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Hugh H. Makens

Partner Emeritus | Email

  • Grand Rapids

    t. +1.616.901.7097

    f. +1.616.752.2500


Hugh Makens has been involved in the securities industry for more than 45 years as an attorney, regulator and adviser. He was a director at the Michigan Corporation & Securities Bureau for the Michigan Department of Commerce (1972-1978) and a trial attorney with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (1966-1972). He has represented broker-dealers, investment advisers, issuers, regulatory authorities and industry professionals regarding compliance with securities regulatory requirements, investigations and regulatory proceedings. He is the former chair of the firm's Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Law and Regulation Practice Group. He is an adjunct professor of securities law at Michigan State University College of Law and a member of the Lexis/Nexis Securities Board of Editors. Hugh retired from active practice 12/31/18.



  • Northwestern University J.D. 1964
  • Michigan Technological University B.S.B.A. 1961 cum laude

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Section of Business Law, Council Member (2003-07); Institutes and Seminars Committee, Chair (1999-2003); Meeting Committee, Chair (1995-98); eSource Newsletter, Editorial Board (2006-09); Law Practice Management Section; Special Committee to Study Market Structure, Listings Standards and Corporate Governance, proposing governance best practices and disclosure policies for the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, Member (2000-02); State Regulation of Securities Committee, Chairman (1983-86), Subcommittee on Liaison with Securities Administrators and NASD, Subcommittee on Merit Regulation, Subcommittee on Private Offering Exemption and Simplification of Capital Formation; Federal Regulation of Securities Committee, Subcommittee on Market Regulation, Subcommittee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Securities of Insurance Companies
  • Federal Bar Association
    Detroit Chapter, Past Treasurer, Past Secretary, Past Vice President; Grand Rapids Chapter, Present Member
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Business Law Section, Chairman (1984-85), Ex-Officio Member of the Council; Uniform Securities Act of 2002 Task Force Co-chair; Administrative Law Section; International Law Section
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • State Bar of Illinois

Teaching and Lecturing

  • University of Michigan Law School-State and Federal Securities Laws
  • Wayne State University Law School-State and Federal Securities Laws
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Michigan Institute for Continuing Legal Education-Various Programs on Corporation, Securities, Real Estate and Franchise Laws
  • Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education-Franchise Law

Honors & Awards

  • Super Lawyers National
  • Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law and Securities Regulation, 1983-Present
  • Best Lawyers' 2013-2014 Grand Rapids Securities Regulation Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers' 2012 Grand Rapids Securities/Capital Markets Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers' 2011 Grand Rapids Corporate Lawyer of the Year
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-18
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Leading Lawyers Michigan, 2014
  • Leader in corporate law and mergers and acquisitions in Michigan, Chambers USA 2009
  • State Bar of Michigan's Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award, 2006


Military Experience

  • Captain, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
    Active duty 1964-66; Reserve Office - Captain - Judge Advocate General Corps 1966-69



  • "FINRA Regulation of Private Offerings," The Practical Lawyer, October 2014
  • "Ethical Issues; Due Diligence; Responsibilities of Counsel," ALI-ABA Court of Study, Regulation D Offerings and Private Placements, 1988-2013
  • "Where was the SEC?  After the Crash, Where Will It Go?," Michigan State University College of Law, Midwest Securities Law Institute, October 12, 2012
  • Sommer, Securities Law Techniques, "Blue Sky Litigation," Administrative Enforcement Proceedings Under the Uniform Securities Act; Government Civil and Criminal Litigation; and Private Civil Litigation and Arbitration, Matthew Bender publication 2012, author: Chapter 93, Vol. 7
  • "The Crash: Cause, Effect, and Consequences," Michigan State University College of Law, Midwest Securities Law Institute, October 15, 2010
  • Makens, Hugh H., and Larson, James L., "Fair Value Pricing," NSCP Currents, May/June 2003
  • Makens, Hugh H., "Finders in No-Man's Land," The Blue Sky Bugle, Vol. 2002, No. 1, March 2002
  • Makens, Hugh H., "Variable Product Stumpers," NSCP Currents, January/February 2000, Page 1
  • "Blue Sky Developments," ALI-ABA Course of Study, Regulation D Offerings and Private Placements, March 1998
  • Makens, Hugh H. & Chovanec, Robert J., "Sixth Circuit Provides Protection For U-5 Disclosures," NSCP Currents, November/December 1998, Page 3
  • "Blue Sky Practice," ALI-ABA Course of Study, Regulation D Offerings and Private Placements, SB65, March 1997
  • Makens, Hugh H. & Horner, Timothy L., "Securities Regulation of Fundraising Activities of Religious and Other Non-profit Organizations," Stetson Law Review, Fall 1997, Vol. XXVII, No. 2
  • Makens, Hugh H. & Young, Bruce C., "War and Pieces: The Impact of Deadlock in the Michigan Closely Held Corporation," The Wayne Law Review, Summer 1996, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 1983-1895
  • Makens, Hugh H., "A Look Into the Future of Investment Adviser Regulation," NSCP Currents, November/December 1996, Page 1
  • "Private Placements" Practicing Law Institute, Private Placements 1995, Chapter 12, Page 595, April 1995
  • State Regulation of Securities Committee, "Review of Developments in State Securities Regulation," – Makens, Hugh H. & Klein, R. Wayne, "The Prudential Solution and National Securities Regulatory Settlements," The Business Lawyer, November 1995, Vol. 51, No. 1, Pp. 256-282
  • Moscow & Makens, Michigan Securities Regulation, Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2nd Ed. 1994
  • "Small Business Regulatory Initiatives: Progress or Puffery," The Michigan Business Law Journal, Volume XVII Issue Number 2 (1994)
  • Makens & Kugele, "Forms U-4/U-5 Disclosures: Compliance and Related Problems," Parts I and II, NSCP Currents, July-August and September-October, 1992
  • "Supervision, Internal Investigations and Settlement Procedure," ALI-ABA Course of Study, Broker-Dealer Regulation, January 10, 1991, Vol. C-578, Pg. 83
  • Makens & Wright, "Brokerage Firms: Supervision, Internal Investigations, and Settlement Procedures (Part 1)," 16 ALI-ABA Course Materials Journal 19 (August 1991)
  • Makens & Wright, "Brokerage Firms: Supervision, Internal Investigations, and Settlement Procedures (Part 2)," 16 ALI-ABA Course Materials Journal 97 (October 1991)
  • Sargent, Mark A. & Makens, Hugh H., "ULOE: New Hope, New Challenge," The Business Lawyer, May 1990, Vol. 45, No. 3, Pg. 1319 
  • Harris, Jean E. & Makens, Hugh H., "Uniform Form for Small Offerings," Sec. & Com. Reg., Dec. 5, 1990, Vol. 23, Pg. 219


Professional Affiliations

  • Division of Securities
    Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services; Office of Financial and Insurance Services
  • National Endowment for Financial Education
    Board of Trustees (2007-2012)
  • North American Securities Administrators Association
    Past President; Uniform Requirements Committee, Past Chairman; ALI-ABA Proposed Federal Code Committee, Past Vice Chairman; Real Estate Limited Partnership Committee; Oil & Gas Committee; CGTC Liaison Committee; Ombudsman Industry Attorney Advisor
  • Michigan Corporation & Securities
    Advisory Committee
  • Midwest Association of Securities Administrators
    Franchise Law Committee, Past Chairman; Real Estate Limited Partnership Committee, Past Vice President
  • U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
    Report Coordinating Group
  • The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc.
    Market Operations Review Committee (1996-2006)
  • Lexis Nexis
    Securities Board of Editors (2006-Present)
  • Michigan Technological University
    Member, Academy of Business; Member, Applied Management Program Advisory Board for the School of Business and Economics

Community Affiliations

  • Western District of Michigan Historical Society
    Board of Directors (2015)

Speaking Engagements

  • The New Face of Capital Formation, American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education, San Francisco, California, November 20-21, 2014
  • Changes in the Practice of Securities Law in Michigan Over the Past 25 Years, Institute for Continuing Legal Education and Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, Grand Rapids, June 7, 2013
  • JOBS Act: Fertile Ground for Litigation, NASAA 2012 Annual Conference, September 9, 2012
  • Where was the SEC?  After the Crash, Where Will It Go? Michigan State University College of Law, Midwest Securities Law Institute, October 12, 2012
  • National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc.
  • North American Securities Administrators Association
  • National Society of Compliance Professionals
  • International Association for Financial Planning
  • Securities Industry Association
  • American Bar Association-Business Law Section
  • Practising Law Institute-Blue Sky Law and Regulation D Programs
  • American Law Institute-American Bar Association-Regulation D Offerings
  • Private Placements and Other Exempt Offerings; Broker-Dealer Regulation
  • Frequent guest lecturer at service clubs on business and securities topics

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