Smith Haughey will expand with Muskegon presence

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PHOTO #1: Muskegon Mayor Steve Gawron (left) and State Senator Goeff Hansen flank Smith Haughey attorneys, left to right, Kevin B. Even, CEO William Hondorp, and Eugene Franks outside the “new” Muskegon offices.

PHOTO #2: New Smith Haughey attorney Kevin Huss talks with a well-wisher at Wednesday night’s reception.

PHOTO #3: Thomas Andrews has over 30 years of experience in business law and litigation.


By Cynthia Price
Legal News

A delighted Muskegon community welcomed Smith Haughey Rice and Roegge Wednesday evening as the offices of Even and Franks PLLC joined their firm.

City officials, Chamber of Commerce staff and members, State Senator Goeff Hansen, and the President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, a host of attorneys, and others attended a reception in honor of the new affiliation.

Though there is reason for excitement based solely on the four attorneys formerly at Even and Franks having the opportunity to become part of a prestigious and growing firm, that is not the only cause for the outflow of positivity.

Another very good reason is found in Smith Haughey’s commitment to locating in downtown centers across Michigan, also including Traverse City and Ann Arbor.

“We’re unique in Michigan firms in that we started out in Grand Rapids, not on the east side of the state,” said CEO William Hondorp,  “and because we have a commitment to locating in downtown areas that are in the revitalization process.”

That commitment has been true of Smith Haughey’s expansion in Grand Rapids as well. The firm first renovated part of the historic Flatiron Building,  keeping as much of the former architectural flavor of the building as they could. The management then announced plans to expand into part of the next door Ledyard Building, breaking through in which has Grand Rapids Legal News issues has just been completed, according to Hondorp.

The four attorneys joining Smith Haughey from the former Even and Franks, a business and commercial litigation firm since 1994, bring a combined 90 years plus to the firm.

“This affiliation [gives] us better presence in the vibrant and growing lakeshore communities,” said Lori L. Gibson, Chief Operating Officer for Smith Haughey. “Also, Smith Haughey can complement the exceptional skills of the Even and Franks attorneys with the additional skills and depth of a larger law firm.”

The attorneys include:

—Kevin B. Even, who, as a commercial litigator, has handled cases before the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court, and federal appeals courts.?After
graduating from the U.S. Air Force Officers Candidate School, he received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Michigan State University Law School.

—Eugene A. Franks, who received his B.A. from the University of South Florida, J.D., cum laude, from Thomas M. Cooley Cooley Law School, and LL.M., with honors, from the University of Florida. He focuses on business, real estate, exempt organization and taxation law, doing transactional work, entity maintenance and governance.

—Kevin M. Huss, an estate planning and trust administration attorney, who is very active in the local and state bars and the Lake Michigan Estate Planning Council. Huss received his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law.

—Thomas Andrews, a litigator with over 30 years of experience, who also handles other corporate matters. He graduated summa cum laude with his law degree from University of North Dakota Law School.

The Even and Franks offices at the old?Hume Grocery Store building at the corner of Morris and Third Street now sport a new Smith Haughey Rice and Roegge sign.

 

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