Joseph D. Hess

  • 171 Monroe Avenue N.W.
    Suite 1000
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2694

Joseph D. Hess is an associate in the Grand Rapids office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Corporate Department and Private Client Services Practice Group. Mr. Hess focuses his practice on:

  • Corporate counseling and advising on transactions for privately owned and publically traded companies
  • Estate planning
  • Representing physicians, dentists, orthodontists, ophthalmologists, surgeons, and related specialists in practice purchases and sales and ongoing business advice

Mr. Hess counsels and represents businesses in governance matters, mergers and acquisitions on the buy and sell side, commercial business transactions, and commercial and real estate financing. Mr. Hess also has broad-based employment law experience and navigates corporate clients through issues arising under federal and state-law discrimination and wage and hour statutes. He also is particularly adept in drafting restrictive covenants for executive and management-level employees and representing clients in restrictive covenant disputes.

Estate Planning
Mr. Hess works on estate plans of all sizes. Mr. Hess works with clients to identify planning goals, options for achieving their goals, and action steps post-execution of estate plan documents to achieve the planning goals. Client needs differ from family to family, and he takes pride in developing customized estate plans and wealth management strategies that address each family’s personal objectives.

Doctors and Health Care Practice Entities
Mr. Hess assists doctors with regard to forming, buying, and selling practice entities, negotiating employment agreements, and providing day-to-day advice for running practice entities. Mr. Hess also develops customized employment templates, including handbooks and employment offer letters, for existing or new practice entities. Mr. Hess works with recent graduates seeking their first jobs and practice purchase opportunities, as well as seasoned doctors looking to implement a succession plan leading towards retirement or an outright sale of a practice.

Since 2017, Mr. Hess has been named to the Michigan Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list.

Mr. Hess received his B.S., magna cum laude, from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2009 and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2012. During law school, Mr. Hess was president of the UDM Federal Bar Association and a contributing author for the UDM Law Review.

Mr. Hess serves on the Development Committee for the Grand Rapids Young Professionals organization, the Internal Affairs Committee of Blandford Nature Center, and volunteers as a coach for boy varsity soccer at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School.

In addition to being admitted to practice in Michigan, Mr. Hess is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the District of Delaware.