Main Menu
PDF

Varnum Labor and Employment Attorney Dick Hooker Recognized in MLW Hall of Fame

June 24, 2020

Veteran labor and employment attorney Dick Hooker has been named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly 2020 Hall of Fame. A luncheon ceremony commemorating the recognition is being planned for Oct. 9 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

Hooker is a partner at Varnum, where he has practiced labor and employment law since 1976. He represents employers on civil rights, employment relations matters, proceedings before the NLRB, arbitration of employment disputes, construction industry labor matters, and wage/hour matters before federal and state regulatory and administrative agencies. He has a special focus in unemployment insurance taxation matters and a strong alternative dispute resolution practice, including serving as a facilitative mediator, employment law arbitrator and case evaluator.

During his career at Varnum, Hooker served in many leadership roles, including as chair of the Labor and Employment Relations Practice Team, from 1993 to 1999. He also served as the firm’s managing partner in the establishment of three new offices across the state, moving from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo and later to Novi and Detroit.

“The fact that his practice continued to thrive despite several  location changes over the years is a testament to Dick’s commitment to excellence and to the esteem with which he is held by his clients,” said Ron DeWaard, chair of the firm. “That he was entrusted to represent the firm in these then-new outposts exemplifies his partners’ confidence in his leadership and professionalism.”

In addition to his practice, Hooker has worked to advance the development of labor and employment law through his active involvement in the following organizations:

  • Alliance for Education in Dispute Resolution
  • American Employment Law Council
  • American Bar Association: Labor and Employment Section; Committee on Unemployment Insurance Law, past co-chair; Committee on State Labor and Employment Laws, past co-chair; Committee on Employment Rights and Responsibilities
  • Center for Public Responsibility
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE): Michigan Labor and Employment Law, “Unemployment Insurance Law,” Chapter Editor; Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute, speaker
  • Labor and Employment Relations Association, Detroit Chapter
  • National Arbitration Forum
  • National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), Legal Affairs Council
  • Oakland County Bar Association: ADR Committee, Chair
  • Oakland County Business Court’s Advisory Group
  • State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Section
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Labor and Employment Section

Hooker has written and presented on a variety of issues for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), the State Bar of Michigan Labor and Employment Section, the Association for Human Resource Management and the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). A native of Grand Rapids, he attended West Michigan area schools and Denison University for his undergraduate degree. He received his law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Among Hooker’s other honors and recognitions are the following:

  • American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow
  • Martindale-Hubbell®, AV-Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • Regularly recognized by Chambers USA as a leader in the field of Labor and Employment
  • Best Lawyers in America®, since 2005
  • Named  2016 Lawyer of the Year for Labor Law – Management in Ann Arbor, by Best Lawyers®
  • Leading Lawyers: ADR Law – Employment; Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, since 2006
  • Named by DBusiness©  Magazine to 2019 Top Lawyers, Labor and Employment Law

“Dick is widely respected among both the plaintiff’s bar and the defense bar for his civility, magnanimity and total commitment to professionalism,” said Dave Khorey, who currently leads the firm’s Labor and Employment Relations Practice Team. “There are few labor and employment lawyers in the state of Michigan who garner the same level of respect and admiration as Dick.”

Varnum  attorney Beth Skaggs also noted Hooker’s generosity with his time and knowledge, as well as his commitment to mentoring younger attorneys. “I have personally benefited greatly from Dick’s mentorship and guidance during my time at Varnum, as have many other attorneys at the firm,” she said. “In particular, Dick has been a great advocate for women attorneys and attorneys from diverse backgrounds, ensuring that opportunities are open and available to all.”

More about the Hall of Fame awards can be found here: https://milawyersweekly.com/hall-of-fame/

Related Practices

Back to Page
{ footer Image }