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A Better Partnership

Charles E. McCallum

Of Counsel | Email

  • Grand Rapids

    t. +1.616.752.2104

    f. +1.616.222.2104

    m. +1.616.293.4501


For almost 50 years, Charlie McCallum counseled business clients and represented those clients in a variety of transactions in all aspects of business law, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate financings, joint ventures, distribution arrangements, and transnational transactions and investments. He is a former Managing Partner of the firm, and has chaired the firm’s International Business Practice Group. Although retired from the active practice of law, he stays in almost daily contact with the firm and its lawyers, and continues to represent the firm in the active leadership of the ABA Business Law Section.


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  • Vanderbilt University J.D. 1964
  • University of Manchester (England) 1960-61 Faculty of Law, Fulbright Scholar
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology B.S. 1960


  • 1964, Michigan

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Business Law Section:  Section Chair (2007-2008); Chair, ABA Business Law Section’s Comm. on Law Firms (1994-98) Chair of Comm. on Professional Responsibility (2004-06 and 2011-14); Chair of Comm. on Business Law Advisors (since 2016); Member, Editorial Board, Past Editor-in-Chief, The Business Lawyer
    Other: Chair, ABA Standing Comm. on Ethics and Professional Responsibility (2004-05); Member, ABA Commission on Multijurisdictional Practrice (2000-02); Member, ABA Task Force on Corporate Responsibility (2001-03)
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Business Law Section, Former Chair, 1988-89

Teaching and Lecturing

  • Lecturer in Applied Mathematics, Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, 1961-64


  • Managed the corporate, securities, and tax issues involved in combining five businesses with different ownership and represented for 35 years the resulting privately owned, multi-industry company (sales in excess of $300 million) headquartered on the Michigan lakeshore; in the course of that representation has handled the acquisition of a number of companies throughout the United States, as well as several dispositions and has assisted in the negotiation and structuring of transnational joint ventures, transnational mergers and acquisitions, and global distribution arrangements
  • Represented the North American daughter companies of a large privately owned German multi-industry company (sales in excess of $300 million) for more than 30 years, and served on the boards of directors of those U.S. subsidiaries
  • Assisted a large German automotive products (both Tier 1 and aftermarket) company with sales in excess of $300 million in the restructuring of its North American operations, and for more than 10 years counseled the German owner of the group as well as the group's North American daughter companies
  • Represented the shareholders of companies in industries as diverse as publishing, direct marketing, food processing, agricultural equipment manufacturing and industrial machinery manufacturing in negotiating and completing the sales of their businesses in a variety of transactions
  • Assisted clients in making acquisitions and mergers, including joint ventures, both within and outside the United States, in a number of industries including automotive products, printing equipment, furniture products, and industrial conveyor equipment
  • Assisted a large Japanese company to establish its first North American manufacturing operation
  • Assisted a very large (sales in excess of $2 billion) privately owned global manufacturing and sales company in implementing a structured plan for succession of ownership, governance, and management

Honors & Awards

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named a Top Lawyer in Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Grand Rapids Magazine, 2019
  • Leading Lawyers Michigan, 2014
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-2012
  • Honored as Grand Rapids Lawyer of the Year in Corporate Law (2009) and International Trade and Finance Law (2012) by The Best Lawyers in America
  • Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law and International Trade and Finance Law, 1983-Present
  • Listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law
  • Recognized for his international experience in corporate and mergers-acquisitions in Michigan by Chambers USA 2009
  • Sigma Xi Science Honorary Society
  • Order of the Coif
  • Managing Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review
  • Fellow, American College of Law Practice Management
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • West Michigan World Trader of the Year, 1998
  • Former Chair, Michigan District Export Council



Professional Affiliations

  • TerraLex (an international legal referral and collaboration network of more than 155 independent law firms with a combined total of more than 17,000 lawyers in 100 countries)
    Former Past Chair and CEO (2006-2011)

Community Affiliations

  • Butterworth Hospital (now Spectrum Health)
    Former Chair
  • Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
    Former Chair
  • Grand Rapids Area Transit Authority
    Former Chair
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum
    Former Chair
  • Michigan District Export Council
    Former Chair
  • Priority Health (HMO)
    Former Chair
  • Research and Technology Institute of West Michigan
    Former Chair
  • The Right Place Program
    Former Executive Board Member
  • Volunteer Trustees of Not-for-Profit Hospitals
    Former Chair

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