Thomas P. Bruetsch's Profile Image
Thomas P. Bruetsch's Profile Image

Thomas P. Bruetsch

Founding Partner Tom Bruetsch is one of Michigan’s top commercial litigators and leads the firm's commercial and governmental litigation practice. His clients rely on him for insightful counsel, creative analysis, and an aggressive and pragmatic litigation approach. He joined Matt Schenk to create Schenk & Bruetsch PLC after 18 years at one of Detroit’s leading large firms, where he was a principal and hiring partner and served on the firm's executive committee.

From Detroit’s mayor to its professional football team, clients come to Bruetsch to resolve difficult legal problems. He has represented banks, prominent political leaders, governments, auto manufacturers and suppliers, large corporations, and family businesses. Bruetsch is well versed in virtually all areas of commercial litigation but has a particular focus on finance, fraud, and fiduciary issues; municipal and election law and policy; public authorities and utilities; franchise, supplier, and distribution issues; appeals; and class action, contract and general commercial disputes. He aggressively pursues his clients’ interests and gets results. Bruetsch has significant trial experience and has taken matters to trial or arbitration in Michigan, Arizona, Texas, and the United Kingdom. Bruetsch argued before the Michigan Supreme Court and maintains a strong appellate practice. He also serves as a commercial arbitrator.

Bruetsch is pragmatic and believes in partnering with his clients to define and achieve their goals. Although he has tried many cases to verdict and won dozens more on summary judgment, Bruetsch has resolved many large matters in the early stages of litigation through active case development and the utilization of alternative dispute resolution tools, saving his clients’ money and time.

Leading publications have acknowledged Bruetsch as one of the absolute best litigators. These include Chambers USA and Benchmark Litigation, both of which incorporate client feedback into their rating processes, and DBusiness Magazine. He is featured in Super Lawyers and America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators. Bruetsch also was accepted as a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, an honor reserved to 5% of lawyers.

Bar Admissions
  • Michigan Bar​ Association – 2000
  • J.D., summa cum laude – 2000, Wayne State University Law School, Detroit
  • B.A. – 1991, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Practice Areas
  • Finance, Fraud, and Fiduciary
  • Municipal & Election Law and Litigation
  • Public Authorities and Utilities
  • Franchise, Supplier, and Distribution
  • Class Actions
  • Products Liability
  • Securities and Shareholder claims
  • Real Estate and Land Use Litigation
  • Appeals
  • Arbitrations
  • Contract Disputes
  • General Commercial Disputes
  • Ottenwess, Taweel & Schenk, Partner, 2018 – 2020
  • Bodman PLC, Partner, 2000 – 2018
Representative Cases
  • Successfully defended contractor in $100 million sewer collapse case
  • Represented Detroit Mayor Duggan in challenge to his candidacy
  • Defended the Detroit Lions against City of Pontiac regarding move from the Pontiac Silverdome to Ford Field
  • Obtained dismissal of over a dozen related class action and multi-plaintiff lawsuits seeking over $100 million in damages.
  • Successful no-cause verdict defending major bank from fiduciary claims
  • Defended pension trustees from class action seeking more than$300 million in securities case
  • Obtained $6.1 million verdict against Michigan Department of Treasury, reversing an improper Michigan business tax audit and increased judgment to nearly $5 million on appeal
  • Obtained dismissal of fraud, contract, and Greek law claims against automobile manufacturer and successfully defended appeal
Published Opinions
  • Innovation Ventures LLC v. Liquid Manufacturing, Inc. (499 Mich 491 2016)
  • Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. v Musselman (257 Mich App 477 2003)
  • Comerica Bank v. Michigan Department of Treasury (2020 Mich.App. LEXIS 2820 – Awaiting formal publication).
Awards and Recognition
  • Fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation
  • Advocates Guild, Michigan Supreme Court
  • “Litigation Star” – Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys
  • Recognized as Top Litigator by Chambers USA
  • Named a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness Magazine
  • “SuperLawyer”
  • Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.
  • Order of the Coif
  • United States District Court Pro Bono Awards
  • Nominated for Three Local Emmy Awards for Work as a Television Producer
Associations and Memberships
  • Member, Advisory Council, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • Member, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • Detroit Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Detroit Progress Fund, Secretary
  • Turnaround Detroit
  • Major Michael E. Duggan Mayoral Transition Team (Legal and Economic Development) 2013-2014
  • University of Michigan Alumni Association
  • Grosse Pointe South Dugout Club Board Member