Photo of W. Alan  Wilk

W. Alan Wilk Member

Areas of Practice

Industries

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1995

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 2002

Education

Boston College, J.D.

James Madison College at Michigan State University, B.A.

  • with honors

W. Alan Wilk is a member in the Firm's Government Policy practice. His practice focuses on election, campaign finance and lobby law, gaming, and public retirement, as well as nonprofit organizations and trade associations.

Mr. Wilk is the Team Leader for the Firm's Political Compliance Team, which represents and advises individuals and corporate entities on federal and state election, campaign finance, lobby law and other political activity. Such representation includes:

  • Candidates for public office
  • Corporations, trade associations, unions and partnership/LLCs
  • Political action committees and "soft-money" committees
  • Public officeholder accounts
  • High net worth individuals

Mr. Wilk acts as the Co-Leader of the Firm's Public Retirement Team, representing public pension and retirement plans. He has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan retirement systems since 1996. Mr. Wilk has assisted in the drafting and implementation of several innovative retirement programs for large public pensions, such as:

  • Tax qualification matters
  • Defined contribution plan conversions
  • Excess benefit plans
  • "Early-out" incentive programs
  • The use of annual and sick leave plans as a method for saving budget dollars for public entities
  • Prefunding of health benefits

Mr. Wilk has also consulted and defended public pension plans in federal and state court.

Mr. Wilk's practice has also included representing both casino owners and gaming suppliers in regulatory matters before the Michigan Gaming Control Board as a member of the Firm's Casino Team. He also advises those with casino interests on political contribution matters under the Michigan Gaming Act and Michigan Campaign Finance Act.

As a member of the Firm's Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations practice, Mr. Wilk has incorporated hundreds of nonprofit entities, including charities, civic organizations, trade associations, and political groups. He regularly advises these organizations on a wide range of issues, including corporate, tax and regulatory matters. Mr. Wilk has coordinated and conducted internal investigations regarding potential civil and criminal activity for nonprofit and education clients. He is a member of, and regularly consults with, Dykema's Government Investigations and Corporate Compliance Team.

Prior to his law career at Dykema, Mr. Wilk was a law clerk for the Telecommunication Association of Michigan. He also served as a staff member in both the Michigan State Senate and the Michigan State House of Representatives. His prior political roles included fundraising and campaign consulting for local, state and federal races.

Mr. Wilk has written several articles and has hosted seminars in the areas of election, campaign finance, and nonprofit law.

Experience

Mr. Wilk has been involved in politics since 1984, and before passing the Michigan Bar, he served as campaign manager, co-campaign manager or campaign volunteer for Gubernatorial, Congressional, State Senate, State Representative and various local races.

Mr. Wilk served as counsel for gubernatorial, Secretary of State and Attorney General political funds.  He also currently represents the political funds for several state elected officials. He has been involved in several election litigation cases, as well as regulatory matters concerning candidates and ballot question campaigns. He has represented client interests in disputes before the Michigan Department of State and the Federal Election Commission.

Mr. Wilk has been local counsel for several presidential campaigns.  He has coordinated recounts for Republican, Democratic, and nonpartisan candidates.  He has served as counsel for multiple statewide and local ballot proposals.  He currently serves as counsel for several candidates and their politically-related entities, nonprofit and charitable organizations.

Mr. Wilk worked in the Michigan House and Senate all four years while earning his undergraduate degree with honors from the James Madison College at Michigan State University. During law school at Boston College, Mr. Wilk had an externship with a white collar criminal defense firm in Boston focusing on political corruption matters.

  • Citizens United Against Corrupt Government, et al v. State of Michigan, New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify Fund, et al., 30th Judicial Circuit Court (2013). Defended nonprofit entity against civil conspiracy claim in case related to State Board of Canvassers, City of Detroit bankruptcy and City of Detroit mayoral election.
  • Martin v. Secretary of State, 755 N.W.2d 153 (Mich 2008). Case involved injunction issued against Secretary of State requiring judicial candidate to be placed on ballot.
  • Michalak v. Ruth Johnson. Michigan Supreme Court Case No. 136618 (2008). Successfully defended judicial candidate against attempt to compel county clerk to remove candidate from ballot.
  • MotorCity Casino v. Michigan Gaming Control Board, et al., Wayne County Circuit Court No. 07-726167-PZ. Michigan Court of Appeals Case No. 280898. Enjoined Michigan Gaming Control Board from closing Detroit casinos during state government shutdown.
  • In re Advisory Opinion, 2005 PA 71, Supreme Court Case No. 130589 (2007). Assisted in drafting Advisory Opinion requested by Michigan House of Representatives and assisted in preparing Amicus brief regarding constitutionality of voter identification requirement in Michigan Election Law.
  • Marion, et al v. Saline Township, Washtenaw Circuit Court No. 06-440-CZ (2006). Obtained Temporary Restraining Order enjoining township from placing millage proposal on ballot.
  • Freman Hendrix and Kilpatrick For Mayor v. Jackie L. Currie, Wayne County Circuit Court Case No. 05-53354-AW; Michigan Court of Appeals (2005). Obtained Temporary Restraining Order compelling City Clerk to provide equal access to election records.
  • Michigan Judges Association, et al v Roberts, et al, No. 2:98-CV-72771-BAF (E.D.M.I., 2000). Represented state retirement board against class action lawsuit regarding defined contribution plan and calculation of pension benefits.
  • Ernst v. Rising, 427 F.3d 351 (6th Cir. 2005). Represented state entities in equal protection claims brought by members of judges retirement system.
  • Studier v. Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement Bd., 472 Mich 642, 698 N.W.2d 350 (2005). Consulted for MPSERS on retiree employee benefits case.

Memberships & Involvement

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Michigan Society of Association Executives, Member and contributing author for organization's magazine, Impact
  • State Bar of Michigan, Member
  • Ingham County Bar Association, Member

Community/Civic Activities

  • Friends of the Capitol Areas District Library, Former Board Member
  • University United Methodist Church, Member and Christian Education Volunteer
  • East Lansing Youth Sports Coach, Baseball, Basketball, Football
  • MSU Alumni Association, Lifetime Member

Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® for Corporate Governance and Compliance Law; Administrative/Regulatory Law, 2011-Present. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Named a Michigan Leading Lawyer in the areas of Association & Nonprofit, Election, Political & Campaign and Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law by the Leading Lawyers Network, 2014-2017. Law Bulletin Publishing Company

Recipient of Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating

Recipient of the 33rd Annual Distinguished Brief Award, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, 2018