Overview Experience Events News Intelligence Steven H. Hilfinger Partner shilfinger foley.com Download vCard Connect Steven H. Hilfinger Steve Hilfinger is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is co-chair of the firm’s Manufacturing Industry Team and chair of the Detroit office’s Business Law Department. He has more than 25 years of transactional and finance experience, including representing private and public companies (including many automotive suppliers and other manufacturers), senior and mezzanine lenders, venture capital funds, and private equity funds. Mr. Hilfinger focuses his practice in corporate law matters, including mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, private equity and venture capital transactions, debt and equity finance transactions, business formation and corporate governance, general corporate and contract counseling, and nonprofit, government, and public affairs matters. He recently returned to Foley after serving 3.5 years as chief regulatory officer for the State of Michigan and chief operating officer of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, under Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Representative Experience Represented numerous public and private companies on more than 150 acquisition and divestiture transactions handling all aspects of financing (often on behalf of borrowers) in a number of industries, including automotive and other manufacturing, health care, business services and others Represented several debtors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and out-of-court restructurings, as lead corporate and finance counsel and board advisor in such restructurings Represented numerous private equity and venture capital funds in their formation and portfolio investment activity Experience in State Government In 2011, Mr. Hilfinger accepted an appointment to serve in Governor Snyder’s Administration as the chief regulatory officer for the State of Michigan and director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). In that capacity, his department was responsible for the supervision of banks, insurance companies, utilities and certain healthcare companies, and a number of regulatory functions, including the oversight of corporations, securities, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, occupational safety and health and a number of licensing functions. His department also oversaw the Department of Insurance and Financial Services, charged with oversight of state-chartered banks and insurance companies. In addition, he led the Office of Regulatory Reinvention for the State of Michigan which has been responsible for repealing more than 1,500 administrative rules and implementing more than 100 recommendations to streamline Michigan state government. Economic Development Experience In his most recent role prior to rejoining the firm, Mr. Hilfinger was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the economic development arm of the State of Michigan that created and manages the Pure Michigan brand. During its 2013 and 2014 fiscal years, the MEDC facilitated the creation of more than 52,000 direct jobs and leveraged private investments totaling $9.2 billion, substantially exceeding targets. International Automotive Experience Mr. Hilfinger has represented a number of domestic and international automotive suppliers. In his international practice, he has focused on Asian client matters, including China, Japan and Korea. Mr. Hilfinger was formerly a member of the board of advisors of the Detroit Chinese Business Association and served as counsel to the Chief Executive Officer Council and the China Strategy Council of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). Recognition Mr. Hilfinger has been Peer Review Rated as AV® PreeminentTM, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system. From 2015 - 2017, he has been recommended by The Legal 500 for his work in mergers and acquisitions. He has also been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of corporate law. Mr. Hilfinger was honored by Chambers USA from 2008 – 2010 and in 2016 and 2017 as a leading business law attorney in Michigan, and was selected for inclusion in the 2006 – 2010 Michigan Super Lawyers® lists for his work in mergers and acquisitions. He was also named to DBusiness magazine's 2011 list of Top Lawyers in the areas of business and corporate law. Firm Leadership Mr. Hilfinger is co-chair of the firm’s Manufacturing Industry Team and chair of the Detroit office Business Law Department. He helped found the Detroit office of the firm in 2000, and its Automotive Industry Team in 2002, which he co-chaired for several years. He also served two terms as managing partner of the Detroit office, from 2002-06 and 2009-11, before assuming his role with the State of Michigan. Affiliations and Board Memberships Mr. Hilfinger has served on the boards of directors of the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, the Michigan Emergency Loan Management Board, the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority, the Michigan Governor’s Talent Investment Board, the Investment Advisory Committee to the Michigan State Treasury overseeing the State’s pension funds, NextEnergy Center and the advisory boards of Grow Michigan Fund, LLC and the Arctaris Michigan Fund, L.P. Thought Leadership Mr. Hilfinger has lectured as an instructor for the American Counsel of Corporate Attorneys (on corporate, mergers and acquisitions and economic development topics), the National Directors Institute (on “The Board’s Role in M&A”), and the Wayne State University Commercial Law Clinic, a course that he helped co-found. Mr. Hilfinger has also taught courses for the Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education, including “Drafting Asset Purchase Agreements and Related Documents” and “Formation and Initial Operation of Business Enterprises-Financing Issues.” Education Mr. Hilfinger graduated, magna cum laude, with a J.D. degree from Northwestern University in 1987, where he was selected for the Order of the Coif and served as editor-in-chief of the Northwestern University Law Review in 1986-87. He obtained his B.B.A. degree, (concentration in accounting) with high distinction, from the University of Michigan in 1984, where he received Phi Beta Kappa honors. He was awarded the William A. Paton Award for achieving the highest score on the May 1984 Michigan CPA examination. Community Engagement Among his community activities, Mr. Hilfinger has served as chairperson of the Administrative Council and the Finance Committee of First United Methodist Church in Birmingham. He also has served as a member of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors, was selected for Leadership Detroit XIX, was active in the Detroit Compact and Improving Detroit Through Entrepreneurial Advancement (IDEA) programs serving Detroit Public School students, and served as a partner in the Cornerstone Schools. Admissions and Professional Memberships Mr. Hilfinger is admitted to practice law in Michigan and Illinois and is a fellow of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association and a member of the Business Law, Administrative Law and International Law Sections of the State Bar of Michigan.