International intrigue: Butzel Long attorney focuses on the faraway


By Debra Talcott
Legal News

Of the 160 years that Butzel Long has been serving clients, 27 of those years have included the important work of attorney Nicholas Stasevich. A shareholder based in the Detroit office, Stasevich serves as chair of the firm’s international practice that includes corporate, antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, and labor and employment law.

“I chose international law as my area of practice because of my study of foreign languages and my interest in history, other cultures, foreign policy, and people in general,” says Stasevich.

Although born and raised in Detroit, Stasevich is a citizen of the world, with his recent travels taking him to Bengaluru, India, which is considered one of the fastest-growing cities in Asia. While there, Stasevich met with business executives, and he made presentations on the latest trends in international law to law school students. He addressed the Indian Supreme Court bar in New Delhi and the Mysore Bar Association in the heritage city of Mysore, and he visited the high court of Karnataka. Stasevich also had the opportunity to share reform and policy ideas with Professor Ravi Varma Kumar, the advocate general of the State of Karnataka, where Bengaluru is the largest city.

The client Stasevich visited is Altimetrik, a business transformation and technology solutions partner to global enterprise customers.

“Altimetrik is a company to watch for their technological capabilities and global growth,” says Stasevich. “They were founded and are headquartered in Michigan, and Butzel Long serves as their global legal advisers.”

Stasevich spoke to students at two law schools: the Vivekananda College of Law at the University of Bengalaru and  CMR Law School, named for the late Sri Chikka Muniyappa Reddy, a philanthropist and visionary who believed that every individual has the right to a quality education.

“CMR invited me as part of their annual lecture series, upon the recommendation of Amar Gowda, an immigration specialist in Farmington Hills who studied law in Bengalaru. I found the students there to be even more excited and motivated than most other places where I have lectured.”

The presentation topics included the U.S. and Indian judiciary, global anti-corruption laws, and Michigan’s specialty business courts.

“I also spoke at length on topics that came up, such as competition laws and global corporate compliance,” adds Stasevich.

In the early years of Stasevich’s practice, there were fewer lawyers with an academic background in international law than there are today.

“Now it is essential for most corporate firms since companies which were entirely domestic are now doing business in many countries. One topic I spoke on was the need to update international treaties and expand them to more emerging nations.”

Since 2003, Stasevich has served as Her Majesty’s Honorary Consul of the United Kingdom to Michigan. In that capacity, he was instrumental in the 2006 founding of the British American Business Council (BABC) of Michigan, and he currently serves as the organization’s chair. The BABC is part of a transatlantic business network with over 2,500 member companies.  The Michigan chapter takes pride in providing opportunities for businesses and organizations to extend their reach into the U.K. and for U.K. companies to deliver their products and services to the entire state of Michigan.

Stasevich is not one to think on a small scale. While many attorneys cite a family member or even a television character as instrumental in their decision to pursue a legal career, Stasevich says his inspiration actually came from his reading about the U.S. 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.

“My father was a Detroit Public Schools history teacher for 40 years, so I knew many stories about Lincoln. I also knew I wanted to have an impact in public policy and U.S. foreign policy,” he adds.

 Stasevich’s fondest memories of his years as a law student at the University of Michigan include appearing before the distinguished judges and hundreds of fellow students in the audience during Moot Court finals. A true people-person, he also values the great friendships he formed there.

A graduate of Wayne State University before he attended University of Michigan Law School, Stasevich had his loyalties tested recently when the basketball teams from his two schools met on the court at Crisler Arena.

“I always find myself rooting for both,” says the fair-minded Stasevich. “And I root for Michigan State as well because I played in basketball camp at Jenison Fieldhouse, with Jud Heathcote spending a lot of time with me in 1979, which was a great year for basketball,” he adds.

It is no surprise that Nicholas Stasevich has served in various capacities for the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association, and the International Bar Association. He also has served closer to home as chair of the Canadian Investment Committee and chair of the European Investment Committee of the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership. However, some of his best work has been done as a volunteer with Cornerstone School in Detroit, where he has helped sponsor students with financial needs. He is also active with various other charitable initiatives in the U.S. and India.

The most rewarding times for Stasevich, however, are the experiences he shares with his family.

“Christmas is our favorite time of year. We do everything – tour Greenfield Village and Meadow Brook – and we enjoy family events and celebrating at church in services for Advent and Christmas Eve.”