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Practice Areas



University of Michigan Law School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
J.D., cum laude, 1987

Hope College
Holland, Michigan
B.A., summa cum laude, 1984

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

Business, Aviation and Estate Planning Attorney

Jeff’s practice focuses on business law, real estate, estate planning and aircraft transactions. He works with many companies and family businesses to handle their legal issues, including business transactions, financing, contracts, licensing matters and real estate transactions. Jeff advises clients on aviation matters, including the purchase, sale, fractional ownership, leasing and operation of aircraft. He is also experienced in commercial real estate development and financing, and in the ownership, management and transfer of family businesses, cottages, farms and vacation properties. In addition, Jeff represents clients in the agriculture and food industries, and he regularly assists clients with wills and trusts, estate taxation counsel, and trust and estate administration.

Jeff is consistently recognized by Best Lawyers in America®  for his work in corporate law and estate planning. He led the Varnum team in a matter that was recognized in 2023 as Transaction of the Year by the Detroit Turnaround Management Association.

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America® since 2013

Best Lawyers in America®Lawyer of the Year, Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law (Grand Rapids), 2023

Grand Rapids Magazine’s Top Lawyers, Trusts and Estates, 2020, 2021

G.W. Haworth Strength of Community Award for Exemplary Community Leadership, 2010

Leading Lawyers: Agriculture Law; Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Real Estate Law – Commercial; Real Estate Law – Residential; Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law

Martindale-Hubbell® Distinguished™ Peer Review Rated

Professional Affiliations

Ottawa County Bar Association

National Business Aviation Association

State Bar of Michigan

Community Involvement

Central High School, mentor, 2017 – 2020

Grand Haven Area Community Foundation: Board chair, 2011 – 2012; Board of Trustees, 2006 – 2012

Grand Haven Area Public Schools, bond campaign co-chair, 2014

Grand Haven Aviation Association, 2018 – present

Grand Haven Bank, Board, 2004 – 2008

Greater Ottawa County United Way: campaign chair, 2008 – 2009; volunteer, 2000 – present

Hope College, Adjunct Faculty – Law and Legal Advocacy, Spring 2021 and 2023

Loutit District Library: Board of Trustees, 2003 – 2009; Board chair and capital campaign chair, 2006 – 2009

Love In The Name of Christ Ministry Center, capital campaign chair, 2010 – 2012

North Ottawa Community Health System: capital campaign co-chair, 2014 – 2016; Board chair, 2017 – 2019; Board of Trustees, 2012 – 2022

Private pilot – instrument rated

Rotary Club of Grand Haven, past president, 1993 – 2022

St. Patrick/St. Anthony Parish, capital campaign co-chair, 2014 – 2018

Tri-Cities Family YMCA: Vice Chair, 2021 – 2022; Board, 2019 – present; Capital Campaign co-chair, 2023 – present

Trinity Health Muskegon, Board, 2022 – present

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