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A Better Partnership

Stephen C. Waterbury

Partner | Email

  • Grand Rapids

    t. +1.616.752.2137

    f. +1.616.752.2500

    m. +1.616.901.8218


Stephen Waterbury practices general business and securities law. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions and has completed hundreds of acquisition transactions. In addition, Steve is experienced in corporate planning, international business transactions, corporate governance and federal and state antitrust counseling. Steve serves as counsel to a variety of leading Michigan businesses, including publicly traded businesses and multigenerational family businesses. Steve is also a former member of the firm's Management Committee.


  • Harvard University J.D. 1978 (Editor and Case Officer, Harvard Law Review, 1976-1978)
  • Michigan State University B.A. 1972 High Honors


  • Michigan

Clerk Experience

  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, Honorable George L. Hart, Jr.

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Business Law Section, Law Practice Management Section
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Business Law Section, Council Member (2001-08)
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
    Chair, Library Committee for two years; Legal Assistance Center Technology Committee


  • Action Fabricators, Inc. and Laminim Medical Products, Inc., in its 2016 sale to a private equity affiliate of River Associates Investments, LLC
  • Advance Packaging Corporation in its joint venture with Action Packaging, LLC and Safeway Packaging, Inc.
  • CCL Industries Inc., in its 2013 $500 million acquisition of Avery Dennison Corporation's Office and Consumer Products and Designed and Engineered Solution businesses through stock and asset purchases in 23 countries
  • Dri-Design, LLC, in its sale of stock to Kingspan Group, PLC, a global leader in high performance insulation, building fabric and solar integrated building envelopes
  • DSM Pharma (The Netherlands), in the sale of its South Haven, Michigan pharmaceutical complex to Albemarle Corporation
  • EJ Canada, ULC, in its purchase of an access solutions distribution business from Mueller Canada, Ltd.
  • EJ Group, Inc. and East Jordan Iron Works, Inc. (East Jordan, Michigan), one of the world's largest providers of infrastructure access solutions for water, sewer, drainage, telecommunications and utilities, in its business planning matters, corporate planning and in more than twelve acquisitions, including its acquisition of stock in GMI Composites, Inc., a custom molder of thermoset composite materials
  • Energy Search Incorporated in its sale to EOG Resources, Inc.
  • Foremost Corporation of America (NYSE; Caledonia, Michigan), in its merger with an affiliate of Farmers Group, Inc. and Zurich Financial Group, Inc. for cash consideration of $812 million, in its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, in its divestiture of Foremost Life Insurance Company and in its reincorporation from Delaware to Michigan
  • Hadley Products Corporation, in its business matters and in acquisition of automotive industry businesses, including all aspects of divestiture of its mirror division to an affiliate of Safe Fleet
  • Hart & Cooley, Inc., in its acquisition of assets of The Penn Ventilation Companies, Inc.
  • Howmedica Osteonics Corp., an affiliate of Stryker Corporation (NYSE) in its acquisition of Marshall Steele & Associates, LLC, a health care consulting firm based in Chicago, Illinois
  • Human Resource Consultants, Ltd. (dba Testsource), in its sale to private equity-owned Healthcare Source
  • Idea Sphere, Inc. (New York, New York), in business matters and several acquisitions
  • John Henry Company, The, in its sale to an affiliate of Bear Stearns Merchant Banking and Jefferson Capital Partners, for cash consideration of approximately $150 million
  • Louis Padnos Iron & Metal Company, Michigan's largest recycling business, in business matters and in multiple acquisitions
  • Manatron, Inc. (Nasdaq; Kalamazoo, Michigan), in its initial public offering of Common Stock, in its subsequent securities filings and general corporate matters, in its acquisitions and in its sale to an affiliate of Thoma Cressey Bravo
  • MarketLab, Inc., in its acquisition of Newmatic Sound Systems, Inc.
  • Meridian Automotive Systems, Inc., in its sale of a plastic-injection mold factory
  • Monarch Hydraulics, Inc., in the sale of assets and real estate to Lake Acquisition Corp., an affiliate of a Swiss publicly traded company
  • Monte Package Company, in its 2018 sale to an affiliate of Bunzl plc
  • Nelson Metal Products Corporation (Grandville, Michigan), in its corporate reorganization and its spin-off of Hadley Products Corporation
  • The management buyers of Prab, Inc., in a going private transaction
  • Professional Computing Resources, in its sale to an affiliate of Koniag, Inc.
  • Stryker Corporation, in its 2016 acquisition of Gaymar Industries from Nautic Partners, a private equity firm, and in multiple acquisitions and other business matters
  • Weaver Oil, Inc. (Fremont, Michigan), in its sale of assets
  • Wyckoff Chemical Company, Inc. (South Haven, Michigan), in several corporate planning projects, and in its pooling merger with Catalytica, Inc. (Nasdaq) for $70 million in stock

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 1995-Present
  • Best Lawyers in America, Grand Rapids Corporate Law (2018) and Mergers & Acquisitions (2012) Lawyer of the Year
  • Rated a leader in the field of corporate law and mergers and acquisitions in Michigan by Chambers USA, 2011-Present
  • Named to the inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 2019 for Michigan Lawyers Weekly
  • Named a Top Lawyer in Securities Law, Grand Rapids Magazine, 2019-20
  • Recognized with the inaugural Hall of Fame Award by the Association for Corporate Growth West Michigan and MiBiz, 2018
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Leading Lawyers Michigan, 2014
    Advisory Board, 2014
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-2012, 2015 and 2019
  • Fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation




Professional Affiliations

  • Association for Corporate Growth of West Michigan
    President (2004); Secretary (2001-03)
  • City of Grand Rapids
    Citizen Commission which recommends elected official salaries
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
    Legal Counsel

Community Affiliations

  • Economic Club of Grand Rapids
    Board of Directors (2005-09)
  • Grand Rapids Symphony
    Board of Directors and Executive Committee (2005-16); Past Chair
  • Leadership West Michigan
    Inaugural Class Member (2003)
  • University Club of Grand Rapids
    Board of Directors (1999-2010); Vice President (1999-00); President (2001-03)

Speaking Engagements

  • Presentation on "2013 TerraLex Deal of the Year" at TerraLex conference in Paris
  • Speaker at 2010 Rome TerraLex conference on the topic "M&A Market in the United States"
  • Moderator at 2004 and 2003 Mid-Year Meetings of Business Law Section, State Bar of Michigan
  • Panel Member on "Due Diligence Trends and Strategies" at meeting of West Michigan Chapter of Association for Corporate Growth
  • Seminar speaker, "Taking Your Company Public," sponsored by BDO USA LLP and Seyferth & Associates, Inc. 
  • Speaker and panel member at Ninth Annual Midwest Securities Law Institute co-sponsored by the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section
  • Seminar speaker on legal issues involved in Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance (programs co-sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP and Marsh)
  • State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section speaker on developments with respect to acquisitions at annual meetings of State Bar Association of Michigan
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education speaker on topic "Developments and Trends in Mergers and Acquisitions"
  • Speaker on various topics in career development programs


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