Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C., Michigan’s largest and longest-established law firm, is pleased to announce that former interim president and CEO of the American National Red Cross, Harold J. Decker, has joined the firm as senior counsel in its Kalamazoo office bringing extensive litigation and business management skills to the firm.
“Harold Decker brings tremendous legal experience and leadership to our firm,” said Thomas W. Linn, CEO of Miller Canfield. “He led one of our nation’s most respected charitable organizations during a time of crisis with poise and determination, and he has consulted with and directed the in-house legal affairs of Fortune 500 companies. We are pleased to offer his counsel to clients.”
Decker will focus on advising management, directors, and in-house counsel at publicly-held companies, government agencies engaging in corporate transactions, and non-profit organizations such as hospitals, colleges, universities and health plans.
He has handled proxy contests and other change in control matters, joint ventures, licenses of intellectual property, and various other commercial transactions that involve securities law issues. He has counseled boards of directors and special committees of boards on corporate governance matters and significant corporate transactions raising fiduciary duty and business judgment issues. He has worked with in-house and outside counsel of publicly held companies advising on securities law matters and assisted in the preparation of SEC disclosure documents.
His litigation experience includes product liability and environmental claims, mass torts, labor and employment disputes, commercial contracts, licensing, purchasing and supply agreements, and patent and trademark litigation. He also has broad experience in managing large, worldwide product liability claims involving pharmaceutical products and related discovery and document issues.
Prior to joining Miller Canfield, Decker served as an independent consultant to Stryker Corporation, the Pharmaceutical Education Research Institute, and Microsoft Corporation. From October 2001 to September 2002, Decker was interim CEO and president of the American National Red Cross, a position that placed him at the helm of the Red Cross just a month following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Prior to accepting this position, he was general counsel and corporate secretary.
From 1980-2001, he served in various advisory positions leading to associate general counsel and vice president in corporate litigation and product stewardship at Pharmacia Corporation. He was responsible for, among many tasks, business counseling and managing a range of legal issues, including dispute resolution and cost recovery, structuring corporate transactions, contracts, intellectual property, and patent protection.
A native of Kalamazoo, Decker earned his B.A. from Kalamazoo College in 1967 and his J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in 1974. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, states of Michigan and California, as well as five Federal Courts, three Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
He is a member of The American Judicature Society, has been inducted in the Interim CEO Hall of Fame, and has received the W.E. Upjohn Prize, Paul E. and Phyllis Treusch Lectureship and numerous medals for his service in the U.S. Army.
Decker joins Miller Canfield’s Kalamazoo office, an office that has nearly doubled in size in the last several years. Most recently, longtime Kalamazoo attorney, Robert R. Lennon, joined the office as senior counsel.