John Kanan is an experienced corporate attorney who is well versed in corporate and financial transactional matters. He counsels publicly and privately held businesses and their owners and directors and provides a broad range of legal advice to dozens of companies in a wide variety of industries. He has considerable knowledge regarding international business transactions, acquisitions, and divestitures.

  • Acts as lead counsel in mergers, acquisitions, and sales of public and private companies in transactions ranging from several million to several billion dollars
  • Provides guidance in private equity and debt offerings
  • Advises on the formation of private equity and other funds
  • Represents clients in complex financing transactions
  • Counsels clients in complex joint ventures
  • Represents U.S. operations of non-U.S. headquartered companies
  • Advises clients on employment agreements, noncompetition agreements, and equity-based compensation plans and agreements, including stock option plans and bonus plans
  • Advises Formation of U.S. subsidiaries for Chinese companies
  • Represents Chinese, Japanese and Indian companies in acquisitions of US companies
  • Represents US and foreign companies in complex financing arrangements



Prior Experience

  • Timmis & Inman, L.L.P., Associate Attorney, 1992-1997






The Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2024

  • Recognized in practice areas of:
    • Corporate Law
    • Mergers & Acquisitions Law
    • International Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Law Bulletin Media
    • Leading Lawyers, Closely & Privately Held Business Law, 2023-2024
    • Leading Lawyers, Publicly Held Corporations Law, 2023-2024
  • Detroit International Mergers and Acquisitions "Lawyer of the Year," 2021, 2023
  • Detroit Mergers & Acquisitions "Lawyer of the Year," 2023

Michigan Super Lawyers, 2012-2022

DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2010-2011, 2019, 2022, and 2023-2024

Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated

Professional & Community Involvement

  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Business Law Section
    • International Law Section
  • Interlaw, an international association of 70 independent law firms
    • Firm Representative 
    • North America Leader of Mergers and Acquisitions Special Business Team

News & Insights


  • Media | Honigman Podcast |
  • Michael S. Ben, Donald J. Kunz, John P. Kanan and Melanie Van Antwerp are mentioned as counsel for DELiA*s in the Deal Pipeline article “DELiA*s to file Ch. 11 and liquidate before Xmas”
    Media |
  • Michael S. Ben, Donald J. Kunz, John P. Kanan and Melanie Van Antwerp are mentioned as counsel for DELiA*s in the Deal Pipeline article “DELiA*s up for sale”
    Media |


  • "Do you have the right team?"
    Event | | | Speaker


  • Treaties and Protocols Impacting the International Transportation of Goods
    Publication | Practical Law (A Thomson Reuters Legal Solution) | Annual Contributor
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