Education

Alma College

B.A., 1992
  • summa cum laude, in 3 years with 2 majors
  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Honors Thesis in History
  • Jean Fox Abruzzino Scholar

Notre Dame Law School

J.D., 1995
  • cum laude
  • American Jurisprudence Award, Property Law

Bar Admission

Michigan

1995

Leslee M. Lewis

Member

Prominent Assignments

General corporate and real estate counsel to national, regional and emergent businesses and nonprofits in daily contracts and affairs, organization, financing, transactions and governance.

Counsel to banks or borrowers in multi-million dollar large corporate and middle market syndicated loan originations, including international facilities. Counsel to banks in post-foreclosure REO property dispositions.

Counsel to biotechnology, healthcare, manufacturing, industrial, nonprofit, school, professional, hospitality, distribution, retail and development clients in multi-million dollar strategic leasing, development, construction, and real estate acquisition and disposition projects, specifically including green building and leasing projects.

Counsel to wind developers and lenders groups in all real estate, development, acquisition, financing, power purchase, opinion, contract, diligence and regulatory aspects of wind farm development, including projects involving the largest public and largest independent wind developers in North America. Counsel to either developers or lenders in connection with nine of the twelve largest wind farms in the State of Michigan, including financings ranging up to $1 billion.

Counsel to affiliate of largest North American pipeline operator in contract development, real estate, land acquisition and construction matters.

Counsel to equity purchasers in acquisition of energy production and cogeneration facilities.

Merger and acquisition counsel to manufacturing, service, non-profit, healthcare, professional, construction, automotive, real estate, agricultural, energy, restaurant, and distribution clients.

Counsel to a cross-border Canadian REIT in all US real estate aspects of its initial public offering.

Counsel to foundations, donors, grants, lending and other program related investments including dunes and land preservation.

Counsel to City of Grand Rapids DDA on Maya Lin Park, Skywalks, Monroe Mall, Convention Center, Police Center Condominium, and Parking Condominium developments.

Counsel to Autocam Corporation in registered public offerings, SEC reporting and going- private transaction.

Counsel to technology and manufacturing clients in angel round financing, and counsel to real estate, manufacturing, finance and restaurant clients in private placements and registered public offerings.

Counsel to Grand Rapids Downtown Alliance, Local First, His Harvest Ministries, Prayerworks, Survivor Quest, St. Lukes Theological College Foundation, and others in nonprofit organization, qualification, recognition of tax-exempt status, and governance.

Counsel to hospitality, entertainment, restaurant and banking clients in liquor license transfers.

Counsel to families on intergenerational wealth transfers.

Counsel to foundations, donors and donees in grants and contribution agreements.

Representative Clients

  • AEG Live
  • AMCS Group
  • Emergent Biosolutions, Inc.
  • Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership
  • Frey Foundation
  • Gilmore Collection
  • Goodwill
  • Grand Hotel
  • Grand Rapids Downtown Alliance
  • Great American Publishing
  • Hope Network
  • Intenergy
  • Invenergy
  • Johnson Controls
  • JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
  • Lacks Enterprises, Inc.
  • Lake Michigan Academy
  • Madison House Presents
  • Metro Health Hospital
  • Phillips & Johnston, Inc.
  • PNC Bank
  • Porter Hills Home Health Care
  • Porter Hills Retirement Communities & Services
  • RBS Securities
  • Sara Lee Corporation
  • V.I.O., Inc.

Professional Involvement

  • Dickinson Wright Governing Board
  • Past Practice Department Manager, Real Estate, Environmental, Energy & Sustainability
  • Dickinson Wright Diversity Committee
  • National Editorial Board, ALI-ABA's The Practical Real Estate Lawyer
  • Consulting Member, Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations, American Law Institute 
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Co-Chairperson, State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, 2013-2014 Summer Conferences
  • Continuing Legal Education Committee, State Bar of Michigan, Real Property Law Section, 2013-present
  • Past Chairperson, Residential Transactions Committee, State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section
  • Michigan Community Resources/Community Legal Resources Outreach Committee
  • Past Editor, Dickinson Wright Real Estate Newsletter
  • Past Chairperson, Dickinson Wright Education Task Force
  • Member, Women Lawyers Alliance 
  • Member, State Bar of Michigan (Business, Real Estate and Estate Planning Sections)
  • Member, Grand Rapids Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Chair Emeritus, Past Board President, and 10 year Board Member, Board of Directors, Lake Michigan Academy (West Michigan Learning Disabilities Foundation)
  • Board Member, Zeeland Education Foundation
  • Honorary Committee, Porter Hills Foundation
  • Board Member, Transitional Housing Council (Liz's House/My Sister's House), Dwelling Place
  • Past Member, Endowment Committee, Grand Rapids Children's Museum
  • Past Member, Fundraiser Committee, Michigan Women’s Foundation
  • Past General Counsel, Haven Builders
  • Local Corporate Coordinator, 2009 Rothbury Music Festival (Sustainable Epicenter)
  • Organizer, Green Rocks! Sustainable Schools Contest
  • Pro bono counsel and incorporator, multiple nonprofits
  • Secretary and Past President, Eagleview Homeowners Association

Publications/Presentations

  • Presenter, ICLE Commercial Real Property Update, 2014
  • Author, Lexis Practice Advisor Sustainability Content for Leasing and Purchase Agreements, 2013 - present
  • Presenter and Organizer, Green Leases: Tools, Tips and Best Practices for Drafting, ALI-CLE, November, 2012
  • Presenter and Organizer, "Residential Transactions Boot Camp," State Bar of Michigan 2012
  • Panelist, Nonprofit Legal Issues, Seeds for Success Conference-Building the 21st Century Nonprofit, May, 2012
  • Panelist, Real Estate Documents: Drafting for Success, ALI-CLE videocast, March, 2012
  • Keynote Presenter, “Current Asset Dispositions: Note and REO Sales & Purchases,” State Bar of Michigan 2011
  • Presenter, “Residential Real Estate Round Table,” State Bar of Michigan, 2010
  • Presenter, “Evolving Green Construction Standards and Related Losses and Liabilities,” American Bar Association 2010
  • Presenter, “Green Liability: How to Recognize and Manage Risks in a Changing Regulatory Environment,” ALI-ABA, 2010
  • Panelist, “Understanding Current Underwriting and the Availability of Credit,” International Council of Shopping Centers, 2010
  • Presenter, “Leasing Green: Key Elements & Risks of Green Office Leases,” ALI-ABA, 2009
  • Author, “Understanding Green Office Leases,” ALI-ABA’s The Practical Real Estate Lawyer, 2009
  • Contributor, Commercial Leasing in Troubled Times, ALI-ABA, 2009
  • Presenter, “Drafting Greener Contracts,” US Green Building Council, Greening the Heartland Conference, 2009
  • Presenter, “Drafting Effective Contracts for Green Building,” ALI-ABA, 2009
  • Presenter, “Opportunity, Brilliantly Disguised as an Impossible Situation: Status & Strategies for Real Estate Financing in the Current Economy,” State Bar of Michigan, 2009
  • Author, “Green Building Basics,” ALI-ABA’s The Practical Real Estate Lawyer & The Voice of Experience, 2008
  • Contributor, “Construction Lending,” A Practitioner’s Guide to Construction Law by John Cameron
  • Presenter, “Green Building Basics” State Bar of Michigan ICLE 2008
  • Presenter, ALI-ABA “Green Building Basics from a Green Building Consultant & A Real Property Lawyer” September, 2008
  • Author, “Michigan Bolsters Residential Builder Licensing Law,” February 2008, “Legislative Update” Fall 2006, “Development Incentives 101,” Summer 2006, “January 2006 Deadline for Social Security Number Privacy Policy,” Fall 2005, “Get Your Feet Wet: Court Rules on Ownership of Beachfront Property,” May 2004, Dickinson Wright Real Estate Newsletter
    Dickinson Wright Real Estate Newsletter
  • Presenter, Business Boot Camp, State Bar of Michigan ICLE 2006
  • Presenter, Real Estate Legislative Update, Grand Rapids Bar Association 1997
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Acknowledgements