Robert Riley is a partner in the Litigation Department who represents international manufacturers, private equity firms, and closely held businesses in complex commercial and shareholder disputes. He has argued multiple cases before the Michigan Supreme Court and represented parties to disputes before appellate courts throughout the country. Robert also serves as one of the firm’s Value Partners, where he leads Honigman’s strategic efforts to consistently deliver value to clients, including through the implementation of the firm’s client service standards, legal project management, process improvement, knowledge management, and the use of alternative fee arrangements and value pricing. He formerly served the firm as a member of the Summer Associate Committee.



Representative Matters

Manufacturing Litigation

  • Won $5.8 million judgment, plus attorney’s fees, in E.D. Va. representing an international engine manufacturer in a breach of contract dispute arising out of a U.S. Navy shipbuilding program
  • Represented automotive OEM in bankruptcy adversary proceeding litigation in D. Mass. against former supplier involving cross-claims for fraud and breach of contract
  • Advised automotive OEM in the supplier bankruptcies of A123 Systems, Inc. and Fisker Automotive Holdings, Inc.
  • Counseled automotive OEM in bankruptcy proceedings involving international Tier 1 supplier of vehicle airbag inflators
  • Represented Tier 2 automotive supplier in $80 million warranty dispute with OEM and Tier 1 supplier
  • Advised Tier 1 automotive supplier in litigation with Tier 2 supplier involving claims for breach of contract, failure to release tooling, and protection of just-in-time inventory supply to OEM
  • Engages in high-stakes emergency litigation involving temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions regarding the protection of supply chains

Appellate Experience

  • Argued Woodman v Department of Corrections and Joseph v Department of Corrections, cases involving whether reasonable attorneys’ fees may be reduced when a party is represented by pro bono counsel
  • Argued Lichon v Morse before the Michigan Supreme Court, a case involving the enforceability of workplace arbitration agreements
  • Argued NL Ventures v City of Livonia before the Michigan Supreme Court, a dispute regarding the vadlidity of the City of Livonia’s enforcement and attempted collection of municipal water liens
  • Argued Coloma Charter Twp v Berrien County before the Michigan Supreme Court, a case involving Berrien County’s authority to operate an outdoor gun range facility for the training of the County Sheriff’s Department in contravention of a Coloma Township zoning ordinance
  • Filed multiple amicus curiae briefs as lead counsel to various organizations, including the National Association of Counsel for Children, the Legal Services Association of Michigan, and the Fair Punishment Project in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals, and other appellate courts throughout the country

Other Significant Litigation

  • Represented closely held companies with more than $100 million in assets under management in defense of multiple lawsuits (both judicial and arbitral) claiming member oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, accounting, conspiracy, concert of action, and other related claims
  • Led successful defense of nationwide restaurant chain in class action litigation alleging false advertising and negligence and won dismissal of all claims via successive motions for summary disposition
  • Advised national distributor in a $15 million trademark infringement action and twice defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction following prosecution of affirmative defenses; won discovery sanctions and resolved case with no liability to client
  • Led all e-discovery efforts in a $13 million fraud dispute in the E.D. Pa. regarding complex financial and accounting issues
  • Represented private equity firm in connection with claims against former shareholder of portfolio company for breach of purchase agreement representations and warranties
  • Advised Capitol Bancorp Ltd., a national bank holding company with total assets of approximately $2 billion, in its Chapter 11 reorganization

Prior Experience

  • Riley & Hurley, P.C., Legal Assistant (2003-2007)


  • Justice Bridget McCormack, Michigan Supreme Court, Transition Director/Law Clerk, 2012-2013
  • Justice Marilyn Kelly, Michigan Supreme Court, Senior Law Clerk, 2008-2012




Court Admissions



Michigan Super Lawyers, Recognized as a Rising Star, 2022

The Best Lawyers in America, 2023-2024

  • Recognized in practice area of Appellate Law

Professional & Community Involvement

State Bar of Michigan

Michigan State Bar Foundation

  • Fellow

Illinois State Bar Association

United Way for Southeastern Michigan

  • Emerging Philanthropists Leadership Committee

Detroit Country Day School

  • Alumni Mentoring Program, 2009-present
  • Biannual Career Day Presenter
  • 2015 Cum Laude Society Induction Ceremony, Keynote Speaker

University of Michigan Ross School of Business Alumni Club of Southeast Michigan

  • Board of Directors

University of Michigan Alumni Association

  • Alumni NetWorks Mentoring Program, 2009-2016

Wayne State University Law School Alumni Association

  • Board of Directors, 2012-2015

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