Photo of William J. Kohler

William J. Kohler Senior Counsel

Areas of Practice


Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1986


University of Michigan, J.D., 1986

University of Michigan Honors College, B.A., 1983

  • Michigan Journal of Economics, Chief Editor 1982 and 1983

Michigan State University, Broad College of Business, M.B.A., 1998 


William J. Kohler is a senior counsel in the Corporate Finance Practice Group of Dykema. His practice is focused on the automotive and dental  services industries  

Mr. Kohler served for many years as general counsel at several automotive related companies covering domestic and international matters. As a general counsel and in private practice, Mr. Kohler has advised some of the world’s largest automakers and suppliers. He has led some of the automotive industry’s larger and more complicated acquisitions and divestitures, negotiated specialized supply agreements involving the sale and purchase of billions of dollars in critical components, created important joint ventures, and established international operations and distribution networks.

Mr. Kohler is an authority on legal issues relating to autonomous and connected vehicles. His work in that area has involved investment transactions, technology development and licensing arrangements, and legislative and regulatory issues. He is the author of "Current Law and Potential Legal Issues Pertaining to Automated, Autonomous and Connected Vehicles," published in 2015 in the Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal.

Within the dental services industry, Mr. Kohler specializes in transactions and general corporate matters, including establishing Dental Services Organizations, acquisitions and divestitures of practices, private equity investments and business structuring.

Memberships & Involvement

American Bar Association

State Bar of Michigan

Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association, Member, Government Affairs Committee and Regulatory Affairs Committee

International Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, founding member and council member; chairperson of the Western European Law Committee

Community/Civic Activities

Connected Vehicle Trade Association, Board Member

Michigan District Export Council, Council Member

MichAuto, the automotive economic development initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, former Member, Steering Committee 

Friends School in Detroit, former Board Chair and Trustee

ORT, Michigan Region, former Board Member

Designated as Top Corporate Counsel by dbusiness, 2016

Recognized by dbusiness as a Top Lawyer for Mergers & Acquisitions