- J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1978, magna cum laude
- B.A., University of Michigan, 1975
Jeff Ammon has practiced law with Miller Johnson since 1978.
His expertise is reflected by clients who were quoted in Chambers to say:
“Tremendously savvy and experienced transactions lawyer” (2009)
“A lawyer’s lawyer who will always do what’s right for a deal” (2008)
“Leader in business law in West Michigan” (2011)
What Mr. Ammon Has In Common With Other Business Lawyers
Mr. Ammon shares these traditional areas of expertise with business and real estate lawyers practicing in comparable firms:
- Closely-held entity transactions (admitting new owners, redeeming exiting owners, parent and subsidiary reorganizations and recapitalizations, etc.)
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Real estate
- General counsel advice to closely-held companies
- Outside counsel advice to in-house counsel
What Mr. Ammon Does That Most Business Lawyers Don’t Do
His experience and approach in the following areas differentiate him from most business lawyers:
- Drafting agreements in clear English: Mr. Ammon is one of the few lawyers who have drafted client agreements from scratch using plain English. And he has written and taught on the subject as well. See, for example:
- Ambiguous Drafting and the 12-Pound Cat, Michigan Bar Journal, July 2011
- Indemnification: Banish the Word!, Michigan Bar Journal, September 2013
- Time Is of the Essence (to Banish That Phrase from Your Contracts)!, Michigan Bar Journal, February 2016
- Mr. Ammon maintains an active presentation schedule to contribute to education of lawyers and non-lawyers. For example:
- Construction Financial Management Association:
- For the National CFMA, Mr. Ammon redesigned it 4-hour Contract 101 course for construction industry professionals. Since that time he has taught that course at several CFMA national conventions and as a webinar.
- He has been a frequent presenter for ICLE, The Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He recently helped ICLE’s staff create a new online program to teach business lawyers about representing a start-up business.
- Construction Financial Management Association:
- Legislative solutions: Mr. Ammon has drafted several amendments to Michigan statutes to solve client problems.
You might find these samples of client engagements interesting:
- He represented a manufacturer-tenant by simultaneously negotiating a multi-million dollar construction contract for tenant improvements and a long-term lease with unique buyouts and rent protections.
- He represented a manufacturer relocating and purchasing a new plant in what the Michigan Attorney General’s office described as the first transaction in the state that combined tax-exempt financing with a 1031 like-kind exchange.
- He represented a manufacturer to obtain a combination of city and state incentives that included tax abatements, tax increment financing and land grants for a $65 million expansion.
- He rewrote a state statute to give limited liability protection to the trustees of a special-purpose educational entity.
Professional Affiliations, Activities and Honors
- Construction: Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) – Western Michigan Chapter; American Subcontractors Association – Michigan Chapter (ASAM); Construction and Financial Management Association (CFMA) – West Michigan Chapter
- Commercial Alliance of Realtors of West Michigan (former board member, member of Education Committee)
- Economic Club of Grand Rapids (legal counsel and secretary)
- Michigan Chamber of Commerce board of directors (Chair in 2011, former service on its Executive Committee and as Chair of its Tax Policy Committee)
- State Bar of Michigan. Mr. Ammon has also served as Council Chair and Nominating Director for the bar’s Business Law Section.
- Grand Rapids Bar Association
- American Bar Association (member, Forum on the Construction Industry)
- 2012 recipient of the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section’s Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award
- Listed in “The Best Lawyers in America®” for Banking Law, Corporate Law, Closely Held Company and Family Business Law, Construction Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, and Real Estate Law
- Michigan “Super Lawyer” for Business/Corporate and was on the Top 100 list for Michigan “Super Lawyers” from 2006 through 2010
- Recognized in Chambers USA for corporate/M&A
- Named as Best Lawyers 2019 Grand Rapids Lawyer of the Year for Construction Law
- Named as Best Lawyers 2018 Grand Rapids Lawyer of the Year for Banking and Finance Law
- Named as Best Lawyers 2017 Grand Rapids Lawyer of the Year for Closely-Held Companies and Family Businesses
- Named as Best Lawyers 2016 Grand Rapids Lawyer of the Year for Mergers and Acquisitions
- Named in Best Lawyers 2015 Grand Rapids Lawyer of the Year for Closely-Held Companies and Family Businesses
The University of Michigan gave Mr. Ammon his law degree, magna cum laude, in 1978 and his undergraduate degree in 1975. He is licensed in Michigan.
He has personally constructed sheds, a tree-house, and a 240-foot zip line, all without injuries, litigation, or construction liens. When he is not biking with his wife, you can find him in his woodworking shop.