attorney joe leo

Joe Leo


Office: 515-242-2462

Fax: 515-323-8562



I strive to provide my clients with practical and timely legal advice.  I make my clients’ business objectives the focus of my advice.  I believe that understanding your business is essential to providing you the legal services your business deserves.  I work hard to understand your business objectives and priorities and make sure your legal strategy matches those priorities and objectives.  I despise inefficiency.  My clients do not spend time on things that do not matter to their business and I work to make sure I do the same.

My Approach

I focus on helping my clients identify and execute on opportunities.  Put differently, I like playing offense more than I like playing defense.  I am most comfortable meeting with my clients for coffee or lunch to hear about their business before I even attempt to help them create a legal strategy.  I pride myself on finding creative solutions to problems.  I feel my duty is to help my clients understand and evaluate the legal risks they face and use that understanding to make the best decision for their business.  I also use my relationships and contacts to help my clients realize their goals and capture opportunities.  More than any other attorney I know, I use flat fee and alternative fee engagements to align my clients’ need for efficiency and budget certainty with my results focused mentality.

More About Me

I never dreamed that I would be an attorney.  When I graduated from college I started my career running two federal business development programs for the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.  It was through this experience that I learned how much I love working with businesses.  In 2006 I received my J.D. from Drake University Law School with high honors.  I have worked at BrownWinick my entire legal career. 

I currently provide securities compliance services to four publicly reporting companies.  I am also very involved with Plains Angels, an angel capital group operating in central Iowa and I work closely with many companies in the Global Insurance Accelerator and the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator, both located in Des Moines, Iowa. These relationships allow me to work with early stage companies from around the world.  I am fortunate to also work with several companies which have participated in the ISU Startup Factory.

In addition to my legal practice, I have been an adjunct professor of Securities Law at Drake University Law School for several years. 

My Specialties

  • Corporate Finance / Securities
  • Start-up and High Growth Companies
  • Corporate and Business Law


Can You Give That To Me In Words I Can Understand?

April 12, 2017 Recently I was working with a client on a large and complicated transaction.  We were discussing the legal relationship between several different agreements.  The client Read…

Angel Investor Tax Credit - Qualifying Business Application Released

February 2, 2017 On January 25, 2017, the Iowa Economic Development Authority released the qualifying business application for the Angel Investor Tax Credit. The investor eligibility application was released Read…

Legislative Uncertainty Calls for Vigilance

January 30, 2017 Check out BrownWinick attorney Joe Leo's latest article, Legislative Uncertainty Calls for Vigilance, featured in the February edition of the Ethanol Producer Magazine. Read…

Iowa Passes Law to Create Biorenewable Chemical Tax Credit Program

April 7, 2016 On April 6, 2016, Governor Branstad signed into law Senate File 2300 which creates the Biorenewable Chemical Tax Credit Program, a landmark piece of legislation Read…

SEC Adopts New Regulations Which Improve Access to the Capital Markets

July 11, 2013 On July 10, 2013, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") adopted final regulations to implement a much anticipated provision of the 2012 JOBS Read…

One Step Closer to Hemp Production in Iowa

October 31, 2019 Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its interim final rule for nationwide legal hemp production. This is an important step toward hemp production in Iowa. Hemp production took a hiatus in the U.S. when, in the 1970s, it was classified as controlled substance. That all changed in the 2018 Farm Bill which Read…

Hemp Fields of Opportunities

October 21, 2019 There’s a lot of hype around hemp these days. Hemp products, including CBD, or cannabidiol, seem to be all over the market. Indeed, uses for hemp seem endless. The hemp plant can be used for anything from paper to therapeutic oils to rope and have even been considered for food products. Legislation was previously passed Read…


Mallory Metzger



University of Wisconsin-Madison

B.S., Economics, 2000


Drake University

J.D., with high honors, 2006


Iowa, 2006

Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • American Coalition for Ethanol
  • Ames Chamber of Commerce
  • Iowa Institute for Cooperatives
  • Order of the Coif
  • Notes Editor, Drake Law Review