One of the largest firms in Michigan, Warner Norcross & Judd prides itself on being capable of handling "your business matters from start to finish." And it's not only comprehensive and big, it's good. The firm has earned the title of “Best Corporate Law Firm in West Michigan” more than once from Corporate Board Member magazine.
From Chihuahuas to Concierge Medicine
As West Michigan's largest law firm, Warner Norcross handles a little bit of everything. The 75-year-old firm's core strengths include employee benefits, environmental law and trusts and estates, though it is also highly regarded in such areas as bankruptcy, construction, corporate affairs, immigration, information technology, international law and securities. The firm has also seen its share of large verdicts, including the $42 million it won for the creators of the Psycho Chihuahua used in Taco Bell's ad campaign, based on their claim that the fast-food chain had used the character without paying them a dime.
In terms of clients, Warner serves big-name companies like Whirlpool, Consumers Energy, Amway and Dow Chemical. In addition to its practice groups, the firm has established industry groups that provide full-service legal counsel to companies in the automotive, oil and gas, agriculture, and other fields. The firm has also carved out a niche in the healthcare industry, working with more than a dozen hospitals in Michigan along with numerous physicians, nursing homes and health care providers. The group's health care department has proven themselves to be forward thinking, forming a new practice group dedicated to practices offering the newly trendy "concierge medicine," which allows patients longer appointments and better service for higher fees.
The Warner Work Style
Warner Norcross has earned awards for workplace flexibility from the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence, and has been named one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in West Michigan and the Detroit area by Crain's Detroit Business and the Detroit Free Press. It probably helps that Warner has long taken associate development seriously. In 1988, the firm released a tongue-in-cheek flyer offering associates the opportunity to opt for the "New York Associate" track, which involved higher pay for much higher hours, slim to none partnership prospects, zero court time and ample doc review. The firm also has a one-book book club, starring Stealing Buddha's Dinner, which partner Rodney Martin says helps "people understand others." Very Zen.
900 Fifth Third Center
111 Lyon Street N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 752-2000
Managing Partner: Douglas E. Wagner
Hiring Partner: Brian Masternak
1st year: $100,000
Summer associate: $1,800/week
Grand Rapids, MI (HQ)
Clinton Township, MI
Advertising & Marketing Law
Agribusiness & Food
Business & Corporate Services
Emergency Manager Law
Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation
Health Care Reform Task Force
Information Technology Transactions
Labor & Employment
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Oil & Gas
Real Estate Development
Real Estate Services
Resources, Energy & Environment
Trusts & Estates Law