Steven G. Howell

Consulting Member

Steve has been practicing for over 40 years as a bankruptcy and insolvency lawyer providing a broad range of services in the distressed business context. A significant part of Steve's practice is spent counseling lenders in troubled loan matters throughout the workout process, including exit strategies, refinancings, restructures, sales, out-of-court and court proceedings, bankruptcy and liquidation. He is currently serving as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan as lead bankruptcy counsel on behalf of the State of Michigan in the Chapter 9 bankruptcy case filed by the City of Detroit. In addition, he serves as counsel to the Detroit Financial Review Commission which is responsible for reviewing and approving certain activities by the City of Detroit and reviewing compliance with the City's plan of adjustment confirmed by the bankruptcy court in November of 2014. Steve has also represented borrowers, creditors' committees, creditors and purchasers of financially distressed companies. He has previously served as Practice Department Manager of the Banking, Bankruptcy, and Municipal Finance groups at Dickinson Wright for 8 years. Increasingly, Steve has been called upon to mediate matters in both state and federal courts.

In addition to his practice responsibilities, Steve serves as the Firm's Executive Director of Community and Client Relations, focusing on increasing the visibility and involvement of Dickinson Wright in its communities and complementing the business development activities and efforts of the Firm and his colleagues.

Education & Credentials


University of Michigan

B.G.S., 1975
  • with high distinction

Wayne State University Law School

J.D., 1978
  • magna cum laude

Bar Admission

  • Michigan


  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
    • Bankruptcy, 2008-2024
  • Best Lawyers in America®  
    • "Best Lawyers of the Year," Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2013, 2016, 2023
    • "Best Lawyers of the Year," Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights, 2011, 2014, 2018, 2021, 2023-2024
    • "Best Lawyers of the Year," Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2024
    • "Best Lawyers of the Year," Banking and Finance, 2022-2023
    • Banking and Finance Law, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2024
  • Michigan Super Lawyers®
    • "Top 100 Lawyers," 2021-2024
    • Bankruptcy Law, 2006-2024
  • DBusiness Magazine
    • "Top Lawyers," 2015-2016, 2018-2023
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly
    • "Leader in the Law," 2015
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Rated
  • Barbara J. Rom Excellence in Bankruptcy Award, Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan, November 2014

Representative Clients

  • State of Michigan
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Citizens Bank, N.A.
  • The Huntington National Bank
  • CIBC Bank USA
  • Sandton Capital Partners
  • U.S. Bank
  • Invest Detroit
  • PNC Bank, National Association

Prominent Assignments

Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan in the City of Detroit Chapter 9.

Counsel for The Detroit Financial Review Commission.

Counsel for the Agent in an automotive workout.

Counsel for the Agent in a commercial leasing company workout.

Counsel for Agent in The Frank W. Kerr Company Chapter 11.

Counsel for Agent in Billnat Corporation Chapter 11.

Counsel for Lender in Cherry Growers, Inc. Chapter 11.

Counsel for Lender in Lifestyle Lift, Inc., et. al., Chapter 11. 

Counsel for Lender in Lee Steel Corporation, et. al., Chapter 11

Counsel for the Lender in GASFRAC Energy Services, Inc. Chapter 15/CCAA proceeding

Co-Counsel for Agent in American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. restructure.

Co-Counsel for Agent in Progressive Moulded Products, Ltd. Chapter 11 and CCAA proceeding.

Co-Counsel for Agent in Blue Water Plastics Chapter 11.

Counsel for Lender in Steel Parts Corporation Chapter 11.

Counsel for Agent in Key Plastics, LLC Chapter 11.

Counsel for Thornapple Valley Inc. in it’s Chapter 11 filing.

Counsel for Agent in F&M Distributors, Inc. Chapter 11.

Counsel for Agent in workout of large multi-state paving contractor.

Counsel for Lender in workout of defense and aerospace manufacturer.

Counsel for Lender in numerous workouts of golf course properties.

Counsel for Agent of specialty vehicle manufacturer.

Counsel for Lender in numerous workouts of hotel properties.

Counsel for Lender in numerous workouts of residential and commercial real estate developers.

Professional Involvement

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Turnaround Management Association
  • Board of Directors, Michigan State Bar Foundation
  • Michigan State Bar Foundation IOLTA Community Investment Committee
  • Resident Member, Detroit Athletic Association
  • Board of Directors, Detroit Athletic Club
  • Executive Committee, HAVEN of Oakland County

Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • United States Bankruptcy Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Bankruptcy Committee of the Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan, Panelist, “The Uniform Commercial Code and COVID-19 – Force Majeure, Impossibility, Impracticability and Frustration of Purpose”, Panel on Drafting and Enforcing Contracts in Light of COVID-19, February 2021
  • Co-Author, "Managing Uncertainty Through Financial Crisis Requires Proactive Guidance," Dickinson Wright Client Alert, March 2020 
  • Turnaround Management Association/West Michigan Chapter, Panelist, "State Governments, Municipalities and Emergency Managers," February, 2018
  • Webinar presentation to a major national bank's workout bankers and lawyers, "Municipal Bankruptcy: Getting In and Getting Out," July 2015
  • Michigan Association of Municipal Lawyers/Public Corporation Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan 17th Annual Summer Education Conference, panelist, "When Worlds Collide - Municipal Finance & Bankruptcy! Has the Dust Settled?" St. Joseph, Michigan, 2015
  • Turnaround Management Association Annual Spring Conference, panelist, "Back From  The Brink: Detroit's Turnaround, the Inside Story," Detroit, Michigan, 2015
  • ABA 19th Annual National Institute on Gaming Law, "Casino Bankruptcies: A Growing Threat to Market Stability," February 2015
  • Turnaround Management Association Annual Spring Conference, panelist, "Death of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy As We Knew It," Southfield, Michigan, 2013
  • Turnaround Management Association/Federal Bar Association, 2009 Automotive Conference, speaker, “Insolvency & Restructuring - A View from the Trenches”, Detroit, 2009
  • Association for Corporate Growth, speaker, “International Insolvencies - When Continents Collide”, Detroit, 2007
  • An Overview of the Workout Process and Bankruptcy for Bankers to numerous workout groups for banks throughout Michigan
  • The Tenth Annual Conference on Distressed Investing, panel speaker, “Buying Automotive Suppliers,” New York, 2003
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Central States Workshop, speaker on Buying and Selling Assets
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