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Varnum Attorney Randall Kraker Named to MLW Hall of Fame Class of 2021

March 15, 2021

Michigan Lawyers Weekly has named Varnum attorney Randall Kraker to the Class of 2021 Lawyer Hall of Fame. The honorees will be celebrated at an online recognition program on April 13.

The MLW Lawyers Hall of Fame recognizes attorneys 60 and older who have practiced for 30 years or more. Criteria for inclusion includes career accomplishments, contributions to the development of the law in Michigan, supporting the bar and the state at large, and efforts to improve the quality of justice in the Wolverine State.

Kraker is a member of the Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Practice Team at Varnum, concentrating on land use and zoning issues as well as all aspects of municipal law and finance. With a career spanning more than 40 years, he has worked on hundreds of development projects as either counsel to the municipality or to the developer, and he has assisted in the development of numerous wind and solar energy projects across Michigan.

In addition to his law degree from Rutgers University School of Law, Kraker earned a Master of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University, which has contributed to his success as a municipal and real estate development attorney. He served for over 40 years as the attorney for the City of Grandville and 30 years for the City of Belding and continues to serve both cities. He formerly represented the City of Plainwell and several townships and has provided specialized municipal services to several other cities across Michigan, including Big Rapids, Chelsea, Grand Ledge and Walker.

An example of his experience in city and regional planning involved the development of Rivertown Crossings, West Michigan's largest regional shopping mall at 1.25 million square feet, as well as the strip centers and restaurants that developed around it in a previously undeveloped area of the City of Grandville. City officials credit Kraker as being instrumental in implementing a deliberate, planned approach for master plan amendments, zoning ordinance amendments, extensions to public roads, sanitary sewer and public water.

Another example of his work involves Grandville's Clean Water Plant, which serves as a regional wastewater treatment facility for the rapidly growing southwest portion of the Grand Rapids metropolitan area. Kraker has also assisted in the development of numerous wind and solar energy projects across Michigan, including one of the first utility scale wind energy projects in Michigan and current work on a large utility scale solar energy project in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Kraker is consistently recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© in several categories of law. He has been named “Lawyer of the Year” in Municipal Law in the 2021 guide, which is his tenth time recognized as "Lawyer of the Year." He maintains an AV® Preeminent™ rating (the highest possible) by Martindale-Hubbell. In 2016, he was named Distinguished Municipal Attorney of the Year by the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA).

In addition to his practice, Kraker served on Varnum's Policy Committee for two terms and served on the firm's recruiting committee for more than 30 years. Within the community, he served for many years on the Board of Directors of Holland Home, including serving as board chair. He served on the Board of Directors of Bethany Christian Services for several terms, including as board secretary. He is also the past chair of Project Rehab Board of Directors. He is currently a board member of the Grandville Walker Foundation as well as an Elder in his church.

More about the 2021 Hall of Fame awards.

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