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A Better Partnership


Jun 2008
June 17, 2008

Three Employee Benefits Attorneys Join Warner Norcross

In a move that will strengthen and expand its employee benefits practice, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP has added three experienced attorneys to its Southfield office.

Mary Jo Larson and Lisa B. Zimmer will join the Firm as partners, while Jennifer Watkins will join as an associate. Prior to joining Warner Norcross, all three were partners with Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP in Detroit.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome Mary Jo, Lisa and Jennifer to Warner Norcross," said William R. Jansen, partner in charge of the Firm's Southfield office. "They bring incredible experience in the area of employee benefits, which will allow us to expand the scope and caliber of services we offer to our clients.

"They also join the fastest-growing office of Warner Norcross, which is one of the largest law firms in the state. Over the past several years, we have continued to add new attorneys and staff in Southfield to meet the growing demands of our client base in Southeast Michigan."

Mary Jo Larson brings more than 25 years experience in employee benefits to her new role with the Firm. She concentrates her practice on the design and administration of employee benefits and executive compensation including 401(k), pension, medical, non-qualified deferred compensation and stock option plans.

Active professionally, Larson is a fellow with the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and a participating member of the Tax Exempt/Governmental Entities Tax Council, a professional advisory group for the Internal Revenue Service. She is a past board member and president of Michigan Employee Benefits Conference and the past chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Michigan. She is also a member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association. She speaks and presents widely on EB topics.

Named a Top 50 Women Michigan Super Lawyer in 2006 and 2007, Larson has been listed annually in The Best Lawyers in America since 2001. She holds a bachelor's degree and a doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Michigan. Larson currently resides in Bloomfield Hills with her husband, Jim Bizer, and two children, Elizabeth Bizer and Jordan Larson.

Lisa Zimmer concentrates her practice in employee benefits law with a focus on the design, documentation, implementation and government-compliance of qualified retirement plans, 403(b) plans, welfare programs and non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements. She also regularly counsels businesses on the legal effects of employee benefits plans in connection with merger and acquisition transactions.

Zimmer brings nearly 20 years of experience in employee benefits to the firm. Prior to joining Warner Norcross, she worked at two other Detroit-area law firms. Before entering law school, she worked for several businesses in human resources/benefits administration, including GEICO and Peoples Drug Stores.

Active professionally, Zimmer chairs the Employee Benefits Committee of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Michigan. She is also a member of the Taxation Section of the American Bar Association and the Michigan Employee Benefits Conference. She earned a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Michigan and a doctor of jurisprudence from Wayne State University.

A native of Detroit, Zimmer now resides in Northville with her husband, Jerry, and two children, Jacob and Rachel.

Jennifer Watkins' employee benefits experience focuses on all aspects of qualified retirement, welfare and executive compensation plans. She represents clients with issues before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Bar Association and Michigan Employee Benefits Conference.

Watkins received a bachelor's degree from The University of Toledo and a doctor of jurisprudence from The University of Toledo College of Law. A native of Toledo, Ohio, she now resides in Brownstown Township with her husband, Ryan Watkins.

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About Warner Norcross & Judd

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP is one of the leading law firms in Michigan. With more than 200 attorneys in Southfield, Sterling Heights, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Holland and Muskegon, Warner Norcross is a full-service provider of legal services. Nearly half of our partners are listed in the 2008 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Warner Norcross was also named the best corporate law firm in West Michigan by Corporate Board Member magazine for the third year in a row. Warner Norcross has been recognized as a national leader in client service among law firms by BTI Consulting, as one of the nation’s leading employment law firms by Workforce Management, as one of the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For in both West Michigan and Metro Detroit and as one of the Best Michigan Businesses by Corp! Magazine. The Firm represents local, statewide, regional, national and international clients in all areas of business and civil law.

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