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A Better Partnership

Robert H. Skilton III

Of Counsel | Email

  • Grand Rapids

    t. +1.616.752.2119

    f. +1.616.752.2500


Robert Skilton concentrates his practice in the areas of bankruptcy and creditors' rights. He served as chair of the Restructuring and Insolvency Practice Group for more than 15 years at the firm. Bob was also chair of the Bankruptcy Department at Gardner, Carton & Douglas in Chicago from 1990-1996.


  • University of Wisconsin J.D. 1966
  • University of Wisconsin B.A. 1963


  • 1966, Wisconsin
  • 1971, Michigan
  • 1991, Illinois

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • State Bar of Illinois

Teaching and Lecturing

  • Visiting Professor Pavol Safarik University in Košice, Slovakia, October 2019
  • Visiting Professor Matej Bel Faculty of Law in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, October 2019
  • Visiting Professor Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law, Budapest, Hungary, April 2018
  • Visiting Professor The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation, October, 2016
  • Adjunct Professor, Bankruptcy Law, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 2007-2017
  • Visiting Professor Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law, Budapest, Hungary, October 2015  


  • Represented the holder of $50 million in bonds in Orange County, California, Chapter 9 Case
  • Represented banks as secured creditors in bankruptcy cases
  • Represented companies acquiring assets in bankruptcy cases
  • Represented the debtor in the following reorganization cases:
    • In re Detroit Cold Rolling LC., Wayne County, Michigan, 2005. Served as counsel to the lien holders' committee and subsequently as counsel to the Receiver in receivership action that resulted in a sale of the plant and equipment for $20,000,000
    • In re Second Chance Body Armor, Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2004. Served as counsel for the Debtor in Chapter 11 case that resulted in sale of substantially all of the Debtor's operating assets for the sum of $45,000,000
    • In re Bill Knapp's, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2002. Served as counsel to the Debtor in Chapter 11 case
    • In re Auto Specialties Manufacturing Company. Served as counsel to the creditor's committee
    • In re Action Auto Stores, Flint, Michigan, 1990-93. Case involved the eventual confirmation of a liquidating plan of reorganization. Company was publicly held and owned a number of sites that had environmental problems. Negotiated an agreement with the State of Michigan that called for the sale of the properties, safeguards to the purchaser concerning environmental problems and an allocation of funds to the State of Michigan for cleanup   
    • In re Bofors Nobel, Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986-89. Case involved the sale of a chemical plant and the confirmation of a liquidating plan of reorganization. Case was unique in that it involved one of the first covenants not to sue given by the U.S. EPA and the State of Michigan to the purchaser of assets in a bankruptcy proceeding. The covenant enabled the sale of a noncontaminated portion of what has become a Superfund site
  • Represented secured parties and indenture trustees in a number of foreclosure, workout or reorganization cases including those involving a gypsum mine, several hotels, a foundry, a food processor and a steel wholesaler

Military Service

  • 1966-1971 - Captain, Judge Advocate General's Corps, which included a three-year assignment as a legal officer in Bremerhaven, Germany

Honors & Awards

  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2021, 2017, 2013-2014 Grand Rapids Bankruptcy, Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2003-Present
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-Present
  • Rated a leader in the field of bankruptcy law in Michigan by Chambers USA, 2009-19
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Leading Lawyers Michigan, 2014
  • Board Certified–Business-Bankruptcy–American Board of Certification
  • Note Editor, Wisconsin Law Review 1966
  • Order of the Coif




Professional Affiliations

  • Michigan Tax Tribunal
    Referee hearing small claims cases concerning property tax issues, 2012-2018
  • Kent County Circuit Court
    Mediation Panel
  • International Exchange of Experience on Insolvency Law (IEEI)

Speaking Engagements

  • Panel Member for ABA Business Law Section presentation at ABA 1995 Annual Meeting on the topic "Bankruptcy–Which Chapter Should You Recommend and What If You Are Wrong?"
  • Panel Member for ABI Central States Workshop "New UCC Article 9 – It's Here and You can Not Avoid It Any Longer"
  • Panel Member for FBA West Michigan Chapter Bankruptcy Section "Deepening Insolvency"
  • Participated in a series of lectures sponsored by the Michigan Bankers Association in 1980 on the then-recently adopted Bankruptcy Code
  • Speaker for the Michigan State Bar’s Institute for Continuing Education on bankruptcy topics in the 1980's
  • Speaker for the Federal Bar Association of West Michigan Section on bankruptcy topics

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