Butzel adds attorney specializing in business, law, finance and public affairs


TROY, Mich. – Butzel continues to grow with the addition of attorney Michael G. Sarafa. He joins the law firm as Counsel. He has 35 years of experience in business, law, finance, and public affairs.

Sarafa helps clients navigate issues in the governmental sector as well as in the realm of outside counsel services. He has achieved a reputation in legal and political circles in Michigan as a knowledgeable and trusted legal advisor over the course of his career. Sarafa is a member of the firm’s Government Relations and Regulatory Specialty Team and General Counsel Services Practice Department.

Clients have come to depend on Sarafa’s legal expertise and business acumen in the management of business transactions, business development, and matters of government advocacy, public policy, and regulatory affairs. He began his career in the governmental arena as a legislative aide in the Michigan House of Representatives and later served as an executive assistant to Dennis Archer during his tenure as Mayor of Detroit.

Moreover, Sarafa has decades of business experience. His leadership, financial management, and negotiation skills were honed during his years spent as CEO of a Michigan bank and a large multi-state franchise. As managing partner of a Michigan private equity firm, he led the analysis of business and investment opportunities, all related due diligence, negotiations, and management of the firm’s legal team. He successfully sourced, acquired and helped grow multiple southeast Michigan-based growth companies.

His experience includes assembling teams of finance, human resources, operations, marketing, and legal professionals to support a $100 million business platform. He successfully led the private equity firm through COVID pandemic-related shutdowns and re-openings in seven states. As CEO of Bank of Michigan, Sarafa successfully navigated the bank through the 2008-2010 real estate recession and honed his skills in banking regulations, safety and soundness exams, compliance, and interactions with state and federal banking regulators.

As a community leader, Sarafa has served on numerous boards of directors and nonprofit organizations, including Bloomfield Brother Rice High School, Bank of Ann Arbor, Chaldean Community Foundation and the Michigan Association of Beauty Professionals, and Supercuts Franchisee Association.

Sarafa’s past board service includes Covenant House of Michigan, Farmington Hills Economic Development Corporation, St. Fabian Parish Finance Committee, and Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Covenant Academy Charter School Management Company and as Chairman of the Chaldean Diocese of North American Finance Council. Michael is a frequent columnist for the Chaldean News.

He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. Sarafa has been recognized by the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking, Wayne State University’s Center for Peace & Conflict Studies Community Peacemaker, and Crain’s Detroit Business’ 40 Under 40.

Sarafa earned a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School; M.P.A. from the University of Pennsylvania; and, a B.A. from James Madison College at Michigan State University.

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