Ian Williamson

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Professional Experience

Ian Williamson is a key member of the firm’s business litigation department and represents plaintiffs and defendants in all manner of complex business disputes. Early in his career, Ian developed expertise in corporate fiduciary relationships, which he uses to resolve disputes among owners and management in closely held business entities. Ian regularly litigates business disputes in Michigan and throughout the United States.

Ian mixes creative thinking and innovative strategy with the skillful use of negotiation to effectively represent his clients’ interests. He maintains a pragmatic approach to client engagements that is based on routine and frank communication and a clear understanding of client goals, and he strives in all matters to maximize each client’s outcome while minimizing costs. His diplomatic abilities and professionalism, combined with tenacity and a highly effective courtroom demeanor, have resulted in considerable successes for his clients.

Some of Mr. Williamson’s recent representative engagements include the following:

  • Secured ownership and control of various entities with a net value of $97 million for a client in a highly combative shareholder dispute after nearly a year of intensive dual-track litigation and negotiation, culminating in a marathon 36-hour mediation;
  • Complete trial victory resulting in an order securing a $30 million redemption at fair value for non-controlling shareholders of a manufacturing enterprise after a trial on value co-chaired with Gerard Mantese;
  • Secured a settlement worth $11.1 million in cash and real property for a minority shareholder who had been frozen out of a company and denied any meaningful economic benefit from a significant ownership stake;
  • Resolved a claim for more than $10 million against a manager of a limited liability company for less than $2 million with favorable payment terms;
  • Successfully defended a key executive from a $9.6 million claim brought by a former joint venture participant in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court;
  • Negotiated a settlement of $8.2 million for owners of a successful but deadlocked retail operation after shareholders on both sides filed claims;
  • Negotiated a settlement worth approximately $8 million for clients with a claim to ownership rights in a global manufacturing concern;
  • Structured and negotiated a complex unwinding of entangled ownership interests in multiple legacy family-owned business entities, resulting in the transfer to the client group of $3.2 million in real property and cash payments after mediation and arbitration proceedings; and
  • Obtained a judgment for more than $2 million in damages for minority shareholders who were subject to unreasonably low buyout offers coupled with dividend starvation in Franks v Franks, co-chaired with Gerard Mantese, on remand from the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Ian has garnered high praise and respect from his fellow attorneys, who know that he ethically advocates for his clients with skill, passion, preparation, and a detailed understanding of applicable law. He currently supports the State Bar of Michigan and the legal community through his activities as a member of the Business Law Section Council, for which he serves as Vice-Chair. A longtime Ferndale resident, he maintains close ties to his home city, where he serves as the Chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals and spent five years acting as the BZA Liaison on the Planning Commission. Ian is active in his local school community as a parent volunteer, and he is also a regular attender and supporter of Detroit Friends Meeting, a Quaker meeting headquartered in Detroit’s West Side near the Greenwich Park neighborhood.

Publications and Presentations

  •  Leading Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers


  • J.D. (cum laude), Wayne State University Law School, 2004
    • Moot Court – First Place in 2004 Law Day Competition
    • Journal of Law in Society – Senior Note Editor
    • Ira J. Spoon Writing Award
  • B.A., University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 1999


  • State Bar of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

Awards and Recognitions

  • Michigan’s Go-To Lawyers Power List, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2023  
  • Leader in the Law, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2022
  • Michigan Top Lawyer, dBusiness Magazine (2023 and 2024) 
  • Leading Lawyer (2018 – present)
  • Michigan Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine (2015 – present)
  • Michigan Rising Star, Super Lawyers Magazine (2010 – 2014)