Mark Powers has practiced exclusively business and transactional law for 20 years. He spent seven years in Chicago, where he worked as a corporate attorney supporting Fortune 500 corporation business operations and mergers and acquisitions activity. Mark returned to West Michigan, where he grew up, and continued his business law practice.
Mark focuses on advising businesses operating in Michigan and the Chicago metropolitan area, the owners of operating companies, and buyers and sellers of businesses. Mark engages in limited litigation representation, on occasion, for current clients. Mark’s litigation work, however, is solely focused on enforcing or defending business contract claims for current clients.
Representative Business Counseling Experiences
Representative Commercial Experience
- Conducted business purchase transactions from term sheet drafting and initial due diligence advisement through closing in a variety of manufacturing and service industries. Largest transaction closed: $1.7 billion. Mark has lost count of the number of business sale transactions he brought to a closing.
- Represented bank lender on $10 million loan to manufacturing enterprise.
- Renegotiated $50 million Pacific-region joint venture operation with Japanese financial services conglomerate.
- Helped client buy a private island in another part of the world.
- Negotiated and drafted documents for client regarding transfer of $5 million “green-energy” business to Germany-based purchaser.
- Represented franchisee owner in acquisition of multiple franchise operations from single franchisor.
- Assisted client in transferring his long-time business holdings to new owners as part of closeout of operations and beginning of retirement.
- Counseled client on acquisition of patent-based airflow technology business.
- Documented transfer of stock ownership to employee as part of employee purchase of the prior owners’ equity interests in operating business.
- Advised Northwestern University professor forming joint venture entity and licensing software to foreign equipment manufacturer.
- Advised client in negotiations regarding proposed merger between online business market trading network and existing software company.
- Represented university professor licensing back his own research from the university in exchange for royalty payments to and partial equity ownership by university.
- Obtained United States and Madrid Protocol trademarks and defended the marks against infringement.
- Counseled businesses in negotiating, reviewing, and drafting contracts for purchasing assets, shareholder agreements, and other customary business transactions.
- Negotiated the sale of stock among business owners.
- Prepared equity incentive plans for key employees in closely-held businesses.
- Counseled clients on purchase of franchise operations in food, service, automotive, customer service, and other retail industries
- Counseled Chicago-based corporation on $10 million revolving loan to managing general agency.
- Represented surgical and medical practices in expanding their practices and managing their operations.
- Counseled Chicago-based clients on software development joint ventures and projects.
General Corporate Counseling
- Counseled businesses on standard terms of sale, licenses, and customer contracts.
- Drafted software, patent, and trade secret licenses.
- Counseled employers on general employment matters and prepared employment agreements, employee non-competition agreements, and termination agreements.
- Prepared routine business and legal documents for various clients in a variety of industries.
- Organized corporations, limited liability companies, and joint ventures in a variety of states and countries.
- Counseled corporations on stock redemptions and repurchases.
Estate Planning/Wealth Transfer
- Advised clients regarding amendment of their prior estate planning in order to effect transfer of two operating family businesses to children as successor-owners.
- Prepared wills, trusts, powers of attorney, codicils and other documents necessary for parents to transfer wealth to trust for the benefit of spouses and heirs in tax-efficient manner.
- Created trust and life insurance pourover will documents for parents to provide for underage children.
Education and Professional Associations
- University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1995.
- Michigan State University, B.A., Pol. Sci., 1992, High Honors.
- Grand Valley State University, Seidman College of Business.
- Member of Illinois Bar (admitted 1996).
- Member of Michigan Bar (admitted 2002).
- National Business Institute Seminar: “Limited Liability Companies in Michigan” (2007).
- National Business Institute Seminar: “Limited Liability Companies in Michigan” (2004).
- The Chicago Bar Association: “Early Stage Investing & Start Ups” (2002).
- Indepen. Computer Consultants Assoc.: “Contract Law for Computer Consultants” (2002).
- Harvard Business School Club (Chicago): “Guide to Surviving Legal Pitfalls” (2001).
- Univ. of Chicago Alumni Association: “Legal Issues for Today's Consultants” (2001).
- Univ. of Ill. School of Engineering: “Choice of Entity and Intellectual Property” (2001).
- Assoc. of Certified Microsoft Solution Providers: “Contracts: Art & Wisdom” (2001).
- Exec. Resource Network Conf. (Chicago): “Term Sheets and Letters of Intent” (2001).
- Board of Directors Michigan State University Spartan Child Development Center 2003-2005.
- Spring Lake Village Councilman 2013-2015.
- Taekwondo 4th degree black belt, woodworker, skier.
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