Photo of Richard A. Walawender

Richard A. Walawender

Corporate Group Co-Leader




University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1986

University of Michigan, B.A.

Bar Admissions


Richard Walawender is Co-Leader of the firm’s Corporate Group, and director of the firm’s International Practice and Autonomous Vehicle Practice. He also served as a managing director of the firm from 2001 to 2003.  

Corporate Law

His practice specialties include mergers and acquisitions, corporate and commercial law, corporate governance and securities, private equity, venture capital, equity and debt financing, international transactions and joint ventures, project finance, and franchising.

His clients include publicly traded companies, private equity and hedge funds, financial institutions, privately held companies, start-ups and technology ventures. He acts as general counsel for several clients, and special corporate counsel to domestic and international companies, and represents many clients in structuring their cross-border operations and closing transactions.

Automotive Industry

As director of the firm’s Automotive Practice, Richard coordinates the firm’s attorneys specializing in the full range of legal issues affecting clients involved in the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in representing both strategic (OEM and tier suppliers) as well as private equity clients on automotive industry transactions, including mergers, dispositions, acquisitions, Section 363 acquisitions in bankruptcy, joint ventures and alliances, contract drafting negotiations and disputes, licensing, recapitalizations and refinancings, and distressed supplier/customer dealings.  More recently, he has spearheaded the firm’s representation of traditional auto companies as well as new software companies entering into the exciting autonomous vehicle sector of the auto industry, and has led the effort in establishing Miller Canfield as a legal pioneer in this area.


As director of the firm’s International Practice he has also been the lead attorney on numerous multinational M&A transactions for U.S., Canadian, European, Asian, Mexican, and other non-U.S. clients.  He co-founded the firm’s Polish partnership in 1991 and served as the lead attorney on the first corporate commercial paper issuance of a U.S. company in Eastern Europe, as well as on the establishment and capitalization of Solidarity Bank, one of the first private commercial banks in Poland. He frequently advises clients on outbound and inbound investment structuring and strategies, international joint ventures and strategic alliances, as well as FCPA, CFIUS, export controls, and other cross-border issues and disputes.  His practice involves international law generally, but he has especially focused on Emerging Market economies, including the BRIC countries, Mexico, Eastern Europe, and Korea.

Representative Matters


Best Lawyers in America, International Trade and Finance Law 2012-present; Mergers & Acquisitions Law 2013-present,

European Legal Experts 2010, Real Estate and Corporate + M&A

DBusiness Magazine, Commercial Law 2010-present

Michigan Super Lawyers, Mergers & Acquisitions, 2009-present

Crain's Detroit Business, "90 for the 90s," 1990

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

International Bar Association

State Bar of Michigan

New York State Bar Association

U.S.-Poland Business Council

U.S.-India Business Council

Civic, Cultural & Social Activities

Michigan Economic Development Foundation, Board of Directors, 2012-present

Meadowbrook Concours d'Elegance, Board of Directors, 2007-2009

Orchard Lake Schools, Board of Regents, 2008-2012

Madonna University, Board of Trustees, 2002-present

Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences

Cornerstone Schools Association, Secretary and Legal Counsel, 1990-1996


The Bankruptcy and Reorganisation Law, (Co-translators Maja Binkowska and Karolina Niemirska-Fido) C.H. Beck, 2010

The Code of Administrative Proceedings (Co-translators Maja Binkowska and Andrzej Chelchowski), C.H. Beck, 2010

"Legal Considerations in Exit Strategies: IPO vs. Sale," in Harry Cendrowski, et al., eds., Private Equity (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2008) pp. 357-398

"Poland's Revised Bankruptcy, Reorganization Law," (Co-author Karolina Niemirska-Fido), American Bankruptcy Institute, June 2010

"Europe," Co-Author with Andrzej Chelchowski, The International Lawyer, American Bar Association, Volume 4, Number 2, Summer 2009

"Directors' Duties for Corporations Near Insolvency," Miller Canfield Corporate Law Bulletin, October 2008

"Licensing Option for U.S. Companies Doing Business Abroad," Crain's Detroit Business, June 1995

"Bonding and Finance for Municipalities in Poland," series of articles printed in Wspolnota Polska (Poland), 1995

"At-large Elections, A Quantitative Analysis, Note," Journal of Law Reform, March 1986; reprinted in Roger L. Kemp, ed., Local Government Election Practices (McFarland & Company, Inc., 2006) 

"Polish Diplomacy During the Second World War, Review Article," The Polish Review, June 1984