Norman C. Ankers



Norman Ankers is a partner and trial and appellate lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP who has more than three decades of experience in high stakes litigation before juries, judges, arbitrators, and federal and state and appellate panels, throughout the United States. Norman focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, including business torts, shareholder and partnership disputes, and class action defense. He has secured multiple monumental verdicts, and has regularly obtained dismissals of multimillion-dollar claims, protecting those results in the appellate courts.

Representative Experience

  • Multimillion-dollar arbitration award in favor of automotive supplier following hearing in litigation between the supplier and its terminated chief executive
  • $28 million judgment pursuant to jury verdict in a case arising out of a competitor's conversion of business assets
  • Lead counsel for client in securing a pre-answer dismissal of a class action against a global automotive supplier for alleged product defects, successfully arguing the motion to dismiss and conducting oral argument in the federal Sixth Circuit which resulted in affirmance of the dismissal
  • Lead counsel for client in securing a pre-answer dismissal of a class action and qui tam action filed in state court against pharmacies for alleged violations of a Michigan statute, and lead counsel for client in the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court, the latter of which upheld the trial court's dismissal
  • $7.5 million jury verdict arising out of the termination of an agricultural implement dealership, affirmed in 2012 by the Sixth Circuit
  • $6.413 million compensatory and punitive damages award in what is believed to be the largest award of compensatory and punitive damages for the filing of a wrongful involuntary bankruptcy petition in the history of United States jurisprudence
  • $2.15 million federal court jury verdict in favor of Michigan Manufacturers Service, Inc. against Robertshaw Controls arising out of the termination of a distributorship
  • Arbitral award of $6, 758,433 arising out of the breach of a federal court settlement agreement, confirmed in the trial court and upheld by the Sixth Circuit
  • Dismissal of a $7 million shareholder oppression claim
  • Arbitral award of nearly $2 million in favor of a client arising out of a failure to sell the business by a business broker for the best possible price
  • Dismissal of a putative class action alleging that an automotive dealership violated federal and state truth-in-lending requirements
  • Jury verdict of breach of fiduciary duty in favor of a minority shareholder following a two-week jury trial, coupled with a bench ruling providing relief for the shareholder under Michigan's shareholder oppression statute, affirmed by the state appellate court
  • Injunctive relief following hearing in a trade secret and intellectual property misappropriation case

Community Engagement

Norman is actively involved with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and is co-chair of the Gabrilowitsch Society.


Norman has been ranked in the 2005 - 2022 Chambers USA lists for litigation.

Norman Ankers has a tremendous reputation in complex commercial disputes for his good litigation sense and business orientation.

Chambers USA (2016)

He has been peer review rated as AV Preeminent®, and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Bet-the-Company Litigation (2007, 2010 - 2023), Commercial Litigation (2006, 2010 - 2023), Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law (2007, 2010 - 2023) and Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions (2020 - 2023). He was also recognized by Best Lawyers® as Detroit's "Lawyer of the Year" in the field of Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions (2021). He was the 2015 Detroit Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law “Lawyer of the Year.” Norman was recognized by Lawdragon 500 (2006) and Lawdragon 3000 (2009 - 2011) as one of the top 500 and top 3000 lawyers in the country.

In addition, Norman has been selected for inclusion in the Michigan Super Lawyers list since 2007 and was recognized as one of the Top 5 Michigan Business Super Lawyers (2013 - 2014), Top 10 Michigan Super Lawyers (2009 - 2011, 2013 - 2015), Top 50 Michigan Business Super Lawyers (2013 - 2015), and Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers (2007 - 2016). He was named to DBusiness magazine’s 2010 - 2013 and 2015 - 2016 list of Top Lawyers.


Norman has been an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School since 2012 and at the University of Detroit Mercy Law School since 2005. His primary academic concentration is in conflict of laws and electronic and class action discovery. He was honored as the “Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member” for the 2006 fall term at the University of Detroit Mercy Law School.

Norman obtained his law degree from Harvard Law School, with honors, and received his bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan, with honors.

Admissions and Professional Memberships

Norman is admitted to practice in Michigan as well as before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Norman is a member of the Federal Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan. He is a court-appointed facilitator, case evaluator, and discovery mediator. Norman is also a member of the Oakland County Bar Association where he is involved in the Circuit Court Committee and was past chairman of the Professionalism Committee.