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Two Varnum Attorneys Receive Top Honors from Best Lawyers

November 16, 2010

Best Lawyers in America has named Lawrence P. Burns the 2011 Grand Rapids Health Care Lawyer of the Year, and Nyal Deems the 2011 Grand Rapids Real Estate Lawyer of the Year.

The honor reflects the particularly high ratings the two received in Best Lawyers surveys, demonstrating a high level of respect among their peers for their abilities, professionalism and integrity.

"We continue to believe – as we have believed for more than 25 years – that recognition by one's peers is the most meaningful form of praise in the legal profession," said Steven Naifeh, president of Best Lawyers.

Burns is the chair of the Varnum's Health Care Practice Team. He works with clients in health care and life sciences industries to develop innovative health care arrangements, including hospital-physician joint ventures and integrated delivery systems. He also counsels hospitals on staffing matters such as physician recruitment arrangements, medical staff bylaws review and the equitable use of credentialing criteria.

He is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, Michigan Society of Hospital Attorneys (past president) and Antitrust Substantive Law Committee (AAHA).

Outside his practice, Burns uses his health care experience to serve various organizations in the community, including serving on the institutional review boards at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and Saint Mary's Health Care. He also serves on the boards of Saint Mary's Doran Foundation, Diocesan Catholics School Board and the Foundation for Catholic Secondary Education of Greater Grand Rapids.

Deems is a partner on Varnum's Real Estate Practice Team, where he has practiced for over 30 years. He focuses his practice on conveyance and lease transactions, development projects, and construction and permanent financing.

Deems' ongoing community service has provided him with unique municipal experience. He is the former mayor of East Grand Rapids and has served as chairperson of the Grand Rapids Metropolitan Council. He also served as a member of the East Grand Rapids City Commission and chairperson of its Planning Commission. Prior to practicing law, Deems served in the United States Navy and is a Vietnam veteran.

Deems is the past president and member of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and is also a member of the American College of Real Estate Attorneys. He has authored three books on Michigan real estate law and two national practice guides, published by Mathew Binder in New York.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Each year, Best Lawyers evaluates the attorneys in a large legal community and identifies the top lawyer in each practice area, then honors them as the Lawyer of the Year.

To determine which attorney will receive the Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers compiles its lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. The current edition of The Best Lawyers in America (2011) is based on more than 3.1 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.

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