Skip to content

Practice Areas



Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Bloomington, Indiana
J.D., magna cum laude, 2012
Indiana Law Journal, Managing Editor

Hope College
Holland, Michigan
B.A., Economics, with honors, 2008

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions Attorney

Jake is a member of Varnum’s Corporate Services and M&A Team. Jake’s focus is in business and transactional work with a strong emphasis on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), private equity, family office, venture capital and other commercial transactions. Jake also has experience with day-to-day business issues from a legal perspective and has experience in corporate structuring, succession planning, securities regulation and a wide variety of other commercial transactions. He has experience working with businesses ranging from early stage startups to mature, privately-held businesses of all sizes.

In addition to general corporate services, Jake works with clients in the food processing industry.  His food law experience includes compliance with FDA labeling requirements and the Food Safety Modernization Act. Jake also has representative experience with agricultural cooperatives and the Capper Volstead Act.

For the past several years, Jake has been named by Best Lawyers® as one of the “Ones to Watch,” a designation given to attorneys who are earlier in their careers, in recognition of their outstanding professional excellence in private practice.

M&A Experience

A sample of representative M&A transactions are as follows:

Represented regional c-store distributor in negotiation and consummation of sale to privately-owned competitor.

Represented fruit juice manufacturer in sale to publicly-traded company.

Represented various startups and growing business in connection with capital raises and exit transactions.

Represented outdoor industry company in numerous acquisitions and divestitures in North America.

Roll-up acquisitions for insurance brokerage, risk management benefits design firm (more than 300 transactions to date since July 2013).

Represented family office in connection with acquisition of financially-distressed produce broker and apple packer.

Represented TransNav, a privately-held plastic injection molding company in its sale to Groupe Plastivaloire, a family-controlled and publicly-traded auto components molder headquartered in France.

Represented a leading carbon steel service center in its sale to a private equity fund.

Represented private equity firm Blackford Capital in several acquisitions.

Represented Granger Energy Services division’s sale of 16 landfill gas-to-energy sites across six states to an Australian company.

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America®, Ones to Watch, Corporate Law, since 2021; Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 2024

Grand Rapids Magazine’s Top Lawyers, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, since 2022

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Go To Lawyer for Business Law, 2022

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Up & Coming Lawyer, 2016

Professional Affiliations

Association for Corporate Growth

Grand Rapids Bar Association

Mid America Cooperative Council, Inc.

State Bar of Michigan

Sign up to be the first to access our leading legal insights.

The link you have selected will redirect you to a third-party website located on another server. We are offering the link for your convenience. Varnum has no responsibility for any external websites and makes no express or implied warranties about any external websites.

Please be aware that contacting us via e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. Do not send confidential information to the firm until you have spoken with one of our attorneys and receive authorization to send such materials.