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Bob Cleary has significant experience both in the traditional labor setting representing management in collective bargaining situations and in the employment litigation setting where he has managed and defended a variety of discrimination and harassment cases advanced in state and federal courts and state and federal agencies.

In addition to his experience in private practice, Bob has twice served within a corporate client’s legal staff, most recently for five years as Vice President – Employee Relations for the Taubman Company where he was responsible for all employment-related legal matters, which included union and non-union employees. Bob also counseled Taubman’s Development Group providing legal oversight with regard to construction projects, collective bargaining with trade unions, and employment-related due diligence in mergers and acquisitions. His responsibilities included the in-house defense and administration of charges brought before the EEOC and various state civil rights agencies, and responses to union-related matters brought before the NLRB.

Bob’s broad labor and employment background involves over 30 years representing clients from a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, transportation, property management, construction, retail, public and private education, and the public sector. He is also adept with respect to project employment arrangements to meet client objectives such as the use of contract employees, independent contractors and leased employees. Bob has also worked closely with clients in the precise development of complex reduction-in-force initiatives and in the strategic implementation of alternate dispute resolution systems. Bob served as a charter member of the Advisory Panel of the National Employment Mediation Services.

Bob is a frequent speaker for the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, and the American Society of Employers.

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for Labor Law Management, and Litigation – Labor and Employment (2021-2024).
  • Named a “Leading Michigan Lawyer” (2018-2023) by Leading Lawyers, a division of Law Bulletin Media, in Employment Law Management and Labor Law Management.
  • Named a Top Lawyer by dBusiness magazine, 2010
  • AV-rated, Martindale Hubbell Law Directory. For over 100 years, Martindale Hubbell has published peer review ratings for attorneys. An AV rating is a combination of the Legal Ability Rating (“A” from very high to preeminent) and the General Ethical Standards Rating (“V” very high).

Community & Social Activities

  • Country Club of Detroit, Board of Governors and Past President
  • Notre Dame Alumni Association of Detroit, Board of Directors
  • Friends of Bon Secours Hospital (Grosse Pointe, Michigan), Board of Directors
  • Michigan Inter-Club Swimming Association, Board of Directors and Past President