LEGAL PEOPLE

Rabih Hamawi PC

Rabih Hamawi has opened the Law Office of Rabih Hamawi PC which focuses on representing policyholders in their disputes against insurance companies in the areas of fire and property damage; insurance-coverage disputes, including auto, home, life, disability, long-term care, health insurance; and in insurance agent's negligence.

Hamawi has expertise in insurance coverage. He holds licenses in Property, Casualty, Life, Accident, and Health insurance. He is a Licensed multiple lines Property and Casualty, Life, Accident, and Health Insurance Counselor (LIC). He earned the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU®), Certified Insurance Consultant (CIC), and Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designations. Hamawi earned his law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

Before launching his own firm, Hamawi worked for a highly respected Metro Detroit law firm, where he worked on several high-value fire, property-damage, and insurance agent's negligence cases.

"The firm will fight for those who have lost their homes, businesses, and their most precious personal items due to disasters, and who now must persevere against an insurance company to get their lives back together." Hamawi said.

Hamawi serves as a council member of the Insurance and Indemnity Law Section and the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He is also a board member of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education New Lawyers Advisory Board.

"I will utilize my 13 years' experience in the insurance industry to give policyholders an additional advantage they desperately need in time of catastrophe." Hamawi said.

Hamawi, who is bilingual and fluent in Arabic, said, "the firm will also give special attention to the needs of the several minorities in Metro Detroit, and Michigan, who sometimes are victimized by insurance companies due to race, ethnicity, religion, or inexperience with the judicial system."

Law Office of Rabih Hamawi PC is located at 2000 Town Center, Suite 1900, in Southfield, and can be reached at 248-905-1133 or rh@hamawilaw.com.

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Miller Canfield

Miller Canfield has announced that it has elected five new principals. The announcement was made by Miller Canfield CEO Michael McGee at the firm's 2017 annual meeting in Detroit.

The firm's newly elected principals are:

- Stuart Heath is a member of the firm's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group, specializing in product safety, product litigation and torts, and electronic discovery records management. He is a graduate of Carleton University and Michigan State University College of Law.

- Lara Kapalla-Bondi is a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group. She specializes in commercial contract disputes. She is a graduate of Albion College and Michigan State University College of Law.

- Heather Olson is a member of the Real Estate Group, with special expertise in representing lenders, special servicers and receivers in commercial real estate loan workouts, foreclosures, receiverships and real estate (REO) sales. She is a graduate of Hamilton College and Wayne State University Law School.

- Wendolyn Wrosch Richards leads the firm's pro bono practice team, which annually provides more than 5,000 hours of legal services to individuals and groups which would otherwise not be able to afford legal representation. She is also a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia School of Law.

- Stephen Rohr is a member of the Personal Services Group, focusing on estate planning, business planning, tax litigation and trust and estate administration. He is a graduate of Miami University and Michigan State University College of Law and Georgetown University.@Briefs Headline:Butzel Long

Butzel Long attorneys Rebecca S. Davies, Linda J. Armstrong, and Bushra A. Malik were featured speakers during Walsh College's Eighth Annual Human Resources Summit on March 3 at its Troy campus.

Davies, an adjunct faculty member, was again a co-chair of the event. She presented a program titled "Legal Updates: New Horizons for Labor and Employment Law." Armstrong and Malik co-presented a program titled "Changes with the Trump Administration An Immigration Perspective."

Davies is based in Butzel Long's Detroit office. She concentrates her practice primarily in the areas of employment law and commercial litigation. She represents employers in federal and state court litigation and before state and federal administrative agencies. She regularly counsels employers regarding compliance under federal and state employment laws (including FLSA, FMLA, ADA and Title VII), drafts policies and procedures, and advises on preventative strategies.

Armstrong is based in Butzel Long's Detroit office. She concentrates her practice in the area of business and family immigration law, including all aspects involved with the international movement of personnel; immigration consequences of corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions; employer and workplace compliance issues, including I-9 and H-1B public access file investigations; inbound and outbound work-authorized immigrant and nonimmigrant matters; and labor certification. Armstrong is a member of the firm's Paralegal Committee and the firm's Global Automotive Industry Group.

Malik is a shareholder practicing in Butzel Long's Bloomfield Hills office. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University's James Madison College. Malik practices in the area of immigration law, focusing her practice on the representation of multinational and domestic clients' inbound and global migration needs; including employment based and family based permanent residence petitions and non-immigrant petitions; employer compliance; complex naturalization matters; and currency seizures. Prior to joining Butzel Long, Malik has worked for the DOS, EOIR, UNHCR and INS. Malik holds leadership positions with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is a frequent speaker at AILA conferences.

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Bodman PLC

Bodman PLC is pleased to announce that J. Adam Behrendt has been elected to the firm's Executive Committee, a thirteen-member board which guides Bodman's strategic direction, policies, and business operations.

Behrendt is a member of Bodman's Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution and Intellectual Property practice groups and is based in the firm's Troy office. In addition to his service on the Executive Committee, he will continue to serve in his other current committee roles. Behrendt is a member of Bodman's Business Continuity Planning Committee, Finance Committee, Insurance, Loss Prevention, and Conflicts Committee, and Technology Committee.

Behrendt represents a variety of businesses in their day-to-day disputes. These matters often concern commercial law and contract disputes, land use, and affairs concerning shareholder and minority owner oppression. He has experience assisting financial institutions in virtually all aspects of their business including litigation surrounding insolvency, loan workout and receivership matters, and issues regarding vendor management. He has been included in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2012 for Banking and Finance Litigation, has been listed as a "Top Lawyer" by metro Detroit business magazine DBusiness, and has been listed in Michigan Super Lawyers under Business Litigation.

In addition, Benchmark Litigation has named Bodman PLC the winner of its 2017 Michigan Firm of the Year Award.

It is the fourth consecutive year that Bodman has earned the award. The selection was announced at a national award ceremony held on February 16 at the Essex House Hotel in New York.

"I congratulate our Litigation Group for another outstanding year in 2016," said Bodman Chairman Ralph E. McDowell. "They continue to deliver great results and maintain an exceptionally high standard of client service. The entire firm applauds them for this achievement."

Benchmark Litigation ranked Bodman as "highly recommended" for business litigation, the highest level possible, and eleven Bodman attorneys were listed as "Litigation Stars" or "Future Stars."

Bodman's Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group serves clients ranging from start-ups and local entrepreneurs to global conglomerates. Its attorneys appear before state and federal courts and non-judicial forums such as national and international arbitral panels. Client issues vary from breach of contract claims to antitrust, securities, professional liability, and other complex matters. The group's expertise spans many industries including banking and financial services, automotive, insurance, healthcare, general manufacturing, technology, real estate, and construction, among others.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that it was involved in deals that are being recognized at the 11th Annual Turnaround Awards presented by The M&A Advisor. The deals being recognized are: Dianne's Fine Desserts for the Divestiture Deal of the Year (over $100 million); and Vinnie Johnson/Irvin Automotive Acquisition for the Consumer Discretionary Deal of the Year (over $100 million).

The Divestiture Deal of the Year, Dianne's Fine Desserts: Superior Capital and management invested $5.1 million of permanent capital to acquire the distressed, non-core dessert subsidiary of Heinz. The sale in June 2016 to Geneva Glen Capital yielded $81.4 million of net equity proceeds, more than 15 times Superior Capital and management's invested capital and an IRR of 93% over a four year period. At the time of the sale, Dianne's had become recognized as the new product innovator and had grown to become the market leader of private-label, gourmet desserts due to the Company's No. 1 supplier position in its product categories to Sysco, US Foods, Performance Food Group and Gordon Food Service, which represent the four largest foodservice distributors in the country.

The Dianne's acquisition and recent sale was led by Dickinson Wright attorney Andrew MacLeod (member, Detroit), the M&A team, along with the due diligence expertise of numerous Detroit-area firms. In addition to Superior Capital and the five firms utilized as direct advisors on the sale transaction, several other Detroit-area firms contributed to the tremendous success of the Dianne's investment.

The Consumer Discretionary Deal of the Year, Vinnie Johnson/Irvin Automotive Acquisition: The Detroit entrepreneur Vinnie Johnson has acquired Irvin Automotive Products, creating one of the largest privately-owned automotive supplier groups in Michigan. Dickinson Wright represented Irvin Acquisition LLC as the buyer in an acquisition of the stock of Irvin Automotive Products Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of TK Holdings, Inc. (Takata). Other companies in the group include Piston Automotive, Detroit Thermal Systems, and AIREA Inc. The acquisition of Irvin Automotive is part of the company's ongoing plan for further expansion as a global supply-chain leader.

The Dickinson Wright team that was involved in the acquisition was led by Jim Plemmons (member, Detroit) and Rick Bolton (member, Detroit), and included Zan Nicolli (member, Troy), William Shield (member, Detroit), Cynthia Moore (member, Troy), John Perkins (member, Detroit), Colleen Shevnock (member, Ann Arbor), Andrew MacLeod (member, Detroit), and Adam Wallace (associate, Detroit).

The 11th Annual Turnaround Awards will take place on March 23 at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla.

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Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC

Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Michael M. Bell has been named a 2017 "Leader in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Bell is an advisor to national financial institutions seeking non-organic growth, strategic advice and class action defense. He concentrates his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, class action defense strategies, business law and real estate. He represents financial institutions including state and federally chartered credit unions throughout the United States. Bell additionally advises financial institutions regarding all regulatory matters with state and federal regulators. He has created new mechanisms for financial institutions to invest capital and grow. In 2011, Bell completed the first ever purchase of a bank by a credit union. In 2012, he completed the first ever purchase of a stock owned bank by a credit union and in 2013, he completed the first ever purchase of a bank by a state chartered credit union. Bell continues advising credit unions in this area and has completed every credit union purchase of a bank to date. Recently he has helped credit unions acquire other businesses including real estate brokerages, mortgage originators and specialized lenders.

Bell has experience counseling individual entrepreneurs through publicly traded companies on strategies such as growth in difficult economic climates, business restructuring, and strategic planning. In order to provide the very best legal and strategic advice, he works to fully understand each individual client and the inner workings of his or her business. Bell uses his personal experience as an entrepreneur to examine the business side of the legal issues his clients encounter.

Bell received his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in 2003 and his B.A. from Adrian College in 2000. He is licensed to practice in the States of Michigan and Indiana and before the U.S. District Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan and the Northern District of Indiana. In addition to his legal work, Bell is an active entrepreneur and is involved in multiple ventures including the development of commercial office space, the area development of a franchise restaurant and, multi-state development of a quick service franchise.

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Foley & Lardner LLP

Phil Phillips has been named managing partner of Foley & Lardner's Detroit office, while Daljit Doogal has been appointed chair of the firm's Business Law Department. The appointments are effective April 3.

Phillips is a member of the Labor & Employment Practice and Automotive Industry Team, and also serves as the professional responsibility partner and Litigation Department chair for the Detroit office.

An alumnus of Emory University, Phillips earned his law and master's degrees from Syracuse University. He will succeed Doogal as managing partner in Detroit.

Doogal is a partner and member of the Transactional & Securities, Private Equity & Venture Capital and International Practices, and the Automotive Industry Team. He will succeed Jack Lasater as chair of the Business Law Department. He also has served as office managing partner in Detroit since 2011.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Doogal earned his law degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Published: Mon, Mar 06, 2017

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