Taft Detroit Announces Team of Six New Partners

Taft Detroit announces a team of six new partners to the firm, bolstering its business and litigation practice groups. All are joining from Dinsmore & Shohl with Gus Andreasen, Joe DeVito, Ian Larkin, Tom Walters, and Evonne Xu based in the Taft Detroit office and Jane Hahn based in the Taft Chicago office.

“Taft is in the talent business. We pride ourselves in not having any office that serves as a ‘headquarters’ because in order to obtain the best results in each market, we need to empower local leadership. This impressive group of Detroit lateral partners is a shining example of this philosophy. We have created a dynamic culture where each market is its own market headquarters – as an integral part of a cohesive, firmwide “One Taft” model – in order to deliver exemplary client service, recruit strong talent, and drive growth in that market. Taft Detroit has exceeded our expectations on many fronts since the Jaffe merger at the end of 2022,” said Taft Chairman and Managing Partner Robert J. Hicks.

Ranked in the prestigious Am Law 100 as the 82nd largest firm in the U.S. in 2023 by revenue, Taft has approximately 875 attorneys spread across nine major markets – eight in the Midwest (Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis) as well as Washington, DC. The firm has grown its lawyer headcount by 250% and revenues by 325% since 2017, which led to being recognized by Am Law 100 as the fastest growing law firm in 2022. As a result, Taft is now approximately the 50th largest law firm in the U.S. by lawyer headcount. With today’s announcement, Taft Detroit has 132 attorneys.

“These talented attorneys are highly regarded as leaders in their field and carry an impressive track record of success that aligns with the Taft approach to client service and bolsters our deep bench of business and litigation expertise,” said Mark Cooper, partner-in-charge of the Taft Detroit office. “The addition of this outstanding group of professionals underscores Taft’s strong position as a leader in the Detroit legal market.”

Newly elected Taft partner Joe DeVito said, “Our team is extremely honored and excited to be a part of Taft for many reasons, most importantly being the highly skilled practitioners and breadth of practice areas, which truly offers a full service legal option for our clients. In addition, the fast moving entrepreneurial and collegial culture is a perfect fit for our team. We are all confident that the Taft chapter of our careers will be the best yet!”

The partners joining Taft include:

  • Gus Andreasen (Detroit) is focused on private equity and corporate transactions, restructuring and distressed transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and private securities offerings. He regularly represents companies in global acquisitions and dispositions, as well as those in connection with distressed assets. Additionally, he often serves as general counsel for board and senior management, providing advice and assistance for general corporate matters and corporate governance. Throughout his career, he has been recognized as a top lawyer by various publications and earned the Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating.
  • Joe DeVito (Detroit) is an experienced and accomplished corporate attorney, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate lending and restructuring transactions, real estate sales and leasing, international business transactions, and securities. He represents clients across several industries, including automotive, industrial, health care, fintech, service, and technology on all aspects of their strategic and legal objectives. Known for treating each transaction with a high degree of attention and urgency, he is recognized as a top lawyer within the legal community and has been named “Deal Maker of the Year” by various M&A publications.
  • Jane Hahn (Chicago) is a seasoned merger and acquisitions attorney with extensive experience representing, counseling, and collaborating with clients in a wide array of domestic and cross-border transactions. She also advises clients on general corporate and financing matters, including syndicated loan transactions. Throughout her career, she has been recognized as a rising star, emerging lawyer, and leader in her field for her innovative approach to meeting client goals.
  • Ian Larkin (Detroit) is a transactional attorney, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, entity reorganizations, commercial lending, real estate, and a variety of general business matters for public companies, closely held businesses, and large private entities. He counsels commercial clients on matters vital to their business, such as contracts, distribution agreements, and supply agreements, and advises them on leveraging transactions to achieve their goals. In addition, he serves as the outside general counsel for numerous businesses assisting them with day-to-day issues.
  • Tom Walters (Detroit) is an experienced trial attorney and a trusted business adviser, focusing on complex commercial litigation. Throughout his career, he has prosecuted and defended business litigation cases, including automotive supply chain controversies, manufacturing disputes, real estate development and leasing, construction-related conflicts, sales representative commission claims, business stakeholder separations, and intellectual property matters. In addition, he has significant first-chair jury trial and arbitration experience. He has been recognized as a top lawyer for his efforts to create innovative solutions that make a difference for clients in their most complicated challenges.
  • Evonne Xu (Detroit) counsels clients across the world on corporate matters of all sizes, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and alliances, finance, and stock acquisitions and sales. She also counsels commercial clients on issues vital to their business, such as contracts, real estate transactions, distribution agreements, licensing agreements, and supply agreements. Fluent in English and Chinese, she assists Chinese companies operating throughout the United States, as well as U.S. companies conducting business throughout China. She has been named a rising star in her field and was recently named a Notable Woman in Law by Crain’s Detroit Business.

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