Miller Canfield appoints first woman CEO

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Megan Norris Courtesy Miller Canfield

Detroit-based law firm Miller Canfield, which has a Grand Rapids office, named Megan Norris as its new chief executive officer, the first woman in the firm’s history to hold that title.

She will succeed Michael McGee, who has been the CEO since 2013, on Feb. 26. Norris will lead the firm by continuing to focus on providing client value and efficiency.

“In many ways, for nearly 170 years, the firm’s focus has never changed: Our primary purpose is always to serve our clients,” Norris said. “And we can’t do so without the best attorneys in the business. What is always changing is what our clients need. Clients face budgetary restrictions, so we must adapt to provide high-quality legal services in more efficient ways while remaining profitable.”

She also will continue to invest in attracting and retaining diverse lawyers.

“Clients now demand that their law firms commit to diversity just as they are doing themselves,” Norris said. “This is an area where the firm has been historically strong and is now much more competitive. So, I expect that much of my time will be spent on our human capital — recruiting and retaining top talent and putting our people to work to figure out how we can always better serve our clients.”

She will continue to practice employment and labor law, which she has been doing at the firm’s Detroit office. She advises employers on matters ranging from hiring to termination. She also advises clients on nonemployment issues relating to both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Norris has handled matters at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Department of Labor, Office of Civil Rights, State of Michigan Wage and Hour Division, Michigan Circuit Courts, Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court, U.S. District Court and 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and has successfully defended against attempts to appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

She has served as the leader of the Employment and Labor Group, overseeing the firm’s large and active team of employment and labor attorneys and staff, and served for eight years on the firm’s board of managing directors, the last six years as chair.

Norris was elected by her national peers to join the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers. She is the recipient of the State Bar of Michigan Labor and Employment Law Council Distinguished Service Award.

Norris has served on the United States District Court Local Rules Advisory Committee, the board of directors for the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, the National Employment Law Institute Advisory Board, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education Labor Advisory Board and the City of Detroit Police Commission, which she chaired in 2003 and 2004.

“Megan is an exceptional leader who will bring great vision and values to her work as CEO. The firm has benefitted tremendously from her leadership, and we are extraordinarily fortunate to have her serve in this capacity,” McGee said.

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