Bob Stead serves as outside general counsel to privately held companies and represents buyers and sellers of businesses. Bob is dedicated to having his client’s back, and is appreciated for serving as a trusted adviser who clearly explains viable options and assists them in executing solutions that not only shape their future, but also mitigate risk.
Bob is committed to making a difference for those he serves. Applying his deep tax background and education, Bob represents buyers and sellers in merger, acquisition and disposition transactions, and provides comprehensive counsel pertaining to business and partnership tax matters. He also advises start-up companies and established businesses alike interested in pursuing capital sources from the private equity market to raise capital for a variety of enterprises.
Bob’s industry experience is diverse and includes the oil and gas exploration, energy conservation, bio fuels, furniture manufacturing, distribution and automotive industries. A personable and versatile attorney, Bob co-chairs the firm’s General Counsel Services practice group. He also has front-line chief legal officer experience, having served as general counsel to a multibillion dollar foodservice distribution business with operations in the U.S. and Canada.
A consensus builder and effective negotiator, Bob brings a unique perspective to matters. By seeking to understand all points of view and the why behind each constituent’s position and reasoning, Bob is able to help solve problems and negotiate the desired result for the parties involved — particularly his client. An active listener who is smart and empathetic, Bob works diligently with his clients to consider their options and make the decisions needed to realize their objectives.
Bob understands the pressures of running a business, inspiring productivity, driving strategic development and leading change. He brings these management skills to his legal practice, a value-add when assisting business owners and professionals with setting and achieving goals.
Bob is a frequent author on tax and business issues pertaining to entity formation, conversions of C corporations to S corporations, joint venture formations, and S corporation acquisitions.
Professional and Community Involvement
Board member, World Affairs Council of Western Michigan
Member, American Bar Association Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations; Committee on Closely-Held Businesses; and Pass-Through Entity Task Force
Member, American Bar Association Section of Business Law Committee on Negotiated Acquisitions
Former chair and current member, State Bar of Michigan Taxation Section
Member, State Bar of Michigan Agricultural Law Section Council
Member, State Bar of Michigan Business Law Section
Member, Grand Rapids Bar Association
Adjunct professor, Graduate Tax Program, Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University
Grand Rapids Magazine Top Lawyers, 2022-2023
Grand Rapids Business Journal's Notable West Michigan Lawyers, 2023
Crain’s Grand Rapids GR200 Most Influential Leaders, 2023
Michigan Super Lawyers, 2008-2009
The Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2024; Lawyer of the Year, 2017
Chambers USA, 2018-2019
Leading Lawyers Network, 2016-2021