Kurt R. Vilders

Kurt R. Vilders: Attorney with Kerr, Russell and Weber, PLC AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards


When faced with a difficult legal challenge, a business’ most important asset is the experience of its legal counsel.


Throughout 38 years of helping clients solve their toughest real estate, financial and general corporate law problems, Kurt Vilders has developed the wisdom and judgment that can only be earned through on-the-ground, immersive experience in the industries in which his clients compete. Kurt’s clients can expect that Mr. Vilders will quickly and precisely pinpoint critical legal issues, then develop and execute the right strategy to deliver results. Rather than having to get up to speed, he gets right to the heart of the matter. And he brings not only a keen legal eye but a practical business perspective to his work, honed through hands-on management experience serving as Chairperson of both the firm’s Executive Committee and its Real Estate Practice Group, as well as 10 years of in-house counsel experience.

Mr. Vilders represents an array of clients across a number of industries. Many of his clients have been with him for decades, and rely on him for representation not only in Michigan but in connection with business matters throughout the country. His real estate practice, in particular, is extensive and includes experience advising automotive manufacturers and suppliers nationwide on commercial and industrial leasing, development, construction, land use, and incentives. He also represents a number of mid-market companies as general counsel on a broad variety of business matters. His clients include automotive suppliers, health care providers, and accounting firms, among others.

Kurt has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and DBusiness ‘ “Top Lawyers.”

Insights & News

September 20, 2018

Kerr Russell recognizes our 2018 dbusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit honorees

Kerr Russell recognizes this year’s dbusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit honorees - 21 attorneys, many for multiple practice areas.

August 15, 2018

15 lawyers from Kerr Russell were recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2019

A total of 15 lawyers from Kerr Russell have been named to the prestigious 2019 Edition of the Best Lawyers in America . The award is given annually in recognition of being named as part of the “top legal talent in the U.S.”

August 1, 2018

Brandy Mathie named one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly's Women in the Law, Class of 2018

Congratulations to Kerr Russell's Brandy Mathie, named one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly's Women in the Law (Class of 2018).

March 29, 2018

Detroit Public Television's PBSNewsHour and Nightly Business Report to be sponsored by Kerr Russell

Kerr Russell is pleased to support Detroit Public Television, and, beginning April 2, the following spot will air during PBS NewsHour (weekdays, 6-7 pm) and the Nightly Business Report (weekdays, 7-7:30 pm). View the spot here.

February 26, 2018

Kerr Russell's latest ad Driven By Results debuts in Crain's M&A, Biggest Deals issue this week

Kerr Russell's latest ad Driven By Results debuts in Crain's M&A, Biggest Deals issue this week. The ad emphasizes the firm's 143-year presence in Detroit as part of the larger business and legal community. We understand the region. We know what moves Michigan. We are committed to the community.

February 15, 2018

Jason Bank, new member of Detroit Athletic Club

Congratulations to Kerr Russell member Jason Bank (bankruptcy, restructuring) on becoming a member of the Detroit Athletic Club. Other Kerr Russell partners who belong to the DAC include Mark Cunningham, Dan Schulte, and Kurt Vilders. Associate Stephen Reaume is also a member.

January 15, 2018

Influencing the Legal Landscape - new Kerr Russell ad to appear in dbusiness

Kerr Russell introduces the third ad in the new Est. in Detroit 1874 series: Influencing the legal landscape. The piece emphasizes the firm's 143-year presence in Detroit as part of the larger business and legal community. We don't sit on the sidelines. We are active in industry groups and we're driving legislative change. We are leaders in the law.

November 30, 2017

Merry and bright ... Kerr Russell welcomes the holiday season

It's a time to celebrate, reflect and remember. However you mark the holidays, we hope your days are filled with warmth and thankfulness, good times, and endless cheer. As another year draws to a close, we at Kerr Russell are grateful to you. You give purpose to our work and add meaning to our relationships. Your trust is a cherished gift. Enjoy these images as we get our offices ready to celebrate the holiday season. Design by Mandy Lark of Lark Interior Design.

November 30, 2017

Kerr Russell, Boulevard Investment lunch and learn

Kerr Russell hosted Royal Oak's Boulevard Investment Banking at our Detroit office for a lunch-and-learn event on Thursday, November 30. From Boulevard's website: Boulevard is a boutique, investment banking and private investment firm focused on working with owners, operators, and businesses active in the middle market.

November 16, 2017

Culture of Connection - new Kerr Russell ad to appear in Michigan Lawyers Weekly and dbusiness

Kerr Russell introduces the second ad in the new Est. in Detroit 1874 series: A culture of connection. The piece emphasizes the firm's 143-year presence in Detroit as part of the larger business and legal community. We are relationship focused. We know our people and our clients are the lifeblood of our firm.

November 3, 2017

Kerr Russell launches new advertising in upcoming issues of dbusiness and Crain's Detroit

With this month's issue of dbusiness, focused on Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Kerr Russell launches its new brand advertising with A Track Record of Results. Working with Identity Public Relations and Marketing, Kerr Russell's marketing team developed the creative to emphasize the firm's longstanding place in Detroit's legal and business history.

November 1, 2017

Kerr Russell ranked in the 2018 U.S. News - Best Lawyers Best Law Firms list nationally in 1 practice area and regionally in 17 practice areas

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the eighth consecutive year, announce the Best Law Firms rankings.

October 16, 2017

Kerr Russell supports Detroit Athletic Club (October 2017 DAC News)

From the October 2017 DAC News ... We are proud of Detroit. We are proud to have had a seat at the table here since 1874. Our exceptional attorneys understand the unique challenges facing business leaders. Our legal solutions are prompt, accurate, economical, and focused around your needs in every area, including business law, labor and employment, immigration, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and construction, healthcare, medical practices, tax, contract negotiation, restructuring, automotive, manufacturing, and commercial litigation.

Areas of Practice (5)

  • Real Estate
  • Business and Corporate Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Construction
  • Automotive Industry Group

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
313-961-0200  Phone
313-961-0388  Fax
University Attended:
University of Michigan, B.G.S., with distinction, 1975
Law School Attended:
Wayne State University, J.D., 1979
Year of First Admission:
1981, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan; 1979, Michigan


State Bar of Michigan, Real Property, Business, and Environmental Law Sections

American Bar Association, Business, Real Property, Trust and Estate, and Environmental Law Sections

Georgetown Law, Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute

Reported Cases:
Representative Matters: Advised Volkswagen in 2018 on its lease and development of a new port facility on the East Coast.; Represented Volkswagen in the development and construction of numerous parts distribution centers between 250,000 and 1,000,000 square feet nationwide.; Advised a large health care provider regarding the sale of various business segments as a result of the Affordable Care Act.; Assisted Toyota in the procurement of entitlements, tax incentives, development and construction of a large research and development center in York Township, Michigan.; Advised a large hospital in the negotiation of its 350,000 square feet leased headquarters in southeastern Michigan.; Assisted Volkswagen in negotiating the financing, acquisition and leasing of flagship dealerships in New York City for Audi and Volkswagen.

Peer Reviews

A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Detroit, Michigan

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