James L. Hughes

Mr. Hughes focuses his practice on for-profit and not-for-profit corporate law including governance issues, and transactional law including finance and mergers and acquisitions.  He has represented clients on the sell-side and buy-side of acquisitions in many industries and is a recognized expert in health system affiliations and mergers.  He works closely with Governing Boards and Executive Leadership of health systems to identify goals and develop related affiliation structures and terms. He is a leader in health system finance and worked on more than 100 such finance transactions.

Education & Credentials


Central Michigan University

B.S.B.A., Accounting, 1976

University of Notre Dame

J.D., 1982
  • summa cum laude

Bar Admission

  • Michigan


  • Listed in Michigan Super Lawyers 
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America
    • 2018 Lawyer of the Year- Banking and Finance Law
    • 2016 Lawyer of the Year- Banking and Finance Law 
    • 2012 Lawyer of the Year - Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Ann Arbor, Michigan - Best Lawyers in America

Representative Clients

  • Beaumont Health
  • Allegiance Health
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • TK Holdings
  • North Ottawa Community Hospital
  • Bertrandt US, Inc.

Prominent Assignments

Extensive background in healthcare contract and commercial matters, including joint ventures and management arrangements.

Experience in corporate governance, including counseling with Board of Directors and Senior Management.

Counsel for Borrower or for Underwriter on in excess of 100 taxable and tax-exempt Hospital and University Bond Transactions over 25 years, including restructuring debt. 

Bank counsel on over 75 credit transactions focused on healthcare, higher education or not-for-profit entities, including distressed hospitals.

Specific Experience:

Counsel on the following:  

  • Purchase of 390 bed hospital in suburban Detroit.
  • Sale of a 330-bed financially distressed hospital in suburban Detroit, including negotiation of a discount with bondholders.
  • Counsel on the merger of a 128-bed Michigan community hospital into a multi-state Catholic health system and creation of community health foundation.
  • Lead counsel on combination of three health systems in southeast Michigan creating Michigan's largest health system with over 4,000 beds.
  • Lead counsel on acquisition of Jackson-based health system by larger Detroit based system. 
  • Seller’s counsel on sale of Michigan-based Medicaid HMO to national HMO provider.
  • Hospital counsel on comprehensive management arrangement (including spin-off of assets) for significant operating line of business.
  • Buyer's counsel on acquisition of school bus seat manufacturer.
  • Seller’s counsel on sale of an automotive machine and tool maker with facilities in several states and Canada.
  • Seller’s counsel on merger of heavy machine manufacturer into automotive parts manufacturing business.
  • Seller’s counsel on sale of a fifteen radio station network located throughout the US, involving 9 separate transactions.

Professional Involvement

  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Health Care Financial Managers Association
  • Certified Public Accountant (inactive license)

Community Involvement

  • Siena Heights University, Adrian, MI; Member, Board of Trustees
  • Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor, MI; Member, Board of Directors
  • Marnee and John Devine Foundation, Ann Arbor, MI; Former Member, Board of Trustees; Former President
  • Holy Cross Children Services, Clinton, MI; Former Member, Board of Directors; Former Treasurer; Former President
  • Legatus; Member
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