Outside General Counsel Services

As a large firm with offices located throughout Michigan and nationally, we possess the presence and connections throughout the US and abroad that our outside general counsel services clients require to navigate general and complex business and legal matters across a variety of industries. Butzel clients know they can depend on the depth and breadth of the decades of experience our attorneys possess, whether it’s navigating commercial litigation, real estate acquisitions, financing and business transactions, corporate governance, banking matters, labor and employment issues, governmental bureaucracy, protecting trade secrets, or other scenarios. Our clients can trust that Butzel attorneys will provide the individualized attention they require. We’re proud to provide a boutique level of service—getting to know the particulars of your business—all while harnessing the resources only a firm of our size can provide.

Butzel is renowned for delivering superior and cost-effective representation to a variety of businesses and entities in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, providing sound guidance when substantial business decisions are looming. Our experience includes serving as subject matter experts to in-house counsel when matters may arise that fall outside of their usual purview. We understand the demands in-house teams are often under and are ready to step in to provide the resources you need so your legal team can attend to pressing matters. Our attorneys have experience not only serving as general counsel, but also in selecting, managing, and supervising outside counsel in the areas of real estate transactions, commercial litigation, and in the engagement and oversight of other counsel on matters including labor and employment, employee benefit plans, litigation, real estate development and zoning, information technology agreements, and intellectual property matters.

Many of our attorneys, across the firm’s multitude of practice areas, have previously held positions as in-house counsel at companies and corporations of all sizes in a variety of industries. Members of the firm currently serve as general counsel to organizations such as the Michigan Press Association (MPA), Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Surface Finishers (NASF), and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC). Butzel provides legal counsel support to MEMA Original Equipment (OE) Councils including the Chief Purchasing Council and the Heavy Duty Advanced Technology Council. We are general counsel to Michigan's largest construction industry trade group, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA), and count a substantial number of its members as clients.

Examples of industries served:

Automotive, Health Care, Education, Aerospace and Defense, Cannabis, Construction, Corporate and Finance, Governmental Affairs, Labor and Employment, Immigration, Real Estate, and more.

Our experience encompasses serving as outside general counsel for a Detroit-based packaging/logistics supplier, a national health care certifying board and HIPAA privacy and security officers, numerous boards of directors and nonprofit organizations, including a Massachusetts non-profit that offered humanitarian efforts in Sudan and South Sudan, and immigration matters for companies in the US and abroad including high-ranking executives, engineers, and medical professionals.


  • General business planning
  • General business contracts
  • Custom commercial contracts and contract review
  • Navigating banking regulations, safety and soundness exams, compliance, and interactions with state and federal banking regulators
  • Entity formation and maintenance
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Asset sale of company
  • Private placements
  • Woman-owned/minority-owned/disadvantaged business certification (Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification)
  • Insurance and risk management
  • File and defend litigation
  • Annual filings management
  • State licensing
  • Maintenance of state filings, registrations and corporate minute books
  • Federal, state, and municipal matters
  • Legislative tracking
  • Legislation review
  • Advertising review
  • Labor and employment advice
  • Copyright and trademark advice
  • Amicus Curiae briefs
  • Defamation and privacy legal advice
  • Shareholder and board meetings
  • Board training on legal, regulatory, and compliance matters and board governance practices
  • Legal training and seminars
  • Coordination with third-party professionals including tax, accounting, insurance, environmental, financial advisors, incentives, and various third-party consultants
  • Review best practices
  • Find synergies with other service providers

International Business

  • Foreign national entities seeking to establish or expand operations in Michigan and/or throughout the US
  • Virtually all corporate, transactional and operations-related matters including finance, real estate, tax, structural planning and formation, employment, labor, immigration, customs, pension and benefits, cyber-security, privacy, environmental, various permitting and compliance matters

Butzel is a long-time member of Lex Mundi, a global organization consisting of a substantial number of independent member firms that provide access to worldwide legal counsel, in more than 125 countries. Butzel is the exclusive member firm for Michigan. We have experience interviewing and vetting Lex Mundi affiliate counsel as special local counsel with respect to various issues and matters anywhere worldwide or within the US.

Our international experience includes serving as outside general counsel for a US subsidiary of a global engineering company based in Germany, handling all significant customer contracts, advising on regulatory and other compliance issues, cybersecurity, and various other legal matters. We provide general counsel services to a global technology company and have supervised lawyers in 15 countries throughout the world for an international business client.

Experience in specialized sectors:


Nationally and across the globe the experience of this team includes drafting and negotiating automotive supply contracts, including but not limited to master supply agreements, terms and conditions, pricing agreements, and non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements.

  • Tier 1 and 2 supplier - coordinating all commercial services and directly providing labor and employment-related counsel
  • Automotive supply litigation
  • Tier 2 automotive supplier/group of metal foundries with operations throughout the Midwest
  • US-based Tier 1 automotive supplier with $1.5 billion annual global sales, handling all supply chain contracting (suppliers and customers), warranty work, advising executive team, and various other legal matters
  • Overflow commercial counsel to in-house general counsel of multiple Tier 1 automotive suppliers working directly with business teams on purchasing and sales contracts
  • Multinational diverse company entering automotive space as direct OEM supplier

Corporate and Finance/Real Estate

Our Corporate and Finance and Real Estate attorneys work closely and possess extensive experience including financing, acquisition, development and leasing of retail, office, industrial, and multi-family residential properties and representation of borrowers and lenders in multi-million dollar financing transactions.

  • Closing multi-million dollar real estate acquisitions and related financing
  • Negotiating leases for office, retail and light industrial properties across the US
  • Managing an insurance and risk management program covering a billion dollar real estate portfolio and all corporate and management liability policies
  • Audit and repositioning of insurance program that resulted in improved coverage and cost savings
  • Implemented improved reporting and property risk management procedures

Labor and Employment

The professionals on our Labor and Employment team possess experience representing public and private sector employers and multi-employer associations across numerous industries in areas including collective bargaining, representational campaigns and elections, unfair labor practice charges, strikes, wage and hour matters, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), employment litigation, job discrimination, wrongful discharge, and traditional labor. We provide counsel regarding litigation, administrative agency charges, benefits, non-competes, counseling, advising, and training.

  • Employee handbook review and updates
  • Legal education and training presentations
  • Compliance review
  • Employment agreements (e.g., confidentiality, non-solicitation, and non-compete)
  • Operating agreements



Jump to Page

By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.