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Three Attorneys Join Varnum's Ann Arbor Office

October 27, 2016

Varnum is pleased to announce the addition of three attorneys to the Ann Arbor office. Thomas W. Forster and Christopher A. Ballard have joined the firm as partners, and Christine L. Phillips has joined as a staff attorney.

"We are very pleased to welcome these new colleagues to the firm," said Varnum Chairman Dave Khorey. "They are each highly-skilled attorneys with great practices and strong ties to the community. They provide a solid foundation as we build our presence in Ann Arbor."

Forster is a real estate and corporate attorney who has practiced for more than 16 years. He represents a broad range of clients from publicly-held companies to closely-held family businesses as well as privately-held corporations and individuals, investors, builders, developers, lenders and property managers. He is active in a variety of professional organizations and a member of Leadership Ann Arbor Class of 2009.

Ballard focuses his practice on estate planning, trust administration, nonprofit organizations, taxation and business planning. He counsels clients on wealth management matters including estate and inheritance tax issues and probate administration. He is currently Secretary of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan. His community involvement includes serving as a board member of FIRST in Michigan, which operates as part of an international robotics competition providing engineering and leadership experiences to more than 350,000 students each year.

Phillips focuses her practice on a variety of real estate matters, with particular experience in government-assisted financing including loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  She has represented real estate developers as well as HUD, Fannie Mae and USDA Rural Housing lenders in financing multi-family and affordable housing throughout the United States. Prior to entering private practice, Phillips clerked with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

Varnum's expansion into Ann Arbor continues the firm's growth in Southeast Michigan. Fifteen attorneys have joined Varnum's three Southeast Michigan offices in the past 18 months, and the firm plans to continue to look for opportunities to hire exceptional attorneys and expand its client services in the region.

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