logistics, and numerous other fields.

Training and Preventative Maintenance

Wade has developed and implemented a simple, user-friendly management training and preventative maintenance issue identification program that he has delivered all over the country. His training sessions have occurred around-the-clock in front of all sizes of audiences in a variety of industries to accommodate all shifts and impact as many managers as possible, and his preventative maintenance issue identification analysis consistently has been credited with saving his clients significant time, energy and resources.


  • J.D., Washington and Lee University, 1989
  • A.B., Princeton University, 1984

Admittance to Practice

  • Ohio

Professional Activities

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Ohio Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Fellow, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation
  • American Employment Law Council
  • Labor and Employment Relations Association, Northeast Ohio Chapter
  • The Ohio Management Lawyers Association
  • The Court of Nisi Prius


  • Ogletree Deakins Labor Law Solutions - "Grievance and Arbitration Strategies" - Las Vegas - December 7, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Labor Law Solutions - "Interactive Campaign Workshop, Round 3: After a Campaign Win" - Las Vegas - December 6, 2018
  • Ohio State Bar Association Annual Midwest Labor and Employment Law Seminar - "NLRB Update" - Columbus - October 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Washington, DC NLRB and DOL Update" - Cleveland and Columbus - August 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Leveraging Your Union Relationships to Your Business Advantage" - Las Vegas - May 2014
  • Ohio Management Lawyers Association Spring Meeting - "NLRB Update" - Columbus - May 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Handling a Mass Reduction in Force" - Cleveland - November 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Responding to Changes Coming Out of Washington, D.C." - Cleveland - August 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Recognizing and Responding to Early Signs of Union Activity" - Washington - June 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Inside the Beltway Wrap-Up" - Cleveland - August 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Are You Ready to Rumble? A Union Campaign Workshop" - Phoenix - May 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "NLRB Update" - Cleveland - August 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Top 10 Changes in Labor and Employment Law" - Chicago - May 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The Obama NLRB: What to Expect and How to Prepare" - Cleveland - August 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Top Ten Changes in Labor and Employment Law" - Las Vegas - May 6 - 7, 2010
  • April 2013 - Ogletree Deakins Publication - "State Legislatures Take Up Renewed Call for Right-to-Work Legislation After Indiana And Michigan Pass Laws"
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge
  • Ranked in Chambers USA
  • Ohio Super Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Best Lawyers 2019 Cleveland Labor Law – Management “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • AV rated with Martindale-Hubbell

Insights by Wade M. Fricke