• You are now in...
  • USA

Bodman PLC


Bodman PLC - Detroit
  • 6th Floor at Ford Field
  • 1901 St Antoine Street
  • Detroit
  • Michigan
  • USA
  • MI 48226
  • Chairman, Executive Committee: Ralph E McDowell
  • Number of members: 96
  • Number of other lawyers: 60
  • Offices: The firm also has an affiliate office in Dallas, Texas.

Firm Overview:
Bodman clients demand the best. Bodman attorneys, in turn, are laser-focused on providing the highest quality legal services to clients in Michigan, across the United States and around the world. The firm’s clients are businesses, individuals and institutions with big ideas and big achievements. For more than 80 years, they have trusted Bodman to serve as a strategic business partner. In exchange, the firm offers them the insight, experience and value they need to succeed. Bodman values long-term client relationships above short-term gain, and it nurtures those relationships carefully. Bodman attorneys work to understand their clients’ businesses and the markets within which they operate. This enables them to provide both strategic advice and preventative counsel to address potential issues efficiently and discreetly before they become significant and expensive problems. They deliver on their promises with quality, integrity and knowledge. The power of Bodman’s approach is clear in the extraordinarily long-term relationships it has maintained. For example, Bodman has represented the interests of the Ford family continuously since 1929. It has represented Comerica Incorporated and its predecessor, Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit, since it helped found Manufacturers in 1933. Other significant relationships have endured for more than 50 years. Bodman’s extensive pro bono program includes active participation with both Michigan Community Resources and Legal Aid and Defender Association to provide free legal services to worthy community organizations and indigent individuals. Michigan Community Resources named Bodman its 2013 Law Firm of the Year based on the firm’s longstanding commitment and the extent of services provided to worthy organizations. The State Bar of Michigan has admitted Bodman to its Pro Bono Circle of Excellence.

Main Areas of Practice: The firm’s primary areas of practice are: automotive and industrial; banking; business/corporate; construction; debtor-creditor rights and bankruptcy; enterprise procurement; environmental; healthcare; individual clients; insurance; intellectual property; litigation and alternative dispute resolution; municipal law and finance; real property; tax; and workplace law.

International Work: Bodman represents many international clients with business interests in Michigan and elsewhere within the United States. Bodman attorneys have substantial expertise in cross-border transactions involving companies and people located in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Clients: Bodman has a diverse client base that includes individuals and businesses in a variety of industries, with emphasis on financial services, automotive, real estate, non-profit and charitable institutions, hi-tech, healthcare, general manufacturing and other sectors. Representative clients include: AIG/American General; Archdiocese of Detroit; Bank of America; Bharat Forge Limited; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan; Caraco Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Carmeuse Lime and Stone; CBS Outdoor; Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; City of Ann Arbor; City of Grosse Pointe Park; Comcast Cablevision; Comerica Bank; Crittenton Hospital Medical Center; CSX Transportation, Inc.; Dart Energy; The Detroit Lions, Inc.; Fannie Mae; Financial Institutions Compliance Cooperative; Flagstar Bank F.S.B.; Ford Estates; Foster Blue Water Oil Co., Inc.; Freudenberg-NOK; Grede Holdings LLC; Grupo KUO; The Guardian Life Insurance Co.; The Huntington National Bank; International Automotive Components Group; Key Plastics, LLC; Lear Corp.; Memorial Healthcare; Monroe Bank & Trust; PNC Bank; PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; Primerica Financial Services; Pulte Homes of Michigan; RBS Citizens, N.A.; Saga Communications, Inc.; Sparton Corporation; St. Marys Cement Corporation; Sun Pharmaceutical Industries; TD Auto Finance LLC; Titan International, Inc.; Wells Fargo Bank.

Areas of Practice

  • Automotive & Industrial
  • Banking
  • Business/Corporate/M&A
  • Construction
  • Debtor-Creditor Rights & Bankruptcy
  • Enterprise Procurement
  • Environmental
  • Healthcare
  • High Tech
  • Individual Clients/Trusts & Estates
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation & ADR
  • Municipal Law & Finance
  • Real Property
  • Tax
  • Workplace Law


  • 6th Floor at Ford Field,
  • 1901 St Antoine Street,
  • Detroit,
  • Michigan
  • USA
  • MI 48226
  • Tel +1 313 259 7777
  • Fax +1 313 393 7579
  • Email : info@bodmanlaw.com
  • Website : www.bodmanlaw.com
  • Suite 400,
  • 201 South Division,
  • Ann Arbor,
  • Michigan
  • USA
  • MI 48104
  • Tel +1 734 761 3780
  • Fax +1 734 930 2494
  • 229 Court Street,
  • PO Box 405,
  • Cheboygan,
  • Michigan
  • USA
  • MI 49721
  • Tel +1 231 627 8000
  • Fax +1 231 627 2802
  • Suite 500,
  • 201 West Big Beaver Road,
  • Troy,
  • Michigan
  • USA
  • MI 48084
  • Tel +1 248 743 6000
  • Fax +1 248 743 6002

Banking & Finance - Michigan

What the team is known for Michigan's leading commercial lending practice acting for a series of major banks both locally and nationally in transactions spanning a variety of industries including automotive, life sciences and healthcare. Also handles regulatory issues on behalf of lenders.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have business acumen and help assess risk. They know our institution and help us find acceptable compromises tailored to our business."

"Bodman is a go-to resource. From expertise to service, the firm routinely outperforms expectations."

Work highlights Acted for Wells Fargo Bank in negotiating a $28 million construction loan for a mixed-use residential apartment building in Detroit.

Represented Wells Fargo in relation to a borrower's use of cash as collateral when filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Notable practitioners  

The "phenomenal" Larry Shulman has extensive experience representing lenders in a range of areas including leveraged buyouts and loan transactions. According to one client, "he may be the finest attorney I've ever worked with on either side of the table."

Robert Diehl is recognized by sources as "an outstanding lawyer." The focus of his practice lies in bankruptcy and debtor-credit rights, with additional expertise across a wide range of areas including syndicated loans and lender liability claims.

Joseph Kochanek focuses on secured and unsecured loan originations. He has expertise in loan issues both at home and abroad, particularly relating to Latin America and Europe.

Wendy Zabriskie handles commercial and real estate loans, as well as workouts and restructuring. Her transactional experience spreads across a number of industries, including manufacturing, technology and healthcare.

Scott Gyorke has experience in many areas of loan origination, ranging from leveraged buyouts to multi-rate, multi-currency loans.

Daniel Watson is an experienced banking practitioner, with expertise spanning a variety of industries to handle loans relating to the commercial, real estate and construction sectors.

Kathleen O'Callaghan Hickey handles a variety of loan issues, spanning from secured transactions to lender liability counseling. She also handles financing for healthcare, educational and religious organizations.

Ralph McDowell provides a broad range of expertise, focused in areas such as commercial bankruptcy and debtors' and creditors' rights. Sources praise his "excellent counsel beyond just the legal side, but the business side as well."

Significant clients Comerica Bank, The Huntington National Bank, Flagstar Bank, RBS Citizens, Fannie Mae.

Corporate/M&A - Michigan

What the team is known for Prominent business law group with nationwide and international presence, practicing across the board in areas such as venture capital transactions and business entity formation. Active in the automotive and industrial areas as well as representing hi-tech startups.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"All of them are very practical. They don't try to over-attorney or dictate to everyone else. They are good at negotiating and listen to your objectives." 

Work highlights Represented American Capital in the high-value sale of its portfolio company, Unique Fabricating, to Taglich Private Equity.

Represented Hatch Stamping in its $70 million sale to a Dallas-based private equity firm.

Notable practitioners  

Timothy Damschroder is chair of the firm's business practices group and is known for his expertise in areas such as M&A, corporate finance and securities. He has been praised by sources as "direct, practical and intelligent."

Laurence Deitch focuses his practice within the automotive and general industrial sectors. He is recognized for his talents in areas such as corporate governance, M&A and the structuring of joint venture relationships.

Edwin Lukas "has a lot of practical experience and brings a lot to the table," according to commentators. He is praised as "a smart, savvy, practical guy," and focuses his practice in various areas including corporate commercial law and public and private equity offerings.

Carrie Leahy counsels emerging and established businesses on a variety of issues, including corporate transactions and capital funding issues. She is recognized by sources as being "totally reliable" and "an expert at what she does."

Significant clients Lear, Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, Grede Holdings, Key Plastics, CorePointe Group.

Labor & Employment - Michigan

What the team is known for Established traditional labor practice serving clients in the financial, automotive and healthcare industries, as well as representing religious and educational institutions. Advises on numerous issues, with particular recent involvement in complex retaliation matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"We were very pleased with them from beginning to end. They gave good instructions and clear explanations."

"A very strong firm with a lot of resources to hand." 

Work highlights Represented the Detroit Medical Center in matters arising from the alleged wrongful discharge of an employee.

Acted for Great Lakes Energy in labor contract arbitration relating to cost-effective scheduling control.

Notable practitioners  

John Cashen is described as " a strategic thinker who is smart and aggressive in his strategies for clients." He has handled a series of employment issues for companies in the healthcare and automotive industries at both a state and federal level.

Karen Piper is praised by sources as being "very realistic, with good attention to detail" and "excellent timeliness." She specializes in employment law and litigation, with a particular focus on nonprofit organizations and schools. Clients appreciate her attentive nature and the high quality of her advice. 

Clients praise Steven Fishman for his ability to "cut through the minutiae and get to the point." He is chair of the firm's workplace law group and is lauded for his thorough and detail-oriented approach.

Significant clients Comerica Bank, Lear, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, The Detroit Lions.

Litigation - Michigan

What the team is known for Focused on litigation within the automotive, industrial, banking and insurance sectors, offering clients genuine subject-specific expertise. Experienced in areas such as lender liability claims, fiduciary duty breaches and contracting disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They really know our business, so they bring expertise and an efficiency that we cherish and which bring quality results." 

"They've beaten the best and continue to be great. They do an excellent job."

Work highlights Represented Comerica Bank in defense of a class action worth over $25 million relating to pension and healthcare funds and ERISA legislation.

Acted as counsel for the school district of the City of Detroit in arbitration involving multiple parties and claims relating to the construction of a new high school.

Notable practitioners  

Joseph Shannon has extensive experience representing clients from the automotive industry and focuses on commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution and construction. He is considered by sources to be "a bright litigator who handles significant matters" and "a credit to his firm."

Significant clients Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Lear, Meridian Health Plan, Caraco Pharmaceuticals.

Real Estate - Michigan

What the team is known for Focuses on representing significant industrial clients in the management of their real estate portfolios both at home and abroad. Also offers expertise in real estate lending, with a prominent following in Michigan's banking sector. Maintains an additional focus on tax incentives in relation to real estate transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"The depth of their resources allows us to take advantage of their skills in the many areas involved with our complex matters."

"They come through every time and it doesn't matter who I'm working with - I'm a happy customer."

Work highlights Acted for Federal Mogul on the lease of a multibuilding complex intended for the company's world headquarters.

Represented Comerica in the negotiation of a multimillion-dollar land loan for the purpose of acquiring an apartment development site.

Notable practitioners  

The "excellent" David Hipp is chair of the firm's real estate practice group. He works closely with financial institutions, earning high praise from market commentators for his work on behalf of lenders.

Andrew Spilkin represents corporate clients and focuses on lease documentation for both landlords and tenants. He earns high praise from clients for being "very knowledgeable and careful with every one of our dollars."

Nicholas Scavone represents banks and other financial institutions in a range of matters, including land acquisition, mortgage loans and construction financing. He is praised by clients for being "extremely thorough, organized and detailed."

Significant clients Lear, Bank of America, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, CorePointe Group, Pulte Homes of Michigan, The Detroit Lions.