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Posted on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 5:09 p.m.

Michigan-based Butzel Long law firm receives pension relief from federal agency

By Ben Freed

Butzel Long PC announced Wednesday that a federal agency will assume management of the law firm’s pension fund, which is underfunded by about $9 million, according to an an MLive report.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a federal agency funded by insurance premiums instead of tax revenue, will take over the pension fund’s assets and management. According to MLive, the corporation insures nearly 1000 pension plans sponsored by Michigan companies and paid out $384 million to employees with failed plans in 2011.

Butzel Long appealed to the PBGC for help in January. Unlike many other companies requesting pension relief, the law firm did not declare bankruptcy and changed its benefits packaged to include a defined contribution 401(k) instead of pensions.

The firm has Michigan offices in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Bllomfield Hills and Lansing and regularly represents clients before the PBGC. The firm also represents the Michigan Press Association, of which MLive Media Group is a member.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Jul 4, 2013 : 11:51 p.m.

So they made a decision to change to a 401K, and then let the pension fail due to no longer being funded.... and now taxpayers must bail them out. More corporate welfare.


Thu, Jul 4, 2013 : 3:56 p.m.

So let's get this straight. The attorneys can afford to take this hit. The legal secretaries and other staff (who have *very* low salaries) have to take cents on the dollar for their pension? In the meantime, it's underfunded because ??? The partners needed their big fat paychecks and decided to ignore the little people? I wouldn't trust these people with any legal business.


Thu, Jul 4, 2013 : 11:31 a.m.


Lyn Barron

Thu, Jul 4, 2013 : 1 a.m.

Umich hired Butzel Long to fight against me in my Federal Case against Umich. Umich lawsuits on vimeo. I am the Plaintiff and so far I owe them more money than they owe me. I can't understand why Umich risk management attorney did not want to deal with me. He said I was talking to the wrong person about my employment problems. I guess they would rather pay Butzel Long.


Thu, Jul 4, 2013 : 12:12 a.m.

Washtenaw County should hire the Butzel Long law firm to get the federal govt to pay the underfunded pensions for county retirees. Butzel Long has proven its expertise in the legal specialty of getting money for retirees from the federal govt. (Slapping forehead with hand) Why has this not been proposed by Cmr Conan Smith, Chairman of the Board?

Colorado Sun

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 11:42 p.m.

Butzel Long the second oldest law firm in the State of Michigan, dating back to the 1800s. They incorporated General Motors Corporation in 1908 and today are one of the five largest law firms in Metro Detroit. Butzel Long represents banks, auto companies, industrial conglomerates and developers. They also have significant ties to Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor CM Christopher Taylor worked for Butzel Long and represented the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'rith in a case before the United States Supreme Court. Butzel Long defended Ann Arbor's 15th District Court officials when ex-probation officer Wayne Wade filed a lawsuit claiming he was the target of sex harassment by a judge. Mr. Wade later received a $82,500.00 settlement.

Linda Peck

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 11:12 p.m.

Oh, sounds like a sweet deal, but not for us taxpayers.

Robert Granville

Thu, Jul 4, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

"Funded by insurance premiums instead of tax revenue"


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 10:49 p.m.

Corporate Welfare. How many company members were given a drug test first? Got a corporate pension problem? Call Sam now!. That's call your Uncle Sam now.! Just call 1866BAILOUT. Now! Real financial operators are standing by to take everyone else to the cleaners..

tom swift jr.

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 10:41 p.m.

Wait for it, wait for it.... I'm gonna squeeze a tear out for lawyers with failed pensions... wait...wait....wait... never's not gonna happen....