Honigman Increases ‘Band 1’ Rankings to Five Practices in Michigan by Chambers USA

DETROIT, April 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Honigman LLP now has five practice groups with the highest ranking of Band 1 in the 2020 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers in Business, which is more than any other law firm in Michigan.

New this year, Chambers elevated Honigman’s Bankruptcy/Restructuring practice to Band 1. In all, the prestigious directory of leading U.S. business law firms and lawyers bestowed the highest Band 1 ranking on the following Honigman practices in Michigan:

  • Corporate/M&A
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation: General Commercial
  • Real Estate
  • Bankruptcy/Restructuring

Honigman continues to be the only law firm in Michigan to garner the top ranking of Band 1 in three practice areas, including Corporate/M&A, Intellectual Property, and Real Estate.

Chambers USA reported that Honigman’s Band 1 Corporate/M&A practice is known for its “standout bench of corporate attorneys handling high-value sales and acquisitions for a range of prominent domestic companies.” It was also noted that Honigman has a “vibrant private equity practice” and offers “further expertise in venture capital work” and is “well placed to advise on securities issuances and matters of corporate governance.” A client stated that Honigman is “not just an automotive industry powerhouse, but can handle the breadth of issues arising at a global publicly traded company.”

For Honigman’s Band 1 Intellectual Property practice, Chambers USA reported the team is known as a “market-leading practice offering the full range of copyright, patent and trademark services” with “particular expertise regarding IP issues in the life sciences and high-tech sectors.”  It was also noted that Honigman “acts for an impressive list of clients, including numerous household-name brands.” A client praised the team as “the best group I’ve worked with – I’d recommend them to anyone.”

For Honigman’s Band 1 Litigation: General Commercial practice, Chambers USA stated Honigman is known as an “outstanding criminal and civil litigation practice with broad-ranging expertise across several significant industries, including automotive, consumer products and healthcare.”  It was also noted that “the team has a broad range of expertise, acting for clients on class actions, IP, private equity and securities litigation, both in the first instance and at the appellate level.”

The survey also reported that Honigman’s Band 1 Real Estate practice is “stellar” and “known for the depth of its expertise across the full spectrum of real estate matters, including complex development financings for commercial and residential properties.” It noted that Honigman “acts for clients in the environmental, hospitality, retail and affordable housing sectors, among others.”

For the newly-elevated Band 1 Bankruptcy/Restructuring practice, Chambers reported that Honigman is known as a “highly regarded team consistently highlighted as a leading player in the Michigan bankruptcy arena. Especially noted for representing debtor companies from the automotive and manufacturing industries.”

On the individual level, 21 Honigman attorneys in Michigan and Illinois were recognized.

Eminent Practitioner was earned by:

  • David Foltyn (Corporate/M&A)

Band rankings were earned by:  

  • Joseph Aviv (Litigation: General Commercial)
  • Sean F. Crotty (Labor & Employment)
  • Michael D. DuBay (Corporate/M&A)
  • Raymond W. Henney (Litigation: General Commercial)
  • J. Michael Huget (Intellectual Property)
  • Barbara A. Kaye (Corporate/M&A)
  • Anessa Owen Kramer (Intellectual Property)
  • Donald J. Kunz (Corporate/M&A)
  • Tracy T. Larsen (Corporate/M&A)
  • Paula E. Litt (Insurance: Dispute Resolution)
  • Charles Nida (Chambers High Net Worth)
  • Jonathan P. O’Brien (Intellectual Property)
  • David N. Parsigian (Corporate/M&A)
  • J. Adam Rothstein (Real Estate)
  • E. Todd Sable (Banking & Finance: Bankruptcy)
  • Lowell D. Salesin (Real Estate)
  • Joseph R. Sgroi (Banking & Finance: Bankruptcy)
  • Phillip D. Torrence (Corporate/M&A)
  • Steven A. Weiss (Litigation: General Commercial)
  • I.W. Winsten (Litigation: General Commercial)

Chambers rankings are determined through interviews with thousands of lawyers and their clients. The results, which are based on a range of professional qualities, are independently audited by Chambers USA.

About Honigman

Honigman LLP is a business law firm with more than 60 practice areas. Headquartered in Detroit, the firm has offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Lansing, Michigan.


Susan Waun
Communications Manager – Honigman LLP

New Revisions To Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order, First Steps To Responsibly Restarting Economy

April 24, 2020

Statement from Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

“The revisions to the “Stay at Home” order brought forth by Gov. Whitmer today began the process of responsibly restarting Michigan’s economy. COVID-19 has created a dual-threat to Michigan – a public health crisis coupled with an economic crisis – and the original “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order has initially flattened the curve and positions Michigan to reactivate its economy. This is good news for some of the hundreds of thousands of Michiganders struggling economically. The Chamber will work diligently with Gov. Whitmer and the Legislature to execute a smart and successful re-opening as we all adapt to the new normal.”

3 Conversations Businesses Need to Know About From this Week

The Detroit Regional Chamber is having the essential conversations with government officials and entities behind the scenes to help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis and ensure the health of businesses in the Detroit region coming out of the crisis. The Chamber’s Government Relations team is dedicated to advising the state on how to best accommodate the needs of businesses and communities through this difficult time.

1. Standardizing PPP Guidelines

The Chamber is actively helping to assist member companies as they navigate the financial resources available to cover essential costs and limit layoffs when possible.

While the SBA’s Payment Protection Program (PPP) was advertised as applicable to all businesses with 500 or fewer employees, many businesses have had trouble gaining approval due to their affiliation with a larger entity. In response, the Chamber’s Government Relations team has reached out to the SBA to gain clarification on whether all businesses with 500 or fewer employees qualify.

The Chamber is currently talking with U.S. Senators about clarifying the criteria so that all businesses with fewer than 500 employees can gain access to these federal funds. While the process for many businesses to obtain funds remains difficult, the Chamber is here to help companies navigate and remove roadblocks as necessary.

2. Advising on Reactivating Economy

The Chamber is actively advising the state on what reactivating the economy will look like but is determined not to pit business and health against one another. Respectful conversations are currently taking place with legislators to ensure the economic crisis is address without placing the health and safety of Michiganders at further risk.

The Chamber’s recent statewide COVID-19 impact poll shared vital information with state officials on how the crisis has impacted Michigan Workers. Among respondents that were working prior to COVID-19, 42.6% are now furloughed, laid off, or unable to work, and 47% said the financial impact on their household was catastrophic or major.

When it comes to returning to work, 61% of furloughed or laid-off workers said that they would feel safe returning to work. Looking closer, many remain in the middle on feeling somewhat safe or unsafe:

  • 20% feel very safe
  • 41% feel somewhat safe
  • 25% felt somewhat unsafe
  • 7% felt very unsafe

Understanding how workers and businesses are handling the crisis is crucial for policymakers to make informed decisions moving forward as they prepare to transition into recovery mode.

As a bipartisan voice for the business community, the Chamber continues to work across the aisle on determining what is needed to reactivate the economy while taking into account the advice of health experts to ensure a smooth and safe transition and avoiding a second wave of the virus. The Chamber aims to maximize state and federal resources available to the businesses that need them most and prevent job losses from remaining permanent.

3.  Working With Michigan Department Of Treasury On Extensions

The Chamber has been hard at work with the Michigan Department of Treasury to ensure deadlines are extended in the best interest of members.

Confirmed Extension:

  • Tax Tribunal and Court of Claims deadlines have been extended pursuant to the period that the “Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives” Executive Order is in effect,  which is currently extended to April 30.
  • Sales tax payments have been extended to May 20. This is the second extension the Michigan Department of Treasury issued from discussions with the Chamber.
  • The Chamber has worked one-on-one with the Michigan Department of Treasury on the need to extend the Q1 and Q2 tax deadline. On April 17, the Treasury confirmed the June 15 deadline has been extended to July 15 for both Q1 and Q2.Executive Order 2020-26 extended the date to remit the quarterly estimated tax payment due for the first quarter of 2020. To conform with IRS Notice 2020-23, this departmental notice similarly extends the date for second-quarter estimated payments for the state income tax.

Accordingly, for most filers, the first and second quarter estimated payments are due on July 15, 2020. For certain fiscal filers, any estimated payment due after April 15, 2020, and before July 15, 2020 is due on July 15, 2020.

Waiving Penalty:

The Department of Treasury is waiving penalty and interest for the late payment of tax or the late filing of any monthly or quarterly return due on April 20, 2020.

  • The waiver will be effective for a period of 30 days; therefore, any monthly or quarterly payment or return currently due on April 20, 2020, may be submitted to the Department without penalty or interest through May 20, 2020.
  • This waiver applies to the 2020 first-quarter return that is required to be filed with the Department on April 20, 2020.
  • Taxpayers required to remit the tax with the 2020 first-quarter return may, therefore, submit the payment and return to the Department without penalty or interest through May 20, 2020.
  • This waiver also includes sales, use, and withholding returns or payments due on April 20, 2020, as a result of the previous 30-day waiver of penalty and interest for payments or returns due on March 20, 2020.
  • Taxpayers originally required to remit tax and file returns on March 20, 2020, therefore have until May 20, 2020, to remit tax and fire returns without penalty and interest.

The Chamber is Working for You in Lansing and Washington, Here’s How

Advising on State Orders

As businesses continue to navigate the economic and health crises brought on by COVID-19, the Chamber’s unrivaled access to public officials and their staff regionally, in Lansing, and Washington D.C. has given Chamber members an influential voice at the highest levels of elected leadership in the state.

The Chamber’s CEO Sandy K. Baruah and Vice President of Government Affairs Brad Williams were sought out to provide a business perspective directly to Governor Gretchen Whitmer as she shaped the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order. As her strategy and the crisis evolves, the Chamber is in daily contact with senior staff advising on the best ways to reopen the economy while decreasing the odds for a resurgence of COVID-19 once stay-at-home practices are eased.

Through a Tele-Town Hall with Gov. Whitmer, the Chamber provided an outlet for businesses to directly ask questions about her stay at home order. When pressed on her approach to handling the impact of COVID-19, the governor acknowledged that her number one concern is health and safety.

“We’re developing plans to safely phase in the reengagement of our economy,” said Gov. Whitmer. “We’ve got to work together to safely reopen so people can get back to work and businesses can get back on their feet without fear of a second wave.”

Understanding that this will require testing and screening access for businesses across the region and state, the Chamber is advising the state on an achievable strategy.

Federal Advocacy on Small Business Aid

A package that includes more federal aid for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) is currently in the U.S. House of Representatives and expected to be voted on today after passing through the U.S. Senate earlier this week after initial funding was depleted. Over the last week, the Chamber has contacted every member of the Michigan Congressional Delegation to do their part in ensuring Michigan small businesses get the additional replenishment of federal aid.

Day-to-Day Pulse of Crisis

Maintaining daily contact with senior state officials regarding crisis-related policies, Chamber leadership is providing a business voice in key decisions.

Local governments in the Detroit region have been at the forefront of this crisis as well. The Chamber has encouraged our local governments to use restraint when layering on additional regulations on essential businesses allowing state government to provide a unified response that is consistent across county lines. Chamber leadership has provided a business perspective directly to local county leaders such as Oakland County Executive David Coulter as well as senior leaders throughout local government.

Tele-Town Halls Provide Unique Access to Public Officials

Beginning in mid-March, businesses across Michigan have been able to hear firsthand and ask questions of public officials that are working for them in Lansing and Washington D.C. through the Chamber’s Tele-Town Hall series. From providing real-time guidance on federal assistance to bringing clarity to state executive orders, the insight has brought clarity to listeners, as they are able to submit their questions in real-time.

The unequaled access the Chamber has provided to these leaders including the governor, lieutenant governor, Michigan Congressional Delegation, Michigan Speaker of the House, Michigan Senate Majority Leader, reflects the Chamber’s influence and longstanding relationships with government at all levels.

Detroit Drives Degrees Announces Student Resource Partnership with DCAN and Launch of Detroit Reconnect

Race to the FAFSA Line & Student Support

In the wake of COVID-19, Detroit Drives Degrees has partnered with the Detroit College Access Network (DCAN) to virtually support students by conducting a series of college access webinars and one-on-one virtual advising to high-school seniors in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. We currently have seventeen students in the pipeline or who have completed their advising sessions and had their financial aid and first-year experience questions answered. Our current advisors are alumni of the Michigan State College Advising Corps (MSUCAC) and the University of Michigan College Advising Corps (MCAC). Our first advisor, Kennisha Williams, has also been supporting our Race to the FAFSA Line Challenge since January.

The Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees initiative – in partnership with the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU), Michigan College Access Network, DCAN, Emagine Entertainment, Oakland Schools, Wayne RESA, Macomb Intermediate School District and several local college access networks – wrapped up its fourth year of the Race to the FAFSA Line Challenge at the beginning of March. We want to congratulate all of our school partners on the front lines who collaborated to prioritize FAFSA completion and support students as they navigate their plans after high school. Together we assisted 8,996 students in FAFSA completion in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties during the Race to the FAFSA Line Challenge. That adds up to over $112 million in federal student aid that students will be able to secure to finance their post-graduation plans!

This year, the Race to the FAFSA Line competition engaged a select number of schools to participate in the first “Sprint to the Finish” cohort. Participating schools received special data updates and resources, as well as opportunities to have a temporary FAFSA advisor placed into their school for several weeks. Two participating schools to note are Roseville High School and Southeastern High School who hosted a FAFSA advisor for a month. Over this period, the advisor worked with the counseling team to conduct classroom presentations and provide one-on-one advising with students to complete the FAFSA and assist with education and career exploration when needed. We are proud to say that six of the eight schools that participated in the “Sprint to the Finish” cohort have exceeded last year’s number of FAFSAs completed.

Adult Learner Support

We are excited to announce the launch of Detroit Reconnect – a service to connect adults who have completed some college education or who would like to attend college for the first time. Through Detroit Reconnect, our navigator Michelle Cyrus helps adult students with college and career exploration, financial aid support, connections to community partners that help support families, and more. Michelle has helped dozens of prospective students and connected them to colleges in the Greater Metro-Detroit area to learn more about the steps to enroll or re-enroll.

One of the most sought-after forms of informational support needed by prospective students is assistance with the regional debt-forgiveness program and college-transfer planning. Interested adults can complete the Reconnector Inquiry Form and schedule a 15-minute appointment. A member from the Detroit Reconnect team will reach out to discuss their educational background and the next steps in their academic journey.

We have also partnered with DetroitEd411, a 24/7 service that utilizes artificial intelligence to assist returning students by answering questions about their educational journey. Powered through Facebook Messenger, DetroitEd411’s chat bot “Spirit” has information about everything from financial aid and housing to childcare resources.

Chamber Coordinates With Midwest Peers Regarding Re-opening Economy

Chambers Across the Midwest and Great Lakes Region Unite in Support of Coordinated Reopening of Economy

“Businesses throughout the Midwest and Ohio River Valley are anxious to get back to work while maintaining the wellbeing of our workforce and communities.

Successfully combatting COVID-19 will require aggressive, collaborative action among governments, health care professionals, businesses and citizens.  While actions taken in our individual states are central to our own recoveries, we all will continue to be impacted by decisions made – and not made – in other locales.

Recognizing that our economies are interconnected and that people regularly cross state boundaries to access jobs, services and supplies, we support the efforts of our Governors to work together to establish coordinated recovery plans and protocols that will strengthen our economy and preserve our health and safety.

As organizations representing businesses in some of the hardest hit and most important economic engines in the nation, we will continue to serve as critical counselors to our leaders in our state capitols and Washington DC.”

The following organizations have signed on in support of this statement.

Lansing Regional Chamber
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber
Midland Business Alliance
Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce
Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance
Detroit Regional Chamber
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
Lakeshore Advantage
Michigan West Coast Chamber
Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce
The Right Place, Inc.
Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysbury

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Northwest Indiana Forum
One Southern Indiana
Greater Ft. Wayne, Inc.
South Bend Regional Chamber
Southwest Indiana Chamber
Indy Chamber

Greater Louisville Inc.
Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Commerce Lexington Inc.
Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce

Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce

Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce
Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce
TwinWest Chamber of Commerce

Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
Columbus Chamber of Commerce

Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce

Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce

Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce

Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber

Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
Greater Green Bay Chamber


Chamber Working with Congressional Delegation to Secure Additional CARES Act Funding

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Government Relations team has had unprecedented daily contact with public officials at a local, state, and federal level over the course of the COVID-19 crisis. Most recently, efforts have been dedicated to advocating on behalf of businesses for the reloading of federal aid for CARES Act programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Emergency Income Disaster Loans (EIDL).

Calling on the Michigan Congressional Delegation and Additional Federal Leaders

To that end, the team has contacted every member of Michigan’s Congressional Delegation urging them that the passage of the next round of funding is critical.

The Chamber – among 34 associations representing Michigan’s business community and financial institutions – signed off on a letter from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce supporting additional federal aid funding for the SBA’s PPP. The letter stated that a deal coming together cannot wait and urged swift congressional action, including program enhancements and additional funding so the business community and financial institutions can continue to distribute these desperately needed dollars to small businesses, which form the economic core of our communities. View the full letter sent to the state’s legislators.

On a national scale, the team also signed a letter in coordination with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to extend PPP eligibility to support more businesses in need of economic relief. This outreach urged Congress to ensure this funding is more inclusive of businesses providing critical community-minded services.

The letter stressed that though small businesses were a major focus of the CARES Act, Congress underestimated the pandemic’s toll on them. A total of 54% of all small businesses report they are closed or could close within the coming weeks, according to a U.S. Chamber-MetLife survey. Read the full letter.


Fund Raise Support

We have supported the initiative with 100 meals for medico of Henry Ford Hospital.

Once can show appreciation by contributing.


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Butzel Long hosts free webinar on April 22 focused on CARES Act Healthcare Provider Relief Payments: Are There Strings Attached to ‘No Strings Attached’ Money?

DETROIT, Mich. – The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is rolling out payments and advances to healthcare providers to assist them with covering their costs and obtaining necessary resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs include the Accelerated and Advanced Payment Program (AAPD), which is an advance or loan against future billings; the Provider Relief Fund (PRF), which are outright grants that will not have to be repaid; plus possible future relief payments to some providers that HHS is still working on.

Attorneys from Butzel Long law firm’s Health Care Industry Team are hosting a free informational webinar from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Participants will learn the latest on how healthcare providers can obtain these funds, and what they have to do in order to qualify and stay eligible. To register, visit www.butzel.com/events.

Notably, the programs are moving fast, payments are already being made, but they come with some conditions and complexity. There are also important deadlines that providers will have to meet in the next couple of weeks, as well as some ongoing accounting and reporting requirements.

For more information and resources on all COVID-19 related legislation, programs, and orders from both federal and state authorities, visit the online Butzel Long Coronavirus Resource Center.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long