Warner Norcross + Judd LLP Partner Justin Stemple was interviewed by MiBiz in honor of his being named the winner of the 2023 MiBiz Dealmaker of the Year Award in the adviser category. The article highlights his second busiest year of ESOP transactions in his 18-year career as an employee benefits attorney who focuses the majority of his practice on ESOPs.
In 2022, Stemple worked on 28 ESOP transactions across the manufacturing, distributing, mechanical contracting, construction, retail, engineering, architectural and professional services industries. Ten of these deals were Michigan-based businesses where Stemple represented either the company or ESOP trustee as counsel.
Stemple’s role is essential in educating business owners on how ESOPs work. “For some people, it can be overwhelming and the educational piece can be a challenge. But I enjoy that part, and I think that is where we can add value,” said Stemple. He enjoys ESOP deals because everyone is negotiating toward a common goal and looking at the bigger picture together.
“West Michigan is just a wonderful place to have any such practice,” Stemple said. “We have wonderful business owners who are very comfortable giving back to their employees and their community and view this as a very successful transaction for them if it keeps the business locally owned and keeps the employees working.”
Read the full MiBiz article here.
Stemple focuses his practice on qualified retirement plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans and executive compensation, with a particular emphasis on employee stock ownership plans, incentive programs and equity compensation. ESOPs now comprise the majority of Justin’s practice and he expects this trend to continue. Chair of the firm’s Employee Benefits Practice Group, Justin provides guidance to often complex employee benefits regulations in a way that is easy to understand and apply practically. Learn more about his practice here.
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