Michael Sarafa, Butzel Long Photo

Michael Sarafa helps clients solve problems, grow their businesses, and improve the lives of their colleagues, family members, and communities. His clients benefit from his decades of experience in the finance, business, and legal arenas, effective leadership and negotiation skills, and strong connections established throughout Michigan and beyond.


Leveraging 35 years in business, law, finance, and public affairs, Michael G. Sarafa helps clients navigate issues in the governmental sector as well as in the realm of outside counsel services. Michael has achieved an enviable reputation in legal and political circles in Michigan as a knowledgeable and trusted legal advisor over the course of his esteemed career. He is Counsel for Butzel, practicing in the firm’s Troy location and in the Butzel offices in the State and US Capitols. Michael is a member of the Government Relations and Regulatory Specialty Team and General Counsel Services Practice Department.

Clients have come to depend on Michael 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.  

In addition to his legal prowess, clients also benefit from Michael’s decades of business experience. He brings to the table myriad leadership, financial management, and negotiation skills 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, Michael 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 help grow multiple southeast Michigan-based growth companies and real estate opportunities. Michael has built favorable and long-standing relationships with bank regulators and other financial industry insiders. His experience includes assembling teams of finance, human resources, operations, marketing, and legal professionals to support a $100 million business platform. He successfully led this organization through COVID pandemic-related shutdowns and re-openings in seven states. As CEO of Bank of Michigan, Michael 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, Michael has served on numerous boards of directors and nonprofit organizations, including Bloomfield Brother Rice High School, Bank of Ann Arbor, Chaldean Community Foundation, Michigan Association of Beauty Professionals, and Supercuts Franchisee Association. Michael’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 has additionally 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.



Juris Doctor – Wayne State Law School 

Masters - Government Administration – University of Pennsylvania 

Bachelor of Arts – Michigan State University, James Madison College



  • State Bar of Michigan
  • (OCBA) Oakland County Bar Association - Legislative Committee  

Awards & Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking (2008)

Wayne State University’s Center for Peace & Conflict Studies Community Peacemaker (2005)

Crain’s Detroit Business Magazine’s 40 under 40 (2004)

News & Events

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