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Mike is a transformational leader, tested executive and business advisor to boards, C-suite leadership teams, innovators and investors. As Chief Executive Officer of Baretz+Brunelle, Mike leads B+B’s focus on helping the world’s preeminent businesses in the new legal economy achieve growth.

As former CEO of Dentons US and partner for over 20 years, Mike brings to B&B’s award-winning work a record of business results emblematic of his unique ability to assist organizations meet large challenges — and understand large business opportunities — driven by changes in law, finance, and technology. His leadership empowered Dentons to transform from a mid-market, Midwestern firm into a global, multi-billion-dollar enterprise, where he has influenced a generation of leaders and served on the Global Management Committee and Global Board. This includes over 50 mergers and combinations during his executive leadership in the US and globally, alongside dozens of growth initiatives, large group acquisitions, new market and office openings, multi-office practice vertical acquisitions, and a creative ancillary transaction fueled by private equity investment.   

In addition to guiding all aspects of legal services delivery, financing and operations, Mike’s work over a decade of executive leadership included recruiting an outstanding team of partners through the addition of a 100+ storied Wall Street group; acting as integration partner uniting nearly 50 offices across four continents in a first-mover transatlantic combination; closing as managing partner a bi-coastal merger across multiple overlapping geographies; and executing five US transactions in 18 months to integrate operations and talent across 44 offices to launch a novel national law firm strategy. With Mike’s leadership, Dentons achieved the strongest financial and operational performance in the organization’s history, throughout volatile years of the pandemic, and constructed the core integration and infrastructure that continues to drive progress.  

Throughout his career, Mike built multiple award-winning practice, sector, and special situations teams focused on innovation, data analytics, and emerging technologies to inform decisions and adapt to evolving legal industry market trends. Having hired and directed C-suite leadership teams, he knows what is necessary to scale and finance growth within complex professional services partnerships. This includes addressing opportunities and challenges relating to C-suite demands, workforce shifts, digital transformation, legal technology, artificial intelligence, risk management and security, and private equity in the legal industry asset class. Personally engaged in structuring and negotiating transactions exceeding $100 billion and having been deeply involved in crisis management and response, Mike has experienced the realities confronting leaders, innovators and investors navigating major events, executing complex transactions, or pivoting to seize market opportunities. 

A passionate executive sponsor for the business benefits of diverse workplaces in decision-making, Mike is a pledge signatory of CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, a founding Advisory Council member of the LFAA, and a Diversity Lab Hackathon team winner for designing and implementing a strategy for the retention of experienced women leaders. He also directed the creation of one of the first professional services banking syndicates to include a Minority Depository Institution and multiple civic engagement initiatives.

A US government economist early in his career, Mike taught economics at Harvard University, receiving the Allyn Young Teaching Prize and Derek Bok Center of Distinction in Teaching. He is a Meyler Campbell (London) Mastered executive business coach, a trustee and former executive committee member of the Federal City Council, and a board director of Children’s Law Center, a national-model non-profit reaching 5,000 children and families every year. 

Mike holds an AB, summa cum laude, in economics and public policy from Duke University and a JD, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.