Law

Dickinson Wright litigates to Michigan Firm of the Year award

May 7, 2013
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Geoffrey Fields is an attorney at Dickinson Wright’s Grand Rapids office.

Dickinson Wright has been named Michigan Firm of the Year at the U.S. Benchmark Annual Awards.

The annual guide Benchmark Litigation organized the event and said firms are selected following a six-month research period involving extensive interviews with litigators and their clients to identify the leading litigators and firms.

Firms in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, were recognized for the gravitas of their case matters during 2012, including potential precedent set or verdicts with notably high dollar amounts at stake.

“It is a compendium of quite a few ongoing and recently completed cases that they have to review and then they compare them among the different firms to come up with their decision,” said Edward Perdue, a Dickinson Wright attorney. “Personally, I think I had two cases involved; one was a $2 million judgment that we received last September here in Kent County Circuit Court from Judge (George) Buth in the extended automotive warranty industry and then also an ongoing case that just wrapped up where we represented an industrial client in pursuing the demolition of an abandoned and decrepit factory in the city of Belding.”

Dickinson litigator Geoffrey Fields, based at the firm's Grand Rapids office, said he believes the firm’s representation of energy company Enbridge Inc. in a dispute over an oil spill also played a factor in the recognition.

Dickinson Wright has more than 120 lawyers engaged in its litigation practice, which extends to federal, state and provincial trial and appellate courts, governmental bodies, specialty courts and international, national and regional arbitral organizations across the United States and Canada.

The firm’s Grand Rapids office houses three full-time litigation attorneys as well as a handful of associates that work on litigation cases and attorneys who occasionally litigate cases.

“Business litigation has always been a strength. Then there are other practices that I think are a little more specialized, such as labor and employment, tech stuff — we have a pretty thriving intellectual property practice — but it’s a pretty broad range,” Fields said.

Major areas of the firm’s litigation focus include antitrust, dealer, distribution and franchise, appellate, automotive, Canada, class action defense, construction, real estate and environmental, creditor rights, lender litigation and bankruptcy, insurance and ERISA litigation, intellectual property and trade secrets, labor and employment litigation, middle-market business breakups and owner disputes, music, sports and entertainment, and product liability and personal injury.

Fields also believes that having multiple Michigan offices is helpful to the firm’s litigation practice. He said that individual lawyers have developed positive reputations with judges and colleagues at other firms.

Fourteen former Dickinson Wright litigation partners presently serve as judicial officers, including three of seven justices on the Michigan Supreme Court.

The complete list of winners is online at Benchmark Litigation.

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