Dickinson Wright PLLC > Chicago, United States > Firm Profile

Dickinson Wright PLLC
55 West Monroe Street
Suite 1200
Chicago IL 60603
United States

Industry focus > Cannabis Tier 3

The team at Dickinson Wright PLLC works closely with the firm’s corporate and M&A practice, and includes practitioners with expertise in IP, as well as government mandates in the cannabis industry. The team assists clients on state, local and federal regulatory compliance, private equity investments and the licensing of processing equipment. Scot Crow oversees the team and has expertise on business planning, advising public as well as private companies; he also has been active in divestures, mezzanine debt offerings, private offerings as well as venture capital financings. Benton Bodamer routinely advises public and private companies on divestitures, joint ventures, leveraged buyouts, minority investments, and restructurings. All names mentioned are based in Columbus.

Practice head(s):

Scot Crow; Benton Bodamer

Other key lawyers:

Brandon Hubbard; Alex Brown; Colin Ferguson; Katherine VanderVeen

Key clients

Alternative Medical Enterprises, LLC

Farmaceuticalrx LLC (Ohio)





Gage Growth Corp

Clade 9


Choice Consolidation Corp

Item 9 Labs

Gotham Green

Pelorus Capital

Emerald Growth


Irwin Naturals

Hawthorne Hydroponics




Ohio Grown Therapies LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Gage Growth Corp in a USD 545 million all-stock sale transaction to TerrAscend, a publicly traded entity on the Canadian exchange.
  • Represented Farmaceuticalrx LLC, a vertically integrated state licensed cannabis company, in closing a USD 34 million senior secured debt refinancing transaction with Chicago Atlantic.
  • Assisted Gage Growth Corp. in its ongoing financing needs with its senior secured lender, Chicago Atlantic. DW initially closed Gage’s USD 55 million syndicated term loan facility with Chicago Atlantic in November of 2021.

Intellectual property > Patents: licensing Tier 3

Dickinson Wright PLLC handles traditional patent licensing, software licensing, cross-licensing to resolve disputes, and technology licensing for universities. The team’s work includes the full spectrum of patent licensing matters, including product development, protection and licensing-out, complemented by substantial industry and business experience in this practice area. Richard Jones, who has considerable experience in negotiating patent license agreements and resolving intellectual property disputes, leads the team from the firm’s Troy office, often working for high-profile clients on issues such as customer and competitor patent portfolios and worldwide licensing strategies. Strengthening the team is Austin’s Lance Anderson, whose expertise includes technology M&A, patent prosecution and due diligence for licensing and acquisitions, among others. Steven Daniels, who is also based in Austin, focuses on disputes, addressing patent infringements as well as strategic counseling on patent portfolio evaluation.

Practice head(s):

Richard Jones

Other key lawyers:

Lance Anderson; Steven Daniels; Andrea Arndt; Stephen Mason

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 3

The corporate team at Dickinson Wright PLLC brings together vast experience in M&A, private equity investments, divestitures, and internal reorganizations. With offices located throughout the country, the team is often engaged in both cross-border and domestic matters involving the healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, consumer goods and automotive sectors. Scot Crow possesses far-reaching expertise in private equity deals, venture capital financings and corporate transactions. He is based in Columbus, where Benton Bodamer is especially active advising privately held businesses on transactions and general corporate matters. Amy Kwiatkowski in Detroit is noted for her in-depth knowledge of corporate law, including complex M&A and corporate governance.

Practice head(s):

Scot Crow; Amy Kwiatkowski; Benton Bodamer

Other key lawyers:

Alex Brown; Richard Bolton; Andrew MacLeod; John Schuring; Jeffrey York; Erin Pawlowski; Cristina Luse; Anthony Alfano

Key clients

Gage Growth Corp.

Straine Dental Management, LLC/Straine DM Holdings LLC

Farmaceuticalrx LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Gage Growth Corp in its all-stock sale transaction to TerrAscend.

Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes Tier 4

With strong regional capabilities and market standing, Dickinson Wright PLLC caters to clients in the energy, financial services, and healthcare sectors. Their comprehensive team of lawyers handles a wide range of commercial disputes and is headed by Scott Knapp in Lansing and John Desmond in Reno. Scot Claus, based in Phoenix, brings expertise in civil, commercial, and real estate law, while Thomas McNeill in Detroit specializes in securities, antitrust, and banking disputes, among others. Other noteworthy litigators include Bennett Evan Cooper in Phoenix, Phillip DeRosier  in Detroit, and Austin-based John Nelson .

Practice head(s):

Scott Knapp; John Desmond; Brandon Hubbard; Kathryn Wood; Joshua Burgener; Brian Johnson; John Nelson

Other key lawyers:

James Martone


‘Strengths and capabilities include thorough approach to litigation, consistent and timely communication.’

‘Peter Webster and his team are proactive and we value their advocacy.’

‘I had a wonderful attorney handle and close my case.’

‘Very knowledgeable about matters of law, and had great prior experience with the similar problem that we faced.’

‘I have worked with multiple law firms over the years, and I found that the two attorneys we used were interested in the challenge we faced, and actually were concerned about the impact to us from a business perspective and from a personal perspective.’

‘Interactions with the team at DW were always wonderful. Every questions I had thoroughly answered, was never left feeling like I wasn’t sure of the path forward or what was coming next.’

‘James Martone was the stand out. He was my main POC for everything. Really understood how I was feeling and why, was able to make me feel like I had a team in my side of the ring.’

‘Responsiveness, thoroughness, experience.’

Key clients

Knowledge Services Inc. dba Guidesoft

Mechanism Ventures

McKenzie Properties

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. and DairiConcepts, L.P.

Signify North America Corporation


Fifth Third Bank

City of El Paso

Professional Fighters League, LLC, f/k/a MMAX Investment Partners, Inc.

City of Boulder City

Work highlights

  • Representing co-founder of Mechanism Ventures, in an action against Taso Du Val, co-founder of Toptal, a global remote company that provides a freelancing platform.
  • Representing Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. and DairiConcepts, L.P. against 35 original individual complaints filed in Cincinnati, Ohio alleging that products DFA/DC provided to two plants contained diacetyl and other diketones that caused employees to contract severe lung issues.

Labor and employment > Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions) Tier 4

The team at Dickinson Wright PLLC is jointly headed by trade secret and non-compete expert Joshua Burgener in Nashville, and Brian Johnson in Lexington. The firm provides assistance to clients on the whole spectrum of employment issues, including whistleblower claims, wage and hour cases, discrimination issues, and traditional labor work. Recent advice includes assisting First Class Valet Inc on COVID-19 related employment issues and representing Standex International Corporation in non-competition litigation. Key contacts include Timothy Howlett and Kathryn Wood in the Detroit office, Reid Estes in Nashville, and William Thacker in Ann Arbor.

Practice head(s):

Joshua Burgener; Brian Johnson

Other key lawyers:


Deeply knowledgeable about current labor law and is active in several different types of businesses and organizations that have collective bargaining agreements.

Working with Dickinson Wright has been far more direct and efficient than when we worked with a different firm that did not have as much hands-on experience with negotiating.

We work with William Thacker. He responds quickly to our inquires and gets back to us with needed information in a very timely manner. He is not dismissive of our concerns and works to find alternative scenarios for us to consider.

Key clients

P.A.M. Transport, Inc.

ADEBCO, Inc, d/b/a Lane Hauling & Excavating

TI Group Automotive Systems, L.L.C.

First Class Valet, Inc.

Service Steel (Van Pelt Corporation)

Standex International Corporation

Multisales Nashville, Inc.

Carhartt, Inc.

The Board of Regents of the University of Michigan

Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc.

Domino’s Pizza LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented P.A.M. Transport (“PAM”) in a case filed by two African-American plaintiffs who claim they were discriminated against by mainly their African-American manager.
  • Representing ADEBCO, Inc. in a wage and hour class action filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Representing TI Group Automotive Systems, L.L.C. in a wage and hour class action filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Intellectual property > Patents: litigation (full coverage) Tier 5

The intellectual property team at Dickinson Wright PLLC handles patent infringement claims and post grant review proceedings in state and federal courts state-wide. Particular expertise of the team lies in relation to the import and domestic sales of foreign manufactured infringing products, but the group is active across a wide range of industry sectors, from trucking to manufacturing to gaming. Based in Ann Arbor, Philip Rettig and John Artz lead the team, alongside Frank Long in Phoenix.  

Practice head(s):

Philip Rettig; John Artz; Frank Long

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Baker; Jonathan Redway; Steven Daniels;


‘The team has a solid reputation. They have a high level of technical knowledge, are flexibile and availabile in cooperating on cost control.’

‘Reliability, knowledge, depth of the assessments made and great communication capability of the lawyers we deal with. Ability to maintain an ongoing exchange of information, which enhances to knowledge of the subject matter at every step of IP litigation process.’

‘They are very forward thinking and their monthly reporting and review process make it very dynamic to work with.’

‘Exceptional knowledge and understanding of engineering and design. Very willing to discuss concepts and how this can all be processed for successful ideas.’

Key clients

Extang Corporation; Undercover, Inc., and Laurmark Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a BAK Industries

Apeks, LLC

Rassini International

Academy Ltd., Target Inc., Amazon.com, Inc

Bestway Global; Bestway USA; Bestway Inflatables; Bestway Hong Kong

Affinity Tools

Trade Box, LLC, Tre Milano, LLC, Ontel Products Corporation

INAG, Inc.

Constructive Eating

Pensmore Reinforcement Technologies d/b/a Helix Steel

Work highlights

  • Represents Academy, Target, and Amazon in this patent infringement case brought by the inflatable products manufacturer TWW. TWW previously sued Wal-Mart, alleging the sale of airbeds made by Bestway, Intex, and Coleman (“the Manufacturers”) containing built in air-pumps constituted infringement of its three Asserted Patents US Patent Nos. 7,246,394, 7,346,950, and 9,211,018. On April 15, 2022, the PTAB entered its Final Written Decision on remand determining all challenged claims unpatentable. The patent owner filed a Notice of Appeal on May 31, 2022 and its opening brief took place September 12, 2022. The district court case is stayed pending final resolution by the Federal Circuit.
  • Representing Apeks, LLC, a subsidiary of Prospiant, Inc., an innovator and market leader in the field of botanical extraction. In April 2022, the Firm filed a complaint in the ITC on Apeks’ behalf against 15 respondents on three patents related to centrifuge equipment and one patent related to falling film evaporators used for the distillation of botanical extractions. We are in the process of settling with four respondents and have moved for entry of default with respect to a number of others. Fact discovery is beginning. This matter is the first ITC investigation in the botanical extraction or CBD oil industry and represents a significant milestone in the growth and maturation of that industry. It is also Apeks’ first foray into patent litigation and its first test of its years-long focus on intellectual property.
  • On behalf of Rassini International, the world’s largest producer of suspension components for light commercial vehicles petitioned for Inter Partes Review (IPR) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to invalidate a competitor’s patent. The IPR was instituted by the USPTO in July 2022. A trial is scheduled. This matter is particularly significant/complex because the patent in question was potentially going to preclude our client from business in North America. The project was extremely sensitive because it impacted immediate OEM bidding processes. The client is a manufacturer of parts that provide a market share of up to 90% of certain suspension systems in North America.

Real estate > Construction (including construction litigation) Tier 5

Dickinson Wright PLLC‘s client roster features prominent names within the domestic construction industry, with the team regularly advising on both contentious as well as non-contentious matters. The team is also seasoned in overseeing an array of disputes, frequently appearing before industry arbitration panels, judges and juries, and advises clients throughout the full cycle of significant construction projects. The team is led by Todd Baxter who often negotiates and prepares contracts for contractors and both public and private owners. He is also adept in representing homebuilders in residential construction disputes, while John Cameron in Grand Rapids focuses on real estate and construction, as well as business law. Stephen Richman frequently acts as an arbitrator in construction disputes and represents contractors and owners in contractual negotiations. All individuals mentioned are located in Phoenix, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Todd Baxter

Other key lawyers:

John Cameron; Stephen Richman; Joseph DeLave; Chris Cornwall


‘Chris Cornwall is an experienced trial lawyer with extensive trial experience in the area of construction law.’

‘Chris Cornwall is an amazing lawyer with an in-depth knowledge of construction’

Key clients

Owens-Brockway Glass Container Inc

M2 Development Partners, LLC and RC Nashville Development Partners, LLC


Red Raider Facilities Foundation

Anthony & Sylvan Pools

Turner Construction Company

Work highlights

  • Assisted O-I Glass in the negotiation of a design-build contract to construct a new glass manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA.
  • Represented PV Land SPE, LLC in the competitive procurement of the public infrastructure work for the demolition and redevelopment of the 92 acre, declining Paradise Valley Mall into the Paradise Valley Town Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Advised a large public university on the professional, construction, and consultant agreements for a nine-figure stadium renovation project.

Real estate > Real estate finance Tier 5

Concentrating on the property market across the Midwest, Texas and Florida and with several offices across the US, Dickinson Wright PLLC remains sought after for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac multifamily and manufactured housing mortgage loans, and frequently assists Canada-based lenders. Real estate finance partner Katheryne Zelenock co-heads the practice alongside fellow partners, Michael Lusardi who takes charge of the real estate offering. Both are based in Troy.  

Practice head(s):

Katheryne Zelenock; Michael Lusardi

Key clients

Greystone Servicing Company/Arbor Agency Lending/Pinnacle Bank

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC and Daimler Truck Financial Services USA LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC on the transfer of assets to a new entity, Daimler Truck Financial Services USA LLC.

Real estate Tier 5

Dickinson Wright PLLC works on behalf of commercial and residential developers, lenders, investors, municipal bodies, blue-chip clients and SMEs on their industrial, retail, office, hospitality, residential and mixed-use real estate transactions and projects. From its Troy office, ‘attentive with a consistently positive approachMichael Lusardi and Katheryne Zelenock co-lead the department, specializing in acquisition, disposition and leasing, and real estate finance, respectively. Monica Labe is another noted senior partner in Troy, and John Cameron is the key figure in Grand Rapids.

Practice head(s):

Michael Lusardi; Katheryne Zelenock

Other key lawyers:


‘Michael Lusardi is our key contact at DW. He is always very responsive, attending to our requirements with a consistently positive approach.’

‘Partners are extremely responsive and thoughtful when thinking through deal challenges.’

‘The real estate team at Dickinson Wright is spectacular. DW offers reasonable pricing and billing term, and provides provides excellent client service, including a two-day turnaround on documents. DW has a deep bench, with knowledge and expertise to ensure the best outcome on our real estate matters. DW works collaboratively, both within the firm and with my team.’

‘Monica Labe, the head of the DW real estate team, provides outstanding client service. She assigns the attorneys and paralegals which best match the skills required for each real estate matter, thereby ensuring that matters are handled efficiently and economically. She is very organized, a great negotiator, and an excellent attorney.’

Key clients

AR Global

Solo World Partners

Aramco Services Company

City of Mesa

Work highlights

  • Advised AR Global in connection with its acquisitions of medical office buildings nationwide, amounting to an investment of $150 million.
  • Advised Solo World Partners on the acquisition and related financing of a manufacturing plant in Shelbyville, Kentucky, comprised of 35 acres of land.
  • Represented the City of Mesa, Arizona in a pair of separate transactions to promote downtown redevelopment in the City.

Intellectual property > Trademarks: litigation

Dickinson Wright PLLC employs its full bench strength of offices across the Midwest, Southwest, Southern US and Canada to safeguard the multinational brands of major clients across the entertainment, tech, energy, sports, food, and apparel sectors.

Dickinson Wright is a full-service law firm with more than 475 lawyers, serving clients across the United States and Canada, our attorneys cover over 40 practice areas and industries. We have a proud history of diversity and inclusion, client service, and a longstanding tradition of excellence. Our lawyers are sophisticated, versatile, and accessible, providing practical advice while vigorously advocating to achieve our clients’ objectives.

Dickinson Wright has evolved and prospered by focusing on our clients and staying on the leading edge of legislative and technological developments. While our nationally-recognized practices stand on equal footing with some of the country’s largest law firms, we pride ourselves in offering top-tier service at competitive rates.

As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification and one of the only firms with ISO/IEC 27701:2019 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management procedures, security controls and privacy processes for our commercial transactions.

As a firm, we base our success on five key drivers:

  • High-quality legal work
  • Delivering superb value for fees
  • Investing in building our knowledge and experience in our clients’ industries
  • Applying business acumen to legal issues
  • Treating our clients with an unsurpassed level of client care

Our wide geographic reach allows us the flexibility to represent clients from border to border and coast to coast. With 19 office locations, including Michigan (Detroit, Ann Arbor, Troy, Saginaw, Grand Rapids), Illinois (Chicago), Ohio (Columbus), Kentucky (Lexington), Tennessee (Nashville), Florida (Ft. Lauderdale), California (Silicon Valley), Texas (Austin), Arizona (Phoenix), Nevada (Las Vegas, Reno), Washington, D.C., and Ontario (Toronto, Windsor), as well as affiliations in China, the ASEAN Region, Japan, India, and South Korea, we offer comprehensive services on a global platform. The firm continues to look for opportunities that will increase the firm’s presence in markets across the United States and enhance practice areas that will allow our clients’ businesses to thrive and grow alongside us.