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Leonard W Burningham

Mergers and acquisitions Attorney at Salt Lake City, UT

5.0   6 reviews
  • Licensed for 53 years
    State UT
    Acquired 1970
    Active Emeritus No misconduct found

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

About Leonard

Learn Leonard’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Mergers and acquisitions
    Mergers and Acquisitions

    53 years, 200 cases

  2. Securities offerings
    Securities Offerings and "Restricted Securities" Legal Opinions under Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 144 and Section 4(a)(1) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and related securities law matters

Leonard W. Burningham (AV)

Leonard has over 52 years of legal experience involving securities laws and merger and acquisition transactions, and has been instrumental in the completion of well over 200 mergers or acquisitions involving publicly-held companies, while also serving as a consulting lawyer to a substantial number of other lawyers across the United States that were involved in similar securities transactions.  His expertise in rendering legal opinions on the resale of “restricted securities” of publicly-held companies is widely known and respected in the legal community and the broker-dealer and stock transfer agency industries, including Rule 144 legal opinions and Section 4(a)(1) legal opinions under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”).  Leonard graduated from Westminster College, a private university in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1967, where he served as Student Body President in the Fall Semester of 1966; he went on to graduate from the University of Utah College of Law in 1970, before entering private practice.  In 1971, he was named the youngest partner in the law firm of Moffat, Welling, Taylor and Paulsen, a successor to the long established and highly respected law firm of Moffat, Iverson and Taylor, before returning to a private practice in 1978. From 1978 to the present, Leonard has limited his legal practice solely to matters involving securities laws, rules and regulations, primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and legal opinions regarding the resale of restricted securities.  He was admitted to the Utah State Bar Association in 1970, and is authorized to appear in all Utah courts, as well as the United States District Court for the District of Utah (1970) and the United States Supreme Court (2011).  During his legal career, Leonard has served: (i) as an Arbitrator of securities disputes for the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (now known as the “Financial Industry Regulatory Authority”); (ii) as an Expert Witness in state and Federal courts on matters relating to “reverse mergers,” securities law registration exemptions and the application and construction of federal and state securities laws in various situations and transactions; (iii) as a member and panelist of the Utah State Bar Association’s Securities Subsection; and (iv)  as the co-Chairman of the Bar’s Fall Forum on the use of wireless and paperless technologies (2004).  In his early years of litigation practice, he was trial counsel in the often quoted cases of Kerbs v. Fall River Industries, Inc., 502 F. 2d 731 (10th Cir. 1974) and Zabriskie v. Lewis, 507 F.2d 546 (10th Cir. 1974), which respectively held “Moreover, one who aids and abets a fraudulent scheme may be held accountable even though his assistance consists of mere silence or inaction” (p.741); and while favorably citing the language of Kerbs on aiding and abetting, found that the short term promissory note delivered in Zabriskie was a “security” that was not exempt from registration under the Securities Act, and that the issuance of the promissory note constituted a sale or disposition of a security in violation of 15 U.S.C. 78(c)(14) of the Securities Act.

Leonard served in the U.S. Military during 1961 and 1962 as a member of the Utah National Guard, which was called to active duty during the “Berlin Crisis,” when the Berlin Wall was built overnight on August 13, 1961.  He was honorably discharged in 1962.

He has been especially fortunate in having the continuing opportunity to practice law with two of his sons, Branden T. Burningham, Esq. (since 1994) and Bradley C. Burningham, Esq. (since 2003 [Bradley has presently taken an inactive status with the Utah Bar and is pursuing other business activities]).

Leonard was also the founder of the Utah Bar Association’s Annual Food and Clothing Drive for the Homeless and less fortunate members of our society in 1990, serving as its  Chairman for over 31 years, and continues to serve as its co-Chairman today.


Contact Leonard

Burningham Law Office
P.O. Box 521844
Salt Lake City, UT, 84152


5.0 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Aaron | May 24, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I hired Leonard Burningham and the Outcome was outstanding
I have known Leonard and worked with him over a span of 20+ years. He is a lawyer's lawyer, thorough, erudite, practical, careful, solution-oriented, respectful, promptly responsive, a person of unblemished integrity. When I needed a written opinion from a third party lawyer in a complex securities matter, I retained Leonard. He went through all the facts and documents, delved into all public filings, conducted comprehensive telephone interviews, followed up as needed with further email inquiries, and then delivered a lengthy but masterful, unassailable analysis--all of which resulted in a favorable transaction.....and that likely would not have been the result had I hired someone else. I was so pleased with the outcome and the entire experience that I unilaterally paid him more than the [relatively] modest amount that he billed. Leonard is extraordinary.
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Posted by Sim | May 23, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I have been dealing with mr Burningham for the last 5 years He is the most professional attorney I have dealt with in the last 10 years. He is always protecting me and doing the right thing. I highly recommend him
Posted by John M. | April 6, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Use of Mr. Burningham as an expert witness in a failed merger lawsuit
I am a lawyer who does securities litigation work, among other things. I was involved in defending a party in a failed reverse acquisition transaction. The parties sued each other in federal court for breach of contract and fraud. The case went to trial for 4 days in March 2018 in Utah federal district court. We hired Mr. Burningham as our expert witness to give his expert opinion on several issues. He opined on the overall reverse merger business, including what "shell companies" are, the value of the public company being acquired, the repercussions of the toxic debt the public company had issued, the damages the public company allegedly sustained in having only partially sold control of itself to my clients, and also he opined on the ability of the market for the public company's stock to absorb the sale of several million shares and what that effect would have been. Mr. Burningham was a fabulous witness and the judge even remarked the following day when Mr. Burningham's testimony came up that he "was a highly qualified expert witness." This was an unusual compliment for a federal judge to pay during a trial and speaks volumes on Mr. Burningham's competence. If we ever had a similar situation, we wouldn't hesitate to use the services of Mr. Burningham again.
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Posted by Mark | April 8, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent attorney
I have been using Mr. Burningham as legal counsel for roughly 25 years. I would put him up against any Securities related attorney throughout the country. I have never encountered any problems of any sort or had any issues with any legal work that he has performed. His work is just simply impeccable. I dare say he is the most honest hard-working, smart and decent man I know.
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Posted by Mike | April 6, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best lawyer
Leonard, is the best lawyer hands down . Helped me though mergers always looks out for his Clients best interest..
Posted by Randy | April 6, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Our company worked with Leonard Burningham for approximately 3 years. Leonard has a vast background in SEC regulations, Securities, investment fraud and analysis, business, business mergers and acquisitions. We used all of Leonard's expertise in our business relationship. We moved from Leonard Burningham to a National firm only because of our Company needs. I would recommend Leonard very highly and would be happy to provide further detailed information regarding his merits.
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Contact for Details


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Burningham Law Office
  • 1977 - Present


  • University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1970


  • Utah State Bar's Fall Forum
  • Chairman
  • 2004 - Present
  • Utah State Bar, Securities Law Section
  • Member
  • 1975 - Present
  • Utah State Bar
  • Member
  • 1970 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016
  • Lifetime Service
  • Utah State Bar
  • 2016
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Utah State Bar Annual Meeting
  • Definition of a Security
  • 2015

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (6)
Endorse Leonard
Securities offerings Attorney | Apr 09
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Leonard is well respected in the legal community."
Securities and investment fraud Attorney | Apr 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Leonard is one of of the lions of the Utah securities bar. In my experience, he has been thoughtful, thorough, wise, and careful. Beyond that, I believe he is a thoroughly kind and decent human being. It is a pleasure to find him involved in a transaction in any capacity."
Securities and investment fraud Attorney | Apr 12
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse Leonard. I have worked with him on various project over the past ten years and have learned a great deal from him. His work is thorough, effective and precise and he has vast experience in securities matters."
Securities offerings
Securities offerings
Mergers and acquisitions
Securities and investment fraud

Avvo Contributions

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Salt Lake City Mergers and acquisitions Lawyer Leonard W Burningham
Leonard W Burningham
Mergers and acquisitions Attorney
Salt Lake City, UT
Licensed for 53 years