Law firm expands into Ann Arbor


Dave Khorey. Courtesy Varnum

A local law firm has expanded its footprint in southeast Michigan.

Grand Rapids-based Varnum said this week it officially opened its new Ann Arbor location on Oct. 1 in the Brauer Building, at 300 N. 5th Ave.

Dave Khorey, Varnum chairman, said the expansion in Ann Arbor is part of the firm's “growth strategy,” as well as recognition of Ann Arbor's “diverse and growing economy,” including a “flourishing technology community.”

“We believe Ann Arbor is one of the most exciting technology communities in the state, if not the country, and it makes sense for Varnum to have a strong presence here,” he said.

Khorey said a large part of Varnum’s work in Ann Arbor is related to the firm’s startup and emerging companies practice and the business investment sector.

The firm also has strong relationships with investor, municipal and higher education clients in the area.

Khorey said the firm decided to open an Ann Arbor office, because it’s seen an uptick in client work in the area.


Joining the firm are two partners with strong ties to the Ann Arbor area: Thomas Forster, a real estate and corporate attorney; and Christopher Ballard, who practices in the areas of estate planning and tax.

Both have been working in Ann Arbor for many years, most recently as partners in Honigman's Ann Arbor office.

Also joining the firm is Christine Phillips, formerly a staff attorney at Honigman.

Southeast Michigan market

This is Varnum’s third office in southeast Michigan. It also has an office in Detroit and Novi.

Fifteen attorneys have joined Varnum's three southeast Michigan offices in the past 18 months, and the firm plans to continue to look for opportunities to hire attorneys and expand its services in the region.

Varnum said its southeast Michigan client base includes significant work in the financial industry, including banking and private equity, venture and seed capital clients, as well as health care, real estate, tax, estate planning, employment and litigation practices.

The firm also has offices in Kalamazoo, Grand Haven, Hastings and Lansing.

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