Law firm enters West Michigan market


Floyd E. Gates Jr. Courtesy Bodman

A Detroit-based business law firm has opened its first West Michigan office downtown.

Bodman’s new Grand Rapids office, temporarily operating from the Calder Plaza Building, at 250 Monroe Ave. NW, will be led by Floyd E. Gates Jr.

He joins Bodman as a member of the firm’s Banking, Business and Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution practices.

“Grand Rapids presents a growth opportunity for Bodman, as we have a number of clients with offices and operations in West Michigan,” Bodman Chairman Ralph McDowell said. “Our new Grand Rapids office will allow us to serve these clients with even better responsiveness and efficiency.”

The Grand Rapids office is Bodman’s fifth, joining offices in Troy, Ann Arbor and Cheboygan and the Detroit headquarters.

Gates’ background

Gates has more than 18 years of legal experience, with a focus on litigation and corporate law, working with financial institutions and insurance providers.

In his career, Gates has represented banks in workout and related litigation and the investigation and resolution of fraud schemes involving “hundreds of millions of dollars” in potential claims, according to Bodman.

Prior to joining Bodman to head up its new Grand Rapids location, Gates was a principal at Miller Canfield in the Grand Rapids office, a position he had held since 2014.

“We are excited to have Floyd join us and help to establish our Grand Rapids office,” McDowell said. “Floyd’s legal expertise, deep relationships in the local business community and varied experience make him a great fit for our firm.”

Gates also served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 12 years as a communications specialist, working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and as a legal specialist linked to a Judge Advocate General office.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a juris doctor from the Wayne State University Law School.


Founded in 1929, Bodman is one of the state’s largest law firms, with more than 150 lawyers across its five offices.

Bodman services a variety of industries, including banking and finance, health care, environmental, real estate and intellectual property.

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