Clark Hill Attorney’s Jeffrey A. DeVree and James L. Wernstrom Named to West Michigan’s Best Lawyers List

May 12, 2008

GRAND RAPIDS , MI – Clark Hill attorneys Jeffrey A. DeVree and James L. Wernstrom were named to Grand Rapids’ West Michigan’s Best Lawyers List. The Grand Rapids May 2008 issue featured 229 attorneys in 32 specialties.

Jeffrey A. DeVree is a member with the Corporate Practice Group in Clark Hill’s Grand Rapids office.  He has 25 years of experience in tax and employee benefits practice, and works with clients firm-wide on federal, state, local and international tax matters including:

• Tax matters for corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, nonprofit organizations, trust, estates, and individuals
• Tax planning for business organizations, reorganizations, acquisitions, financing, and securities offerings, including foreign activities of U.S. taxpayers and U.S. activities of foreign taxpayers
• Tax-structured sales, leases, and other transactions, including monetization of tax credits
• Litigation of contested tax matters – audits, appeals, assessment, refund, and other matters involving income, sales, use, and other excise taxes
• Business succession planning for family and other closely-held businesses
• Tax issues affecting state and local governmental entities, including cities, counties, townships, villages, school districts, colleges, universities, and other public corporations and agencies
• Pension, profit-sharing, and other tax-qualified retirement plans, employee stock ownership plans, executive compensation plans, and other employee benefit plans
• Tax-exemption for nonprofit organizations, including publicly-supported charities, private foundations, and private educational institutions

Mr. DeVree received a bachelor of arts degree in economics summa cum laude from Hope College, and his law degree cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. He is an active member of bar association sections and committees involving tax and employee benefits, having previously served as a member of the Council of the Tax Section of the State Bar of Michigan and as chairman of the Business and Tax Section of the Grand Rapids Bar Association.  He is a member emeritus of the IRS Great Lakes Area Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Council.  He is also a member of the Tax Policy Committee of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Tax and Regulatory Affairs Committee of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, and worked with both organizations to analyze and develop proposals for Michigan business tax reform.  He is a frequent speaker at seminars for business and professional groups. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Baxter Community Center, a nonprofit inner-city service organization, and the board of directors of  The Grandville Education Foundation, having served as the chairman of both organizations.  He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 25th anniversary edition of The Best Lawyers in America and in Michigan SuperLawyers.

In addition to law practice, Mr. DeVree enjoys bicycling, scuba diving, music, history, and travel.

James L. Wernstrom is a member of Clark Hill’s Litigation Practice Group in the Grand Rapids Office. Mr. Wernstrom is an accomplished litigator, having litigated matters in state and federal courts throughout the country for over 30 years. His experience includes many jury and bench trials, arbitrations, and administrative hearings. A graduate of Western Michigan University and the University of Michigan Law School, he was admitted to the bar in 1973. Since then, he has worked exclusively in civil litigation.

Mr. Wernstrom has represented numerous companies, insurance carriers, and individuals in matters involving personal injury, construction disputes, probate disputes, corporate financing, securities fraud, commercial contracts, defective products and packaging, negligence, fraud, and professional liability. Jim has also litigated trademark and copyright matters and has successfully represented insurance companies in a wide variety of matters. His experience also includes mediation and arbitration.

Mr. Wernstrom is a member of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, the Negligence Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and the American College of Trial Attorneys. He is also listed in Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Commercial Litigation.

Clark Hill clients expect the best, and we deliver by responding quickly to their needs, understanding their business issues, and providing outstanding legal advice.

Since 1890, our attorneys have proudly represented a diverse range of clients ranging from individuals and new entities to Fortune 500 corporations.  These are just a few of the reasons why our firm is repeatedly chosen and recommended by our clients.