News & Insights

Chambers USA Ranks Dykema in 11 Practice Areas and Recognizes the Firm With 24 Individual Attorney Rankings for its 2020 Edition

Firm Ranked as One of the Top 10 in the Nation for Consumer Class Actions

April 23, 2020

Dykema, a leading national law firm, announced today that it received 24 individual attorney rankings and 11 of its practice areas have been recognized in the 2020 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business guide. Dykema was recognized nationally in two areas of Product Liability law, including ranking as one of the top 10 firms in the nation for Consumer Class Actions.

Published annually, Chambers has been ranking the best law firms and lawyers since 1990, and now covers 185 jurisdictions throughout the world. Chambers ranks both lawyers and law firms based on the investigations of more than 200 researchers who conduct in-depth confidential interviews with lawyers and clients.


Chambers USA recognized the following Dykema practices:

USA - Nationwide

  • Product Liability & Mass Torts
  • Product Liability: Consumer Class Actions

District of Columbia

  • Insurance: Insurer

Illinois

  • Real Estate

Michigan

  • Corporate/M&A
  • Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
  • Labor & Employment
  • Litigation: General Commercial
  • Real Estate

Texas

  • Bankruptcy/Restructuring

Texas: San Antonio & Surrounds

  • Litigation: General Commercial

Chambers USA recognized the following Dykema attorneys, as identified by jurisdiction and practice area:

USA - Nationwide

  • R. Lance Boldrey—Native American Law
  • Derek S. Whitefield—Product Liability: Automobile
  • Derek S. Whitefield—Product Liability: Consumer Class Actions

District of Columbia

  • Lewis K. Loss—Insurance: Insurer
  • Thomas J. Judge— Insurance: Insurer

Illinois

  • Michael S. Kurtzon—Real Estate
  • Andrew P. Scott—Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use

Michigan

  • J. Michael Bernard—Corporate/M&A
  • Robert A. Boonin—Labor & Employment
  • Amy M. Christen—Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
  • Adam M. Fishkind—Real Estate
  • James P. Feeney—Litigation: General Commercial
  • Dennis M. Haffey—Litigation: General Commercial
  • Kyle R. Hauberg—Real Estate
  • James F. Hermon—Labor & Employment
  • Margaret Adams Hunter—Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
  • Jin-Kyu Koh—Corporate/M&A
  • Cameron H. Piggott—Real Estate
  • Thomas S. Vaughn—Corporate/M&A

Texas

  • Mark E. Andrews—Bankruptcy/Restructuring
  • Deborah D. Williamson—Bankruptcy/Restructuring

Texas: Austin & Surrounds

  • Phillip M. Slinkard—Corporate/M&A

Texas: San Antonio & Surrounds

  • Wilhelm L. Liebmann—Corporate/M&A
  • Marty Truss—Litigation: General Commercial

Chambers USA also noted client and market perception for the following Dykema practices:

Bankruptcy/Restructuring

What the team is known for

Debtor-side representation focused on midmarket companies across a wide range of industry sectors, with significant energy, real estate and healthcare experience. Adept at advising on distressed asset acquisition and bankruptcy-related litigation. Works with debtors, creditors and committees. Also represents financial institutions, including Texas-based and community-based banks.

Notable practitioners

San Antonio-based Deborah Williamson is a go-to practitioner in the insolvency and restructuring space. She has broad sector expertise and often works with clients from the healthcare and energy sectors on the full spectrum of bankruptcy matters.

Mark Andrews is "skilled in his area of expertise and very capable," according to clients. He acts for debtors and lenders in a range of bankruptcy matters, including Chapter 11 cases.

Corporate/M&A

What the team is known for

Provides sophisticated counsel on a wide range of corporate and financing matters, including commercial loan structuring, business governance and securities issuances. Attracts a diverse client base encompassing lenders, banks, investors and high-profile businesses. Maintains a strong private equity offering, acting on portfolio acquisitions and sales.

Strengths

One client reveals: "The team is very good at handling sophisticated transactional matters. I'm impressed with its capabilities."

Clients also praise the firm for being "a talented group with the ability to adapt to nearly any transaction. In every area, it is super strong."

Notable practitioners

Michael Bernard is a highly regarded practitioner who is esteemed for his strengths in M&A, corporate governance and capital raising transactions. He is frequently mandated on acquisitions and disposals in the automotive industry.

Jin-Kyu Koh is widely considered to be a leader in M&A. He is equally skilled in the public and private sectors and is also well versed in venture capital financing. One client says that he is "very easy to work with and very accommodating."

Thomas Vaughn is experienced handling matters related to real estate investment funds, including in regard to formation issues. One client remarks: "He has an excellent reputation, he's a straight shooter and can provide a lot of depth."

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

What the team is known for

Significant expertise in a wide range of employee benefits and executive compensation matters, supported by comprehensive resources in corporate finance, labor and employment and tax. Demonstrates particular strength in the formation of qualified employee benefit plans, welfare benefit schemes and issues relating to ERISA. Experience also covers health plans. Client base includes public and church-affiliated employers.

Strengths

One source says: "The team provided well-rounded expertise with respect to all US benefits issues. It's a strength that we had one source of counsel for most of our needs."

Notable practitioners

Amy Christen heads up the health and welfare team, overseeing an array of matters relating to the ACA and COBRA. In the words of one source: "She is available, timely and practical with respect to the guidance she provides, and understands the general considerations that come with the issues we bring to her attention."

Meg Hunter has a wealth of knowledge in employee benefits and associated tax matters. Her wide-ranging practice encompasses the entire life-cycle of benefit programs, from their design through to operation and termination. Clients value her strategic input, while peers view her as "very talented."

Insurance: Insurer

What the team is known for

Strong team offers dedicated representation of insurers in complex coverage disputes and other litigation. Strong record in both professional liability and general liability claims, including particular expertise in cases involving bank failure. Frequently acts on bad faith claims.

Strengths

One client enthuses: "The team is responsive, smart, and gets results - they are trusted counsel."

A second client reports: "They're very easy to work with and responsive to requests."

Notable practitioners

Lewis Loss focuses his practice in the representation of prominent insurance carriers in complex disputes. A source comments: "He's an insurance guru who does superb work."

Thomas Judge is "intelligent, polished and hard-working," according to interviewees. He brings particular expertise in professional liability disputes, including D&O and E&O work.

Labor & Employment

What the team is known for

Robust labor and employment practice popular with a diverse range of banking, higher education and technology clients. Expertise spans noncompete and trade secret claims. Notable strength in representing clients in administrative proceedings before the NLRB and Michigan Employment Relations Commission. Has recently been highly active advising on traditional labor matters, including union issues and wage and hour cases.

Strengths

Dykema's attorneys are judged to be "good analytically and extremely strong writers and advocates who are able to make cogent, advanced legal arguments on what can potentially be confusing issues."

Clients praise the team's "collaborative approach" and add: "It understands our needs."

Notable practitioners

Jim Hermon is well versed in defending corporate employers against allegations of harassment and discrimination, as well as representing them in cases arising from breaches of noncompete agreements. He has further experience assisting clients with initiating proceedings against former employees following instances of corruption and breaches of fiduciary duties.

Robert Boonin represents a range of educational institutions and municipal bodies. His recent work also includes representing a client in a dispute with a major city over the city's differing treatment of union and non-union employees in regard to contract proposals for construction of a new water facility.

Litigation

What the team is known for

Thriving commercial litigation team acting for both sides in a range of high-stakes civil disputes. Possesses an excellent track record representing clients in arbitrations and mediations, as well as state and federal court cases across the USA. Handles a wide range of antitrust, product liability and real estate-related issues. Well known for its work advising major pharmaceutical and medical device businesses, as well as automotive companies. Also represents clients in the healthcare industry in product liability matters.

Handles a diverse array of contentious proceedings, including high-value contract disputes, dealer and franchise issues and government investigations. Maintains a strong client roster of both international and regional companies, as well as individuals and boards of directors. Active in sectors ranging from banking and consumer finance to the healthcare, energy and technology industries.

Strengths

A client highlights the "great court skills" within the team, describing it as "a wonderful partner to work with in litigation."

Another source praises the team's responsiveness, going on to add: "It is up to date with the ever-changing landscape of US case law. Its breadth of experience is extensive and quite invaluable."

Notable practitioners

Senior counsel Dennis Haffey continues to provide the litigation team with the benefit of his more than four decades' experience. He is experienced in handling matters in the automotive and insurance sectors. He is based in Bloomfield Hills.

James Feeney is acknowledged by peers as "a well known and outstanding product liability lawyer." His expertise covers the full gamut of pharmaceutical and medical device claims, in addition to toxic tort cases. His wider litigation practice encompasses financial services and antitrust litigation.

James Truss is well regarded in the market for his experience in litigation relating to the energy sector. His client base includes pipeline operators, mineral producers and oilfield service companies, among others.

Product Liability

What the team is known for

Well-regarded automotive product liability firm with particular strength in Detroit. Excels across both mass torts and consumer class actions. Frequently represents major automobile clients in MDLs and large-scale economic loss cases. Further strengths in personal injury lawsuits and product defect litigation. Expertise includes acting as local, regional and national counsel.

Strengths

One client states: "The team is great. They're responsive, they have deep subject matter knowledge and great judgment. It's high-quality advice and work product."

Another client comments: "They are a good collaborator with discovery and witness preparation. They have a lot of background for managing that process."

Notable practitioners

Derek Whitefield is widely experienced in automobile product liability, having represented leading companies in consumer class actions, personal injury lawsuits and federal MDLs. Clients depict him as "a wonderful trial lawyer and a very effective communicator with juries - he is really good at personal connections."

Real Estate

What the team is known for

Full-service real estate practice, representing a range of clients such as developers, investors and owners. Draws on its impressive construction knowledge to advise on transactional real estate matters, covering property acquisition, leasing, restructurings and financings.

Undertakes the full spectrum of real estate work including commercial loan origination, foreclosures and infrastructure development. Acts for a host of transactional stakeholders, from real estate owners and investors to architects. Experienced in working with clients from the retail and utilities sectors. Known for its bench of highly experienced practitioners, and regularly acts with members of other groups within the firm to provide an integrated service.

Strengths

One client comments: "Its strengths are understanding the issues, turnaround time and communication ability."

Another interviewee says: "The communication was great. The team was always responsive and proactive."

Notable practitioners

Andrew Scott has built a noteworthy practice representing developers in land use and zoning matters.He also assists corporate clients with negotiating government entitlements and tax incentives for the development of corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities. Sources say: "He's a very knowledgeable and high-quality lawyer."

Michael Kurtzon advises banks on real estate financing, including recent work on loan structuring and collateralization. Sources comment that he is an "excellent lawyer."

Adam Fishkind is a well-regarded figure within the department. He has a variety of experience spanning the acquisition, leasing and financing of retail, residential, industrial and hotel properties. He is partner in charge of the firm's Bloomfield Hills office.

Cameron Piggott has several decades' experience in property law and has handled an extensive range of matters in the course of his career. He is well versed in issues of eminent domain as well as the development of master planned communities.

Kyle Hauberg leads the real estate and environmental department, advising on all aspects of commercial property matters. Clients enthuse that he "brings business acumen" to the transactions he works on, and that he "understands the broader picture."