Dickinson Wright PLLC > Nashville, United States > Firm Profile

Dickinson Wright PLLC
424 Church St.
Suite 800
TN 37219
United States

Intellectual property > Patents: licensing Tier 3

Clients appreciate Dickinson Wright PLLC’s ‘knowledge grounded in experience’. The  practice's roster includes patent attorneys who have previously worked as engineers, while most have worked in-house, which gives the group a good understanding how licensing arrangements arise within a business. The team advises clients from a variety of industries, including technology, real estate, automotive or education, covering a range of licensing matters such as software licensing, technology licensing for universities, cross-licensing to resolve disputes, and traditional patent licensing. Richard Jones in Troy, Michigan, chairs the group, closely supported by Lance Anderson in Austin, who is experienced in technology and IP focused transactions, as well as in handling the technology aspects of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and other commercial transactions.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


The talents of the team include significant personally responsible experience guiding a well-known R&D university’s patent portfolio (heavy in agriculture and pharmaceuticals) from disclosure through US and foreign patenting to successful licensing, utilizing significant skill at both ends of the process (working with the professoriate through difficult and contentious patent licensing negotiations).’

I favor their ability to work with IP owners with little knowledge of the process from beginning to end, explaining to the sophisticated as well as those not so knowledgeable, the choices and the best choices for forward motion. I appreciate their knowledge grounded in experience.’

Key clients

MRI Software

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.

Work highlights

  • Represented MRI Software in its acquisition of the Jenark solution from CoreLogic, Inc.
  • Handling licensing negotiations with a number of companies on behalf of NTT and its exclusive licensee, Essential WiFi, LLC.

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

Home to a national practice with a particularly strong presence in Ohio and Michigan, Dickinson Wright PLLC is instructed on a plethora of M&A, joint venture, share transfer, international reorganisation and general contractual affairs. At the Columbus office, Scot Crow is a go-to for a number of clients from the healthcare, metal, education, legal, dental, transportation and manufacturing fields; he co-leads the practice alongside Detroit lawyer Amy Kwiatkowski who, in addition to her transactional work, is also relied upon for corporate governance and general corporate affairs.

Practice head(s):

Scot Crow; Amy Kwiatkowski

Other key lawyers:

Andrew MacLeod; John Schuring; Joel Mayersohn; Parker Sinclair; Mark High


‘You always have your lead partner involved but they can bring specialist from all areas as needed. They also have a extensive network and will always find someone trustable in the states they don’t have the local presence. On the financial side, they will always use the most affordable resource in the team, before escalate to the partner level.’

‘Diversity of expertise. One stop shopping.’

‘Very creative, and great bang for your buck.’

‘Very thorough and organized, and good problem-solvers.’

‘Dickinson Wright has led us through numerous financing and contractual matters related to our marine transportation company. While analyzing specific transactions they keep their eye on our wider corporate governance and liability shields. The billing is very detailed, fair, and kept up to date.’

‘Mark High is the finest multi-tasking counsel I have used in my 30-plus year career. When challenged to structure transactions to address concerns of our shareholders he will only do so when he genuinely feels it is in the client’s best interest, not just to appease. He presents a strong legal foundation to justify his positions and concerns. Through numerous complex transactions that include the Jones Act (ancient maritime law) we have closed on time and confident every detail has been considered.’

Key clients

Accountable Healthcare of America

MRI Software

Infinedi Partners

Harvey Performance Company

Farmaceuticalrx LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Harvey Performance Company, LLC in its acquisition of substantially all the assets of Titan U.S.A. Enterprises, Inc.
  • Represented Accountable Health America in its acquisition by Clinigence Holdings.
  • Represented Farmaceuticalrx LLC in the financing deal to construct and operate Ohio licensed cannabis processing and cultivation operations.

Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes Tier 4

Dickinson Wright PLLC has a strong nationwide presence and acts for clients from a variety of industries, in particular from the energy, financial services and healthcare area. The sizeable team covers the full gamut of commercial disputes and is led by Scott Knapp in Lansing and John Desmond in Reno. The Phoenix-based Scot Claus combines civil, commercial and real estate know-how, while Thomas McNeill in Detroit covers securities, antitrust and banking disputes, among others. Other active practitioners are Bennett Evan Cooper (Phoenix), Phillip DeRosier (Detroit) and John Nelson (Austin).

Practice head(s):

Scott Knapp; John Desmond


‘This team, and especially John Nelson, are unique in their ability to draw from a wide range of legal expertise and utilize/focus that expertise in a highly efficient and effective manner.’

‘John Nelson is a stand-out in his ability to focus resources in a surgical, highly efficient and client-focused manner. This is uncommon in large law firms.’

‘They responded to our questions and any court matters with knowledgeable and speedy replies.’

‘They are able to handle all questions, even if it involves hooking us up with their associates in other states as well as referrals to other firms when necessary.’

Key clients

Markel Insurance Company and affiliated insurers

National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Magna Mirrors of America, Inc.

Usui Kokusai Sangyo Kaisha, Ltd and Usui International Corp.,

Calpine Corporation

The Doctors Company

Portage Holding Company LLC

DairiConcepts, L.P. (Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.)

BBK Tobacco & Foods, LLC

Aline Abtour Irrevocable Family Trust

Independent members of the Board of Directors of Sterling Bancorp

Levin Family Limited Partnership

Work highlights

  • Brought the defense of four members of the board of directors of Sterling Bancorp to a successful conclusion, in connection with a class action arising from the Company’s 2017 IPO.
  • Representing one of the top four global manufacturers of leather for automotive seats and components in a case of alleged theft and use of trade secrets in which the plaintiff is seeking $100m in damages.
  • Achieved a highly favorable result for Portage Holding Company, which owns significant health care facilities in Michigan, securing full dismissal of a case brought against our clients alleging anticipatory repudiation.

Industry focus > Cannabis Tier 4

Dickinson Wright PLLC provides counsel to clients operating with state-issued licenses and to businesses providing goods and services to the cannabis industry. The firm covers the spectrum of advice to the sector, including the key areas of corporate, financing, real estate, employment, lobbying and IP. Corporate and M&A expert Scot Crow co-leads the team from Columbus with Benton Bodamer, who focuses on M&A, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures, minority investments, divestitures and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Scot Crow; Benton Bodamer

Key clients

Alternative Medical Enterprises, LLC

Farmaceuticalrx LLC (of Ohio)




Battle Green Holdings


Gage Growth Corp

Clade 9


Choice Consolidation Corp

Item 9 Labs

Gotham Green

Pelorus Capital

Emerald Growth


Irwin Naturals

Hawthorne Hydroponics




Work highlights

  • Advised Alternative Medical Enterprises, LLC in its merger with Verano Holdings, LLC, Plants of Ruskin, LLC and RVC 360 LLC.
  • Advised Farmaceuticalrx LLC in the financing deal to construct and operate Ohio licensed cannabis processing and cultivation operations.

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

Dickinson Wright PLLC is regularly retained by companies from the education, hospitality, manufacturing and transportation sectors, among others, to advise on the full range of employment matters. Skilled in both advisory and contentious work, the group frequently handles wage and hour claims, discrimination lawsuits and non-compete matters. The practice’s leadership is split between class and collective action specialist Reid Estes and litigation expert Jeffrey Beemer in Nashville, and Detroit-based Kathryn Wood and Timothy Howlett, who are regularly involved in disputes involving discrimination, harassment and retaliation allegations.  William Thacker in Ann Arbor and Christina McDonald in Grand Rapids are also prominent practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Reid Estes; Jeffrey Beemer; Kathryn Wood; Timothy Howlett

Other key lawyers:

William Thacker; Christine McDonald


‘Jeffrey Beemer is an exceptional asset to our team! He’s taken the time to develop a deep knowledge of our business and industry and provide excellent counsel.’

‘Very responsive and thorough in their review and communication about our issues.’

‘William Thacker is the Labor Law attorney at Dickinson Wright that we work with. He is extremely knowledgeable about labor law and has a keen sense of strategy. In order to determine strategy, he asks good questions about our experiences and the context of our issues.’

Key clients

Domino’s Pizza Inc

University of Michigan

Marada Industries Inc, dba Cosma Body Assembly Michigan

ADEBCO Inc, dba Lane Hauling & Excavating

TI Group Automotive Systems LLC

Fielden Hanson Isaacs Miyada Robison Yeh Ltd

US Anesthesia Partners

The D Las Vegas

Work highlights

  • Represented ADEBCO Inc in a wage and hour class action filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Represented TI Group Automotive Systems LLC in a wage and hour class action filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Real estate > Construction (including construction litigation) Tier 5

Dickinson Wright PLLC has a diverse construction practice that represents clients in both non-contentious matters and construction litigation, with attorneys located across Arizona, Michigan and Nevada. The group’s client base includes both homebuilders and developers, and the team is frequently engaged in matters involving both commercial and residential projects. Litigation is a particular strength and the team’s workload has reflected the market increase in this type of matter. Todd Baxter in Phoenix leads the department and covers the range of construction litigation, as well as regularly negotiating and preparing construction contracts for general contractors and private and public owners. John Cameron is a construction and real estate expert based in Grand Rapids and has experience acting in projects across Michigan. The ‘very responsive and knowledgeableRyan Mitchell is also a key contact there. Stephen Richman in Phoenix covers both commercial and residential construction, with a strong focus on dispute resolution, and litigator Cynthia Alexander is a name to note, splitting her time between Las Vegas and Troy. Slade Sevier and Rob Dodson both departed in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Todd Baxter

Other key lawyers:

Ryan Mitchell; John Cameron; Scott Holcomb; Stephen Richman; Cynthia Alexander; Charles Brecker; Joseph DeLave


‘Ryan Mitchell and his team are fully committed and always make themselves available. They have vast expertise in real estate and the subsector of renewable energy. They are efficient, productive and highly responsive. The the way in which they manage matters helps to keep costs down without impacting quality or attention to detail of their work.’

‘Ryan Mitchell is both very responsive and knowledgeable. He consistently goes above and beyond in getting our projects to the goal line. What I most appreciate is his ability to focus on what issues are the must haves and what to efficiently fight for and how to push back.’

Key clients


18 Fremont Street Acquisition LLC

Whirlpool Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented a property developer in its planned development of a full-service Ritz-Carlton Hotel, for sale condominiums, rental apartments, a parking garage and other amenities in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Advised 18 Fremont Street Acquisition on a hotel and resort construction project in Las Vegas.
  • Representing PV Land SPE 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 as a multiuse development.

Real estate > Real estate finance Tier 5

With a wide geographic coverage across the Midwest, Dickinson Wright PLLC‘s national practice is sought after for its expertise financing development projects, CMBS and GSE loans, multi-state sale-leaseback transactions, synthetic leases, and public and tax-exempt bond financing. Representation of lenders and borrowers in commercial mortgage transactions is a key area of strength. Based in Troy, practice chair Katheryne Zelenock is highly recommended for commercial and multifamily mortgage loans.

Practice head(s):

Katheryne Zelenock


DW has been my primary firm for commercial real estate transactions as single counsel for Fannie/Freddie loans we originate. Kathy Zelenock and her team always deliver outstanding service, even in the most complex situations. All of this is accomplished while preserving a reasonable cost to the borrower. ‘


Key clients

Greystone Servicing Company/Arbor Agency

Lending/Pinnacle Bank

Kaufman Development

RockBridge Capital

Lument, Inc.

D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments, Ranger Power

Work highlights

  • Advising Greystone Servicing Company/Arbor Agency Lending/Pinnacle Bank on closing more than 200 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac multifamily and manufactured housing mortgage loans in more than 25 states.
  • Represented Kaufman Development in a $170m construction loan, working on a seven tier loan structure with PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing, grants, bond issuance, conventional loans, and mezzanine debt for the multi-phase residential/office and retail Gravity project in downtown Franklinton.
  • Advised RockBridge Capital on a $70m construction loan for the Scioto Peninsula, a very large development adjacent to downtown Columbus involving multiple developers and development types (office, hotel, retail, residential), incorporating PACE dollars, grants, and mezzanine debt.

Real estate Tier 5

Michigan based Dickinson Wright PLLC has a wide-ranging transactional and development-based real estate practice, advising from land and property acquisitions and sales to multi-use development projects. Monica Labe and Michael Lusardi are the key contacts in its Troy office for leasing, financing, construction and disposition of industrial, office, mixed-use and entertainment properties. In Grand Rapids, John Cameron is the lead partner.

Practice head(s):

Michael Lusardi

Other key lawyers:


‘Collaboration within the entire real estate team to assist our firm is outstanding. The real estate team is a group of very talented attorneys who can handle anything from a simple sale of a property to the most complicated acquisitions, leases, subleases, site developments, and property conditions that I have ever dealt with. Dickinson Wright has an expert for every field.’ 

‘Monica Labe – great team leader, great attorney, and very caring and responsive to our firm’s needs.’

‘Michael Lusardi – like family, great attorney, personable, dedicated, meticulous with regard to problem properties and resolving the issues at hand. ‘

‘Dickinson Wright has an excellent and deep bench of lawyers who provide prompt and efficient service at reasonable rates. The firm is integral to the success of our real estate transactions.’

‘Monica Labe and Michael Lusardi, provide excellent legal service, great attention to detail, and quick turnaround of work product. I trust their work product, and enjoy working with everyone on the team.’

Key clients

Stellantis (f/k/a FCA US LLC – Fiat Chrysler)

City of Mesa, Arizona

Invenergy LLC

Greystone Servicing Company/Arbor Agency Lending/Pinnacle Bank

Kaufman Development

RockBridge Capital

Lument, Inc.

D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments, Ranger Power

Work highlights

  • Advised Stellantis on the negotiation of an agreement between Stellantis and the City of Toledo for the City to sell Stellantis a large piece of property adjacent to Stellantis’ existing Stickney Avenue plant. The $23m project will involve the construction of a new 250,000 square foot facility to support Jeep production in the area with hundreds of new jobs.
  • Advising the City of Mesa, Arizona in a pair of separate transactions to promote downtown redevelopment in the City; negotiating and assisting with documentation that included the purchase contract, a development agreement, a perpetual parking easement in favor of the City, and an economic incentive lease that grants a statutory real property tax abatement for eight years.

Intellectual property > Trademarks: litigation

The team at Dickinson Wright PLLC coordinates with offices across the Midwest, Southwest, Southern US and Canada to provide full network support to protect the multinational brands of major clients in the entertainment, tech, energy, 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.