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Sean H. Cook

Partner | Email

  • Southfield

    t. +1.248.784.5058

    f. +1.248.603.9658

    m. +1.248.915.0213

Biography

Sean Cook’s practice encompasses many diverse areas of law: tax, mergers and acquisitions, closely held businesses, trusts and estates and general corporate and charity law. Sean works with businesses on a variety of complex tax matters. He is well versed in the application process for tax-exempt status for startup companies and has also converted many for-profit organizations to nonprofit status. Sean represents both buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions and provides due diligence counsel all the way through structuring and closing sale agreements. Sean’s knowledge and versatility in many practice areas allows him to be especially valuable to his clients. He’s a problem solver, positions himself in the client’s seat and works with a sense of urgency towards favorable outcomes. Sean is the chair of the Warner Tax Practice Group, the chair of the MiCPA M&A committee task force, is a former MiCPA board member (1999-2015) and is a Certified Public Accountant. 

Education

  • Wayne State University Law School J.D. 1995
  • Walsh College M.S. 1989 Taxation
  • University of Michigan B.A. 1987

Admitted

  • 1996, Michigan

Courts

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Tax Court

Bar Associations

  • State Bar of Michigan
    Member, Taxation Section Council (2016-Present); Chair, Estates and Trusts Committee, Taxation Section (2013-16)
  • American Bar Association

Experience

  • Counsels many businesses on the buy and sell side of acquisitions
  • Assists businesses with tax issues in a variety of transaction, including choice of entity issues, issuance of incentive ownership to employees, capital formation and cross-border transactions
  • Assists clients in purchase or sale of businesses, from structuring the deal to handling due diligence, closing and post-closing matters
  • Lead attorney in successful sale of Mount Brighton Ski Resort to Vail Resorts in 2012
  • Lead attorney in successful sale of $40 million U.S. auto stamping plant to an international conglomerate
  • Lead attorney with restructuring U.S. entities as part of an international restructuring of a global auto supplier
  • Assisted auto supplier in a joint venture arrangement with another supplier
  • Structured the post-bankruptcy legal organization for an auto supplier
  • Represented several business owners in negotiated separation agreements
  • Engages with individuals to address their estate planning needs
  • Assists in succession planning, through generation wealth transfers, traditional gifting, family partnerships, recapitalization and other methods
  • Represents private foundations, assisting with tax or corporate governance issues
  • Handled several applications for tax-exempt status for new organizations; helped organizations come into compliance and converted a for-profit organization to nonprofit status
  • Local counsel for national retailer in successful claim for refund of sales tax

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law, 2013-Present
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Tax Law and Nonprofit/Charities Law, 2011, 2012, 2015-2019
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, Tax, 2012-Present

News

Publications

  • “The Rich Poor: Planning for estates under $10,680,000 and Counting (or repurposing the current plan),” ICLE presentation, February 2014
  • "Federal Income Tax Consequences of Same-Sex Couple Marital Status After U.S. v. Windsor and Rev. Rul. 2013-17," Michigan Tax Lawyer, Fall 2013
  • "Tax Provisions of Health Care Reform: Whether a Cure or a Catastrophe, It Is Here," Bloomberg  Law Reports – Health Law, July 2, 2010
  • "Federal Tax Forum," Michigan Tax Lawyer, Fall 2006
  • "Are Intermediate Sanctions on Tax-Exempt Organizations a Slippery Slope to Termination?," The Michigan Business Law Journal, Spring 2006
  • "New Like Kind Regulations Highlight Old Planning Opportunities," Michigan Tax Lawyer, Fourth Quarter 1994

Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier Blog

Legacy Matters

Leadership

Professional Affiliations

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants
    Member of Board of Directors (2009-Present); Chair of M&A Task Force (2013-Present); Vice Chair of M&A Task Force (2011-13); Past Chair of Federal Tax Task Force
  • Walsh College President’s Advisory Council

Speaking Engagements

  • Family Business Forum Radio Show, June 27, 2018 (works best if viewed/listened to using Internet Explorer)
  • Family Business Forum Radio Show, December 27, 2017 (works best if viewed/listened to using Internet Explorer)
  • Family Business Forum Radio Show, May 31, 2017 (works best if viewed/listened to using Internet Explorer)
  • "P/E Client Meet Reality and Let's Get Ready to Sell," MiCPA Mergers and Acquisitions Conference, May 23, 2017, Troy, Michigan
  • Family Business Forum Radio Show, March 29, 2017 (works best if viewed/listened to using Internet Explorer)
  • Featured speaker, Walsh Institute Leadership Center’s Business Transitions Annual Conference, Nov. 1, 2012, Troy
  • Frequent speaker, Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, 2001-Present
  • Changes in Tax Law and the Impact on Business, Automation Alley, March 30, 2011, Troy

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