I am not just a lawyer who understands business, I am a business man who understands the law.

Mr. Bell concentrates his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, class action defense strategies, business law, and real estate. He represents financial institutions throughout the United States and has completed over 35 M&A transactions in the past five years. In 2011, he pioneered a new option for credit unions to achieve rapid growth with the first purchase of a bank by a credit union. In this space, he has completed all but four credit union purchases of banks and has become the nationwide leader and go-to legal adviser. Mr. Bell has also helped credit unions acquire other businesses, including real estate brokerages, mortgage originators, and specialized lenders. He additionally advises financial institutions on all regulatory matters at the state and federal level. Mr. Bell has extensive experience counseling individual entrepreneurs through publicly traded companies on strategies such as growth in difficult economic climates, business restructuring, and strategic planning.

+ View More

Services

Business & Corporate

Our business is business–your business. We offer vast experience in a full array of corporate legal services.

Credentials

Education

  • Valparaiso University School of Law, 2003
    • J.D., with honors
  • Adrian College, 2000
    • B.A., magna cum laude

Admissions

  • Michigan, 2003
  • Wisconsin, 2018
  • Indiana, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2013

Professional Achievements

  • Michigan Leading Lawyers, 2014-2019
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, "Rising Stars," 2013-2018
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly, "Leader in the Law," 2017
  • dbusiness, "Top Lawyers," 2016
  • Credit Union Times, "Trailblazer 40 Below," 2013

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Completed the first purchase of a bank by a state chartered credit union. Edit
  • Completed the first purchase of a stock owned bank by a credit union.

    Edit
  • Created new mechanisms for financial institutions to invest capital and grow. Edit
  • Completed the first purchase of a bank by a credit union.

    Edit

Presentations

  • CUNA Finance Council Annual Conference, "Credit Union – Bank Acquisitions," May 21, 2019, New York, NY.
  • Volunteer Leadership Institute, "You Can Buy More Than You Realize" and "An Autopsy of Credit Union Mergers," February 8, 2019, Waikoloa Village, HI.
  • Bank Holding Company Association, Fall Conference, "Can a Credit Union Buy My Bank?" October 2, 2018, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates, 2018 Annual Convention & Exposition, "You Can Buy More Than You Realize," June 6, 2018, Traverse City, MI.
  • Michigan Credit Union League, 2018 Spring Leadership Development Conference, "An Autopsy of Mergers & Acquisitions," April 29, 2018, Mt. Pleasant, MI.
  • 2018 NASCUS State Credit Union Regulators National Meeting, "Credit Union Growth by way of Acquisitions," March 26, 2018, National Harbor, MD.
  • University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, "Legal, Regulatory, and Tactical Considerations in M&A," June 27, 2017, Chicago, IL.
  • The Credit Union League of Connecticut, 83rd Annual Meeting & Partner Expo, "Non-organic Growth Opportunities for Credit Unions," April 26, 2017, Uncasville, CT.
  • Howard & Howard, "Seizing Your Opportunity for Growth: Exploring the Credit Union-Bank Merger Trend," March 9, 2017, webinar.
  • 2017 Acquire or Be Acquired Conference, “Should You Buy a Credit Union?” January 31, 2017, Phoenix, AZ.
  • American Bar Association, Credit Unions Committee Meeting: CUNA-Attorney's Conference, "Non-organic Growth Options and Opportunities," October 23, 2016, Park City, UT.
  • Credit Union Executives Society, Mergers and Acquisitions Institute, "Legal & Regulatory Trends in CU Mergers," June 28, 2016, Chicago, IL.
  • GFA Federal Credit Union, "Board Retreat & Strategic Planning," September 25, 2015, Lennox, MA.
  • Southwest Michigan Society for Human Resource Management, "Social Media in the Workplace," September 16, 2015, Benton Township, MI.
  • Leaders in Motion, Leadership Conference and Expo, "Welcome to the New Frontier–Rethinking Mergers & Acquisitions," September 10, 2015, San Antonio, TX.
  • League of Southeastern Credit Unions, Annual Conference, "Why aren't you buying a bank?" June 18, 2015, Orlando, FL.
  • League of Southeastern Credit Unions, Leadership Conference, "Rethinking M&A," November 6, 2014, Sandestin, FL.
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Credit Union Conference, "Dissection of Cross-Industry M&A," October 20, 2014, Denver, CO.
  • ALM, First Financial Forum, "Rethinking M&A," September 24, 2014, South Hampton, Bermuda.
  • Southwest Michigan Society for Human Resources, "Criminal Convictions, Background Checks and the EEOC," May 21, 2014, Benton Harbor, MI.
  • Michigan Credit Union League, "Compliance–Social Media Style," February 20, 2014, Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Southwest Society for Human Resources, "Employment Mistakes and More," February 19, 2014, Benton Harbor, MI.