Varnum expands Ann Arbor presence with new office

The Varnum law firm has expanded its Ann Arbor footprint with a new office and additional attorneys, less than a year after the firm opened its downtown Detroit office.

Varnum Chairman Dave Khorey said the expansion is part of the firm’s growth strategy as well as recognition of Ann Arbor’s diverse and growing economy, including a flourishing technology community. In addition to working with a number of small businesses and startups, the firm has strong relationships with investor, municipal and higher education clients in the area.

“Our work in the Ann Arbor area has increased significantly in recent years,” Khorey said. “A large part of that work involves our startup and emerging companies practice and the business investment sector. We believe Ann Arbor is one of the most exciting technology communities in the state if not the country, and it makes sense for Varnum to have a strong presence here.”

The firm’s offices are at 300 N. 5th Avenue, also known as the Brauer Building. In addition to a suite of offices, conference and reception areas, the building offers further opportunity for growth.

Joining the firm are two partners with strong ties to the Ann Arbor area: Thomas W. Forster, a real estate and corporate attorney; and Christopher A. Ballard, who practices in the areas of estate planning and tax. Both have been working in Ann Arbor for many years, most recently as partners in Honigman’s Ann Arbor office. Also joining the firm is Christine Phillips, formerly a staff attorney at Honigman.

“I’m very pleased to be on the forefront of Varnum’s commitment to Ann Arbor,” Forster said. “The Varnum culture is a good fit for this entrepreneurial community, and I look forward to bringing the firm’s reputation for innovation and excellent legal counsel to a wider audience.”

The expansion continues the firm’s growth in Southeast Michigan, with 15 attorneys joining three Southeast Michigan offices in the past 18 months, and the firm plans to continue to look for opportunities to hire attorneys and expand its client services. The firm has offices in Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Novi, Kalamazoo, Grand Haven, and Hastings.

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