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A Better Partnership


Jan 2013
January 23, 2013

Warner Norcross Opens New Office to Serve Great Lakes Bay Region

Chief Circuit Judge Jonathan Lauderbach Joins Firm

To better serve the needs of clients in the Great Lakes Bay Region, the law firm Warner Norcross & Judd LLP will open a new office in Midland in the first quarter of 2013.

One of the largest law firms in the state, Warner Norcross has committed to leasing space in downtown Midland's East End development, which is slated to open in late spring 2014.  The firm currently represents many clients in the four-county region, including Chemical Bank, The Dow Chemical Co., Dow Corning Corp. and the Midland Cogeneration Venture, as well as numerous mid-size companies and estate-planning clients.  Midland is the seventh office for the firm, which is headquartered in Grand Rapids.

Midland native Jeffrey A. Ott will serve as partner-in-charge of the new office, which is slated to open in March in interim space located at 222 N. Saginaw Road in Midland.  Midland County's Chief Trial Court and Circuit Judge Jonathan E. Lauderbach plans to step down from the bench to join the firm.

“We are very pleased to once again expand the footprint of our firm by establishing an office in Midland,” said Douglas E. Wagner, managing partner of Warner Norcross.  “With the growing number of clients we represent in the Great Lakes Bay Region, it was a natural for us to choose Midland as the location for our seventh Michigan office.

“Additionally, we are pleased to have two attorneys with deep roots in the community who will launch the new office.  Jeff Ott has been the client service manager for Chemical Bank for many years; he grew up in Midland and is well known and respected there.  We are also excited to welcome Jon Lauderbach to our ranks.  Jon is well known in the Great Lakes Bay Region, where he has enjoyed a successful and distinguished legal career as both a judge and practicing attorney.  We are extremely pleased that he will be joining Warner Norcross.”

Warner Norcross is a corporate law firm with more than 220 attorneys practicing in dozens of areas and industries, including automotive, financial services, real estate, health law, international services and others.  Nearly half of all attorneys have been recognized as Best Lawyers in America, and the firm regularly receives awards for workplace excellence.

As a Michigan-based firm, Warner Norcross focuses on the legal needs of Michigan-based clients, whether they operate within the state, across the country or around the world.  The firm represents Fortune 500 companies, as well as second-stage growth businesses, entrepreneurial start-ups and individuals and families.

“We have deep roots in Michigan and strongly believe in our state’s future,” Ott noted.  “When we look at areas of growth within the state, the Great Lakes Bay Region presents enormous opportunity.  As a full-service law firm with broad expertise, we believe we can meet the needs of established and expanding businesses in this region.”

Ott brings more than 20 years of experience to his new role as partner-in-charge of the Midland office.  He works extensively with businesses and financial institutions on mergers and acquisitions, compliance with securities law and general corporate and business matters.

He will be joined in the new office by Jon Lauderbach, who was elected to the bench in 2006 as the youngest circuit court judge in Midland County’s history.  Prior to seeking public office, Lauderbach spent a dozen years in private practice, where he concentrated on bankruptcy and commercial litigation.

“Public service has been extremely rewarding and personally fulfilling for me, and I fully expected to retire from the bench,” Lauderbach said.  “It was a tough decision, but the opportunity to work with Michigan’s premiere law firm was too good to pass up.

“I am really excited about returning to private practice and the opportunities I have to be an advocate for clients.  I look forward to working with Jeff and the other attorneys at Warner Norcross to establish and grow an excellent practice based in Midland.”

Active in the community, Lauderbach serves as director of Midland Tomorrow, the county's economic development corporation.  He has also served as board chair for Eagle Village, Inc., as a director of the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce and board president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midland County.

Lauderbach is an adjunct faculty member at the Michigan State University College of Law and has also lectured on mortgage-related legal issues for the Michigan Judicial Institute, which is the judicial education arm of the Michigan Supreme Court.  He currently serves on the executive board of the Michigan Judges Association and has served on numerous administrative and court technology-related committees at the request of the Michigan Supreme Court.  He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and was elected as a fellow of the Michigan Bar Foundation in 2007.

A native of Midland, Lauderbach holds a bachelor of art from Albion College and his doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law.  He and his wife, Erin, reside in Midland and have two children.
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About Warner Norcross & Judd

Warner Norcross & Judd is a corporate law firm with 220 attorneys practicing in seven offices throughout Michigan: Grand Rapids, Holland, Lansing, Macomb County, Midland, Muskegon and Southfield. By providing discerning and proactive legal advice, Warner Norcross & Judd forges a better partnership with its clients.

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