Dickinson Wright LLP


For more than 130 years, the law firm of Dickinson Wright has been bestowing an unwavering focus on the provision of unmatched client service and the highest quality of legal counsel. Today, Dickinson Wright is a growing, full-service law firm of experienced, creative and dedicated legal professionals. The firm is well-respected by its peers, honoured by its high-end clientele and recognized through appointments within bar associations and the judiciary system.

In Canada, the firm of Dickinson Wright LLP came into existence by the affiliation with the U.S. based Dickinson Wright PLLC with yet another well-established law firm in Toronto, Aylesworth LLP. James Spence, Partner at Dickinson Wright LLP, told The Canadian Business Journal, “The Canadian branch of Dickinson Wright came about in 2008. Aylesworth LLP, which operated in Toronto since 1861, was deciding how best to maintain the level of practice with institutional, mid-sized and large corporate clients. We assessed the market situation and we were looking to strengthen and secure Aylesworth’s future in the market. At that time we had about 30 lawyers and were looking to expand the practice through acquisition of small- to mid-sized law firms in Toronto, and looking at other North American law firms being created. At the time, Dickinson Wright had a large number of clients in the automotive industry, as well as adding lawyers to their existing gaming practice division in Toronto, and was looking to expand into Canada in a larger way. Needless to say this caught our attention, and Aylesworth LLP and Dickinson Wright PLLC created an affiliation — the Canadian extension of Dickinson Wright.”

From this affiliation, Dickinson Wright added a substantial Toronto office to its network of offices in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Troy, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Las Vegas, Nashville, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. From automotive, to telecommunications, to a wide range of sectors in between, Dickinson Wright provides clients with specialized knowledge in more than 40 practice areas. These areas are supported by the team of nearly 300 lawyers in Canada and the United States.

“The Dickinson Wright practice focuses on all the key areas of legal practice which can be broken down into several categories: corporate and commercial services, real estate and financial services; commercial litigation; labour, unemployment, immigration and benefits; insolvency and restructuring, sports, entertainment and the arts. Besides these areas, we have a particular expertise in gaming law as well as intellectual property. As far as gaming goes, gaming is an international law practice and we are serving gaming clients around the world. To expand and enhance this practice for Dickinson Wright, the firm is affiliated with three international affiliates, one in each of Malta, Macau, and Peru.”

Practicing Success

With over 130 years in business, Dickinson Wright has found that its clients desire proactive and accessible legal service that offers clear and concise solutions.

The delivery of the absolute best value on every client engagement, whether it’s large or small, has been crucial to the firm. This approach has been the key to success for Dickinson Wright in Canada and internationally. To assure and maintain this approach, the firm’s lawyers are experts in their areas of specialty and many belong to specific organizations, have industry-specific certifications and write and speak on related topics. Because the firm’s team of lawyers is highly experienced and knowledgeable across so many professional areas, the Dickinson Wright practice can easily draw upon the resources of different practice areas to meet the specific needs of each client. Besides a thorough client service, to enhance client satisfaction the firm offers state-of-the-art technological sophistication and client support.

And what has the firm to say about its success? — “We owe our success to a combination of factors. What we see as the main factor is the fact that our lawyers come from well-established firms — Aylesworth LLC and Dickinson Wright PLLC. Dickinson Wright was established in 1878, Aylesworth in 1861. This track record creates a firm with long and well-established background but the lawyers across the firm nonetheless have the entrepreneurial approach as to how they practice law and how they do things. This entrepreneurial approach, combined with the long-established values of both long-standing firms has been the secret to our success.

“As in any profession, the practice has to be founded on the values of professionalism and ethics. These create the foundation of good practice. As a practice that has been established in the midwest, Dickinson Wright can be characterized as having a particular set of values. Those values are very similar to those of Canadians. Beyond that it’s the combination of the level of expertise with client service, and our firm has been traditionally focused on client service. Any successful professional service firm also owes its success to its people, and we have good people with good values and a good platform. All these combined create a successful law practice that is Dickinson Wright.”

As a whole, Dickinson Wright serves many significant businesses and its peers recognize the practice’s expertise. The company serves companies such as Royal Bank of Canada, Ford Motor Company, Google Inc., and Magna International Inc. As far as peer recognition goes, Best Lawyers, the most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, named 63 of Dickinson Wright lawyers to its 2011 edition; Chambers ranked Dickinson Wright as one of the United States’ leading business law firms; Chambers Global, which identifies the world’s top lawyers, has named two of Dickinson Wright lawyers in this exclusive list; 79 of Dickinson Wright lawyers were named to Super Lawyers, a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 60 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement; and the list of success goes on.

As with any successful business, the management at Dickinson Wright continues to look at opportunities to grow and expand the firm’s legal practice. The firm continues to hire additional professionals and has hired several lawyers in 2011 and continues to look to hire additional lawyers to expand its professional Canadian roster. In addition to this organic growth, the firm also continues to look ahead, and may be looking at other ways of expansion, such as cooperation or affiliation with other law firms in the future. Dickinson Wright came alive in Canada by conjoining two high-profile North American legal firms. Today, the firm continues to offer exceptional professional legal services across a roster of high-end clients.