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Subodh Chandra

White collar crime Attorney at Cleveland, OH

5.0   27 reviews
  • State Years
    Ohio - OH 25 years
    California - CA 27 years
    New Mexico - NM 28 years
  • Licensed for 25 years
    State OH
    Acquired 1998
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 27 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1997
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 28 years
    State NM
    Acquired 1995
    Inactive No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Subodh

Learn Subodh’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Civil rights
    Both plaintiff's and defense work in employment discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowers, First Amendment, constitutional claims, voting rights, Section 1983, police misconduct, False Claims Act, etc.

    27 years, 200 cases

  2. Constitutional
    Free speech, freedom of religion, unreasonable search and seizures and use of excessive force under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, takings, etc.

    29 years, 100 cases

  3. Discrimination
    Employment discrimination based on race, gender, sex, religion, age, disability, as well as retaliation cases.

    29 years, 200 cases

  4. Sexual harassment
    We represent victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault, hostile work environments, and gender discrimination.

    29 years, 100 cases

  5. White collar crime
    Investigates and defends fraud and corruption allegations, including, but not limited to, healthcare fraud, mortgage fraud, telecommunications fraud, money laundering, and public-corruption allegations.

    24 years, 100 cases

A former federal prosecutor, law director for the City of Cleveland, and large-firm litigator, Subodh Chandra is The Chandra Law Firm LLC's founding and managing partner. His practice focuses on high-profile civil-rights litigation, along with white-collar-criminal defense and internal investigations.

Chandra is engaged for high-stakes litigation when reputations are on the line. His matters often have a crisis-communications, public-policy dimension. Examples include the police-shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by Cleveland police—a key moment in the Black Lives Matter movement nationally resulting in a $6,000,000 settlement, the nearly $1,000,000 in settlements for 2016 Republican National Convention protestors, voting-rights litigation against various voter-suppression schemes by the Ohio Secretary of State, and the retaliation suit over sexual-harassment allegations that resulted in the resignation of Case Western Reserve University's law-school dean.

Before founding the firm, Chandra served as director of law for the city of Cleveland, a billion-dollar corporation. Chandra led the work of an 82-lawyer department with both criminal and civil divisions. He also sometimes served as Cleveland's acting mayor.

As Cleveland's general counsel, Chandra handled legal work in-house and slashed by nearly 90% spending on outside counsel, saving millions; moved vigorously through in-house investigations to clean up internal corruption; restored the department's reputation; and attracted top performers who helped make it Ohio's most diverse law firm. And his tough-minded, preventive approach reduced Cleveland's liability exposure and payments significantly.

Previously, as federal prosecutor, Chandra successfully prosecuted healthcare fraud and corruption—winning a commendation from FBI director Robert Mueller for "demonstrated excellence" as well as from the special agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland office. Chandra also prosecuted tax fraud, bank fraud, and other economic crimes.

Before that, Chandra served as a litigator in large law firms in both Cleveland and Los Angeles. Chandra defended the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills against high-profile allegations of police misconduct, and represented large media companies and motion-picture studios. Some of his more memorable work included defending the television show "Hard Copy" against libel charges by the singer Michael Jackson.

Chandra began his legal career as special presidential counsel at the American Bar Association.

Chandra is a graduate of the Yale Law School, where he was executive editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review. He also graduated with honors and distinction from Stanford University, which awarded him the John Gardner Fellowship to work as a protégé of Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste.

Chandra has served as Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, teaching appellate practice and legal ethics. He has also served as a legal-ethics and attorneys' fees expert in litigation.

Long active in assisting people who aspire to public service, Chandra was also a 2006 candidate for Ohio Attorney General, winning most newspaper endorsements. The Cincinnati Enquirer called Chandra "the best candidate Ohio Democrats have produced in years." Chandra was also one of the earliest supporters of President Barack H. Obama, serving on his National Finance Committee, on the national Asian-American advisory committee, and as an Obama delegate to and deputy whip of the Ohio delegation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Chandra presently serves on the Special Ohio Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Chandra is admitted to practice law in Ohio, California, and New Mexico (inactive), and in federal courts around the country.

Based on the review of his peers, he has been included in Best Lawyers® in America for civil rights and Ohio Super Lawyers®. Under his leadership, Chandra Law has been peer-review included in U.S. News and World Reports's Best Law Firms in America for Civil Rights. And in 2021, he was named Lawyer of the Year in civil rights by Best Lawyers® in America.

Chandra's work is featured in the documentaries Free for All! (2008), PAY 2 PLAY: Democracy's High Stakes (2014), and 137 Shots (Netflix 2021).

Chandra and his wife are the proud parents of triplet sons.

Photos and videos

Subodh Chandra
Subodh Chandra speaks to an audience in Cleveland Heights, Ohio about criminal-justice reform.


The Chandra Law Firm, LLC
1265 W. 6th St
Suite 400
Cleveland, OH, 44113-1326

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5.0 / 5.0
  27 customer reviews
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Posted by Lynn | February 16, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Expertise and compassion combined
After having several law firms decline my case due to its difficulty, I was truly discouraged. Thankfully, The Chandra Law Firm took it on while setting realistic expectations and making no promises. I felt reassured that I had the right team for the job. Their guidance and insight throughout the process was invaluable, as this was definitely uncharted territory for me. I was an emotional wreck enduring such a life-changing event leading up to the lawsuit. I can’t overstate how appreciative I am for not only their professionalism, but also the empathy shown. From beginning to end, my case was handled in such a dignified manner, and for that I am grateful. Thank you, Don, Subodh, and company! You truly embody, “Your case is our cause”.
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Posted by Anthony | May 14, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
If you're reading this wondering what law firm to go with, look no further!
Subodh Chandra and his team will go above and beyond to defend your case. Their experience as well as their compassion is bar none the best! I had a a lawsuit for many years against law inforcement and Subodh and and his firm were always responsive and diligent. He cares about you as a person and fill fight for your best interest. He is truly and amazing attorney.
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Posted by Jonathan Workman | September 21, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Top Notch Representation
Highly Recommend the Chandra Law Firm. If you need representation for claims in the area Chandra Law practices I suggest reaching out. In contex I was represented for a first amendment claim regarding musical performances in the city of cleveland. In my experience i enjoyed and valued being represented by Subodh and his colleagues. Communication was great and frequent. Very experienced lawyers good negotiation legal theory and briefing. Result was great. highly recommend
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Posted by Mark | August 13, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Satisfied
Subodh and his team represented me in a discrimination case. They were exceptional in every way. I felt empathy, confidence and trust from beginning to end.
Response from Subodh Chandra September 13, 2022
Thank you for your kind words. It was an honor to represent you in your fight for justice.
Posted by Mido | February 2, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Unbelievably Savvy and Compassionate
The Chandra Firm worked with me to fight against a pretty heinous injustice, and Subodh was my biggest advocate. I was being harassed and attacked by a neo-nazi, and and Subodh's help is what got that harassment to stop. By the time Subodh was done with him, the nazi in question had lost his license to practice in the state of Ohio! Subodh is brilliant, and thoughtful, and he very genuinely cares about clients. He's creative in the ways he approaches problems, and also very realistic and honest. The best decision I ever made was reaching out to the Chandra Law Firm to enlist their help.
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Posted by Rebecca | January 4, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Most capable, knowledgable and compassionate Civil Rights attorney
Chandra law firm guided me through the most difficult time in my life with a sexual harassment and retaliation case in the public sector. Subodh is charismatic, empathetic, and brilliant. He is sensitive and an expert in Civil Rights. His composure during this experience was essential and second to none in my year-long case. I would highly recommend him and his law firm for anything employment-related. He will guide you the best way to resolve a matter in accordance with the Law.
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Posted by Mehran | June 1, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great team, great firm!
Very knowledgable, efficient and effective. Genuine care for people they advise and represent.
Posted by Stephanie | July 9, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
outstanding attorney
Subodh represented me in a case that was very important iii my career as well as for my family's well-being. He has the utmost integrity, is thorough in his research, and extremely trustworthy. I would hire him again without thought and feel grateful to have had the experience. It's good to know I have an amazing lawyer that I can call upon if needed in the future.
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Posted by anonymous | June 23, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing law experience
I was introduced to the law firm when I encountered an issue at “The Boneyard Grille” I was simply discriminated against due to my race and gender. Subodh was very honest and firm with me regarding the next steps in the process. He ensured I was confident and ready for trial, he kept me informed every step of the way. During this process, I was in college and working two full time jobs. This was a very troubling experience and my confidence was shook, as well as my self-esteem. I wanted to drop out and never come back many times during the trial. Subodh ensured me things were getting better and to hang in there until justice was served. He was very trustworthy and won my case. I am forever grateful to him and his team for this victory and getting my life back on track. I recommend him to anyone who wants justice served. Thanks Subodh and The Chandra Law Firm LLC for everything! YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! Raymisha R. Williams (Cleveland, Ohio)
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Posted by anonymous | March 14, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
a lawyer's lawyer
As a trial lawyer how owns a practice out of state, I know not to act as my own attorney. When I needed to engage in a civil action in another state, going against a well-resourced opponent and a large firm, I chose The Chandra Law Firm. The eponymous Subodh Chandra and his partner, Ashlie Case Sletvold, employed equal parts aggression and discretion. They spent tremendous resources on fact-gathering, and wherever they went with me they were able to call in airstrikes from their support team back at the firm. Attorney/client contact was exceptionally frequent. They had the connections and savoir-faire to involve just the right people, and the result was something that brings me daily satisfaction years later.
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Posted by Charles | March 2, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thank you for accepting an ADA case on my behalf
I want to express my great appreciation to Subodh Chandra (and attorneys Ashlie Sletvold and Patrick Haney) for the excellent representation I received in a recent ADA lawsuit. As a Deaf man, Attorney Chandra and his staff undertook the additional work of learning about Deaf culture and the Deaf Community. My family and I are grateful for his sensitivity, respect and legal expertise. When MANY other attorneys turned me down, attorney Chandra was willing to invest the additional time, effort, expense and learning.
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Posted by Arthur | March 2, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding Attorney
I am a pediatrician in private practice in the Cleveland area for over 25 years. As leader of a group of 600 progressive physicians, I was approached by Mr. Chandra about a law that limited doctor participation in various state of Ohio political races. Many doctors were being denied the right to support candidates of their choice. Under Mr. Chandra's guidance we were able to successfully challenge the law via a suit against the Ohio Secretary of State. The Secretary, holding substantial powers in the state, was able to fund extensive appeals and fee challenges, but Mr. Chandra and his outstanding firm sustained the challenge over many years and ultimately prevailed all together. Free speech was defended, truth was spoken to power, the rights of regular citizens were protected, all by the virtue, integrity, legal acumen, and persistence of this great man and firm.
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Posted by Misty | March 2, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Friendly, helpful and made me feel important! This firm did a fine job with my case. I would recommend Subodh Chandra without any reservation!
Posted by anonymous | February 28, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Firm
I had a first amendment case, that the Chandra Law Office handled for me. This was my first time ever being involved in a lawsuit or even meeting with an attorney. From start to finish Subodh, and all of his associates and staff treated me like a friend, and cared about what I was going through. My case lasted about two years, and in the end I got my job back with full restitution. The Chandra Law Firm met all deadlines and kept me well informed of everything going on with my case. I never once questioned my decision my decision to hire this firm, and would highly recommend them to any one facing a first amendment claim.
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Posted by Giavonna | July 30, 2015
A True Advocate Amongst Adversaries
Many times people have horrible things to say when it comes to attorneys. I must say whatever thought, stereotype, or prejudice you may have for lawyers throw them out of the window. When it comes to being an upstanding and righteous lawyer Subodh Chandra fits the mold. Subodh was not just an attorney for me. He was my counselor, my advocate, my supporter, and my friend. I truly appreciate his guidance and his respect for the law. I hired Subodh to represent me in a long, drawn out, and painful discrimination case against my employer. With his intelligence and knowledge of the law the case was settled and the result was very pleasing. I was able to keep my employment along with some compensation for backpay and emotional damages. If anyone ever asked me for am attorney recommendation, I would without hesitation recommend the Chandra Law Firm.
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Posted by Patrick | July 9, 2015
extremely satisfied client
Subodh Chandra is an extremely talented lawyer who was able to provide expertise, guidance and detailed attention to my case. He performed in exemplary fashion, employing a high degree of knowledge, tact and professionalism and provided personal support during a challenging time. The unwavering diligence and attentiveness was remarkable – often working through evenings, weekends and holidays.
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Posted by Jeanne | June 4, 2015
Absolutely excellent representation
I looked long and hard for a good lawyer for my case, having had two previous lawyers who had clearly been living on old reputations as they were lackluster in their representation of my case. I interviewed a number of attorneys and chose the Chandra Law Firm in part because of the time Subodh and his partner, Ashlie Sletvold, spent to understand my case and in interviewing me before they chose to take the case, asking me thoughtful, insightful questions. Once onboard, we hit some difficult points in the matter and at all times, they maintained excellent communication with me, talking through the options we had. I value their communication skills and responsiveness as much as I came to value their intelligence, compassion, and passion for my case. I could not have been more pleased with their representation of me, especially when compared to the representation I had received from the other Cleveland attorney I had had who is clearly part of the Cleveland establishment but who actually did so little to advance my case. When I read the complaint that Subodh and Ashlie wrote for the case, which brought the parties to mediation (a feat that neither of the other attorneys had succeeded in doing), it was clear that, finally, I had great attorneys who knew how to represent my case. The complaint was outstanding in terms of its clarity of a difficult case that spanned several years. Mine was a case where good lawyers made all of the difference and The Chandra Law Firm made that difference, delivering a successful outcome where other lawyers had not by intelligent, ethical, and plain hard work on my behalf. You will be in very good hands if they represent you.
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Posted by LaMont | March 25, 2015
Simply The Best
Words cannot express the respect, honesty and professionalism Mr. Subodh showed me and my family during a difficult time in my law enforcement career. I called on Subodh when the mayor had retaliated against me for refusing to terminate two officers at my department. As Chief of Police I couldn't do it. I told the mayor why I could not do that and the mayor's response was "if you don't fire those officers, I will fire you". After that conversation, one of the many things the mayor did was to change the locks to my office on three separate occations along with prohibiting me from using a police vehicle. I explained this to Subodh who listened to me and then immediately wanted to talk with me and my wife together. He explained to the both of us what can happen and what we needed to be prepared for if this case goes forward. After assuring him we were ready to see this to the end, he guaranteed me and my wife, he would do everything in his power to make sure the jury would have all the facts necessary to make the best decision possible. Subodh kept in constant contact with us throughout all proceeding. We never felt left out, confused or abandoned. During the trial, Subodh was able to convay to the jury why I became a police officer, how difficult the job is and how I couldn't let the mayor and village smear the name my father gave me. I could go on and on but I'll end by saying if I would ever need Subodh's services in the future, I will not hesitate to call him. I've already recommended several of my friends in the law enforcement profession to Subodh and they told me, they seen him when they attended my trial to give me their support. The said they liked the way Subodh approched my case and he will be the first person they will call when they need legal council and service. That says a lot in my line of work. Oh yeah, Subodh won our case!
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Posted by anonymous | March 17, 2015
A Compassionate, Dedicated, and Attentive Professional
Subodh took the time to listen to my story. As much as I showed excessive emotion, he stayed calm and cool while compassionate to the situation. He explained how the law applied to the situation and offered his evaluation in a balanced way while holding my interests at the highest priority. Lawyers get a reputation for being underhandedly calculated and inattentive, but Subodh can never be those things. He speaks with passion and with dedication to the client. His established experience allowed him to be strategic with the twists and turns of my case. He helped me receive a fair and beneficial result. He was generous with his time and offered assistance in other aspects of my case and final settlement through his extended professional network. Subodh, provided me with the best and most professional service I could ask for and I'm glad to have him as a close contact. I recommend Subodh to many of my personal networks for his fervent dedication to the Client and the Law.
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Posted by T.J. | March 12, 2015
Calm and Relieved
Rumors had begun to surface that I was facing a possible criminal indictment. With my family at risk and my career and reputation on the line, I went to Attorney Chandra. After explaining my situation in detail, he set right to work - literally. With his extensive knowledge of the players in both Ohio's state and federal criminal justice system, he began contacting those prosecutors who were responsible for the investigation. Without hesitation or fear, and while displaying the utmost professionalism, he soon discovered that these rumors were nothing more than that - just rumors. He continued to make contacts on my behalf, keeping me informed every step of the way. He was dedicated not only to protecting my interests and well-being, but also to keeping me calm. When the results of this investigation were finally announced and I was not a part of it at all, the sense of relief was overwhelming. But I was confident all along that his skills as a litigator and his traits as family man would have seen me safely through, no matter what the outcome would have been. Attorney Chandra cares for his clients, fights for them and goes out of his way to ensure the best possible outcome.
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AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Managing Partner
  • The Chandra Law Firm, LLC
  • 2005 - Present
  • Distinguished Practitioner in Residence & Adjunct Prof. of Law
  • Case Western Reserve School Of Law
  • 2005 - 2005
  • Director of Law and Prosecuting Attorney
  • The City of Cleveland
  • 2002 - 2005
  • Assistant United States Attorney
  • United States Department of Justice
  • 1999 - 2002
  • Litigator
  • Thompson Hine & Flory
  • 1997 - 1999
  • Litigator
  • Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro
  • 1996 - 1997
  • Special Presidential Counsel
  • American Bar Association
  • 1994 - 1995
View all work experience


  • Yale University
  • Law
  • 1994
  • Stanford University
  • A.B. with honors and dual departmental distinction
  • 1989

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Ku v. Mitchell, et al.
  • Confidential resolution; Professor Ku named new center director


  • U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Ohio Special Advisory Committee
  • Member
  • 2013 - Present
  • Ohio Employment Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • Cleveland Employment Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals Judicial Conference
  • Life Member
  • 2006 - Present
  • International Network of Boutique Law Firms
  • President, Ohio Chapter
  • 2006 - Present
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1999 - Present
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Chair, Judicial Selection Committee
  • 2011 - 2011
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Vice Chair, Judicial Selection Committee
  • 2010 - 2011
  • Cuyahoga County Bar Association
  • Vice Chair, Judicial Selection Committee
  • 2006 - 2007
  • Cleveland Bar Association
  • Former Board of Trustees
  • 2005 - 2008
  • Cleveland Bar Association Diversity Action Commitee
  • Co-Chair
  • 2005 - 2007
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Hindi
  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Advocate of the Year
  • Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless
  • 2011
  • Best Progressive Crusader
  • Cleveland Scene Magazine
  • 2009
  • 40 under 40
  • Crain's Cleveland Business
  • 2003
  • Recognition for healthcare prosecutions
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller
  • 2002
  • Creating a Voice Award
  • Project Impact
  • 2002
  • Outstanding Lawyer Award
  • New Mexico Bar Association
  • 1995
  • John Garder Public Service Fellowship
  • Stanford University's Haas Center for Public Service
  • 1989
View all awards


  • Cleveland Bar Journal
  • The Reform Experience of the Cleveland Department of Law
  • 2005

Speaking Engagements

  • NAPABA Central Regional Conference
  • Will my vote count? Voting-rights issues in Ohio and beyond
  • 2014
  • Inn of Court
  • Inside View on Effectively Communicating Employment Issues with In-House Counsel
  • 2013
  • Annual Meeting
  • Employment Law 2013
  • 2013
  • 8th Annual Trial Advocacy Institute
  • Trial Professionalism
  • 2010
  • Professionalism Seminar
  • Professionalism and Game Theory
  • 2005
  • Annual Trial Advocacy Institute
  • Trial Ethics
  • 2005
  • Annual Conference
  • Appellate Oral Argument Showcase
  • 2004
  • Spring Municipal Criminal Law
  • Criminal Law
  • 2003
  • Office Of Inspector General: Criminal Healthcare Fraud
  • Office Of Inspector General: Criminal Healthcare Fraud Prosecutions
  • 2000
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (6)
Endorse Subodh
Civil rights Attorney | Mar 03
Relationship: Friend
"I know of few lawyers, if any, in Cleveland or elsewhere who I would more strongly endorse than Subodh. In addition to doing superlative legal work, Subodh is honest, committed, and ethical. Indeed, I wouldn't hesitate to hire him myself."
Unknown Attorney | Nov 09
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Subodh is a lawyer's lawyer. He is brilliant, ethical an extremely hard worker and effective in his representation of his clients. He has the intellectual capacity to take on the most complex cases, yet is practical so that he never looses sight of what is necessary to bring a case to conclusion. He is a tireless worker who stands up for what is right. In sum, he is a great lawyer who just plain "gets it.""
Cleveland White collar crime Lawyer Subodh Chandra
Subodh Chandra
White collar crime Attorney
Cleveland, OH
Licensed for 28 years