Education

New York University School of Law, LL.M.
Columbia University School of Law, J.D.
  • James Kent Scholar
  • Columbia Business Law Review, Notes Editor
George Washington University, M.B.A.
  • Finance and Information Systems
University of Nebraska, B.Sc.
  • Mathematics

Prior Employment

  • Ford Motor Company, Office of General Counsel, 1996-2007
  • Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, Associate, 1993-1996
  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Associate, 1988-1993

Bar Admissions

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Michigan 

  • Business Law Section, Member 
  • International Law Section, Member 

American Bar Association 

  • Business Law Section, Member 
  • Committee on Mergers and Acquisitions, Business Law Section, 2009-present 
  • Committee on Legal Opinions, Business Law Section, 2009-present 

New York State Bar Association 

  • Business Law Section, Member 

Michigan Bankers Association 

British America Business Council

Overview
Experience
Community
News & Resources

Overview

Mr. Whitney is an accomplished business attorney with extensive experience representing public and private companies and their owners, directors and officers on corporate and commercial matters. 

  • Focuses practice on general business law and corporate transactional matters, with emphasis on domestic and international acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures, company formation and restructuring, raising capital, commercial contracts, various regulatory and compliance matters, and other business operation and planning concerns
  • Concentrates practice in various industries, including technology ventures, automotive and manufacturing, and financial institutions, including insurance companies, banks and bank holding companies
  • Counsels entrepreneurs and officers and directors of start-ups and established private and public companies on a range of day-to-day issues, including contracts, legal entity governance issues and compensation planning for key executives
  • Serves as a member of the firm's Opinion Committee, rendering legal opinions on public debt and equity offerings, secured and unsecured corporate credit facilities, and secured real estate financings
  • Serves on the Advisory Board (Commercial Law) for Practical Law Company
  • Brings an in-house perspective from serving ten years as in-house counsel at Ford Motor Company, with responsibility for a wide range of corporate and commercial matters

Experience

Recent M&A transactions
  • TriMas Corporation in its acquisition of the remaining 30% interest in Arminak & Associates, LLC for cash plus an earnout
  • TriMas Corporation in its acquisition of the assets of Worthington Corporation’s North American cylinder operations
  • Conifer Holdings, Inc. in its acquisition of Michael J. Kelly Insurance Agency
  • R.L. Polk & Co. in the sale of the company to IHS Inc. for $1.4 billion
  • TriMas Corporation in its $34 million (plus earnout) acquisition of Mac Fasteners, Inc.
  • Conifer Holdings, Inc. in its acquisition of EGI Insurance Services, Inc. from EGI Financial Holdings Inc.
  • TriMas Corporation in its $19 million acquisition of Martinic Engineering, Inc.
  • Saturn Electronics & Engineering, Inc. in the sale of the company to Flextronics International, Inc.
  • TriMas Corporation in its $64 million acquisition of 70% of Arminak & Associates, LLC (with an option to purchase the remaining 30%)
  • Conifer Holdings, Inc. in its acquisition of Main Street Systems, Inc. (DBA Alarm Insurance Agency) and Security Alarm and Monitoring Association, Inc.
  • Conifer Holdings, Inc. in its acquisition of Mid-Continent Insurance Co. Inc. (Pennsylvania insurance company)
  • Red Bull Racing, Inc. in the sale of the NASCAR Red Bull Racing Team assets to BK Racing and other buyers
  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers in its acquisition of Tooling University LLC
Other representative experience
  • Represented North Pointe Holdings Corp. in the sale of the company to QBE Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Australia’s QBE Insurance Group Ltd., for $146 million in a reverse triangular merger
  • Counseled company with operations in Poland on structuring and negotiating an alliance with a manufacturing company in China and a marketing and sales company in Europe to manufacture automotive parts and sell them in Europe, Africa and the Middle East
  • Counseled private investor in startup technology company and related restructuring and foreclosure actions to enforce security interests in collateral
  • Counseled private investors in start-up financial products business
  • Represented company in dispute resolution process involving earn-out provisions in equity purchase transaction 
  • Counseled insurance company on foreclosure of troubled agency and its principal
  • Represented multinational company in restructuring its local subsidiaries in connection with a global refinancing  
  • Represented private individual in acquiring real estate properties in Mexico
  • Counseled U.S. manufacturing company on a cooperation agreement with a China manufacturing company to manufacture and distribute products in China and to sell the products worldwide 
  • Represented U.S. manufacturing company in agreement with China manufacturing company to distribute products in North America 
  • Represented U.S. subsidiary of China company with commercial matters, including troubled supplier issues and other customer and supplier disputes 
  • Represented multinational energy drink producer in commercial litigation over distributor agreement in Michigan 
  • Represented China company in its acquisition of operating divisions of major automotive supplier with international manufacturing operations, including the U.S., Mexico, India, Poland and China 
  • Represented U.S. manufacturer in its acquisition of operating division of Canadian public company, with manufacturing operations in Canada and China 
  • Represented manufacturing company in its sale of operating division that manufactures military weapons
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in its acquisition of auto parts manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Mexico
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in its sale of auto parts manufacturing facilities in the U.S. 
  • Counseled company on its formation of legal entities and private placement of securities for investments in oil and gas working interests
  • Counseled private investors on the formation of legal entities and private placement of securities for investments in windfarm alternative energy production
  • Represented 501(c)(3) charitable organization in its acquisition of hotel property in Mexico (gift transfer)
  • Represented private company in its acquisition of a business that provides web-based services to automobile dealerships
  • Represented public insurance company in its acquisition of family-owned insurance company, insurance agencies and related entities 
  • Represented insurance holding company in its sale of subsidiary Florida insurance company
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in its sale of subsidiary luxury automobile manufacturer in the U.K.
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in its sale of race engine manufacturing subsidiaries in the U.K. and U.S.
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in its sale of Formula 1 automotive racing subsidiary in the U.K. 
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in its acquisition of automobile recycling operations throughout the U.S. and Canada; provide counsel on operational matters
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in its sale of automobile recycling subsidiary with operations throughout the U.S. and Canada
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in the formation of joint venture with third-party service provider to out-source call-service requirements 
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in the formation of joint venture with major computer company to provide marketing website for retail customers 
  • Represented U.S. automotive manufacturer with in its formation and implementation of joint venture by German engineering/manufacturing company, for continuous variable transmission manufacturing in the U.S.; provided counsel on operational matters
  • Counseled automotive manufacturer in its formation and implementation of strategic alliance with second automotive manufacturer to develop family of six-speed transmissions; provide counsel on operational matters
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in its formation and implementation of strategic alliance with the logistics subsidiary of major non-automotive manufacturer to create global logistics service provider
  • Counseled automotive manufacturer in its formation of joint venture with major telecom company, to develop telematics functionality for automobiles and provide counsel on operational matters
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in its formation of joint venture with two other automotive manufacturers and several technology providers in attempt to develop consolidated supply chain management functionality
  • Represented automotive manufacturer in its exploration of a joint venture with automobile dealers in several states

Community

Presbytery of Detroit 

  • Operations Committee, 2010-present 

Kirk In the Hills Presbyterian Church 

  • Usher Corps, 1997-present 
  • Board of Trustees, 2004-2006

Detroit Athletic Club

  • Facilities Committee, 2009-2011

News & Resources

Publications