Practical and Creative Litigation Solutions

Silver & Van Essen is a commercial litigation boutique firm that is dedicated to one goal: winning disputes for our clients. We do this by combining zealous advocacy, creative strategies, and substantial expertise and skill in the Courtroom to achieve superior results.  Our lawyers take great pride in the fact that we have a reputation for excellence among judges and attorneys throughout Michigan that we have earned by always being meticulously prepared, by approaching every case with passion, and, most importantly, by our proven track record of generating outstanding results for clients in their most high-stakes cases.

Our Story

Silver & Van Essen was formed to provide extraordinary litigation services in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Our founders, Lee T. Silver and Douglas W. Van Essen, were previously partners at large, full-service firms where they specialized in civil litigation. They believed that the best way to serve clients was to form a firm that did one thing (high-stakes litigation) and did it well. This belief has resulted in a firm that is comprised exclusively of exceptional trial lawyers who are dedicated to providing personal service, minimizing litigation costs, and finding practical and creative solutions to clients' problems.

Our Clients

Our clients expect and receive candid assessments of their case, innovative strategies and aggressive representation at trial, and through the appellate process. We represent businesses, municipalities and individuals in state and federal courts throughout Michigan, and have been entrusted to handle cases for clients located across the country including California, New York, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Idaho, Colorado and Arizona. 


“I have been a trial lawyer for fifty years and have had the privilege of working professionally with some of the world’s finest trial lawyers.  A few years ago, I had the need to hire a trial lawyer to represent me, my wife, and our company in several complex multimillion dollar lawsuits.  Lee did an absolutely outstanding job for us winning all of the lawsuits far beyond our most optimistic expectations.  I can say that in fifty years I have never known a finer and more skillful trial lawyer than Lee Silver.”

Jack Buchanan
Member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers, Founder of the International Society of Primerus Law Firms, and Owner of Alpinist Endeavors, LLC

 “Silver & Van Essen is an exceptional law firm that provides great value and service.  Lee Silver has represented our company on multiple occasions.  Lee consistently went above and beyond the call of duty in every situation.  He was thorough, extremely well prepared, and he had the highest degree of integrity.  Silver & Van Essen will be the first law firm I contact if we ever need litigation counsel.”

Clark Ver Hulst
Owner of REC Enterprises, Inc.

“I have worked with Lee Silver on several different cases and I wouldn’t even consider working with a different lawyer.  Lee fights for me harder than any lawyer I have ever worked with, but most impressively, he wins every time!”

Scott Cramton
Owner of The Murder Mystery Co.

 “I had the pleasure of having Lee and Doug represent me as I pursued a very complex case where I had been defrauded.  Their wealth of knowledge from decades of trial experience was clear early on and became even more evident and appreciated, as my case progressed.   I am very thankful to have been represented by Lee and Doug as they handled themselves professionally and with great integrity – ultimately reaching a very successful resolution of my case.   I would highly recommend Silver & Van Essen to anyone seeking highly talented and ethical litigators."

Craig Wolff

"The law firm of Silver & Van Essen successfully represented me in a prolonged and public legal matter. Lee, Mike, and Terry were an extraordinary team. Their deep knowledge of the law, their astute legal minds, their attention to detail, and indeed, their old fashioned work ethic were evident at every point in a very long process. I was also impressed by their willingness to listen and see input from others in the legal profession and from me as the client. As important, Lee, Mike, Terry were caring and compassionate no matter the circumstances."

Lou Anna Kimsey Simon
Former President, Michigan State University

Skill, Experience, & Exceptional Results

Litigation Counsel

Representation of clients in litigation in state and federal courts throughout Michigan and other states.


Development of strategies and negotiating solutions to complex legal disputes.

Dispute Resolution

Representation of clients in arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings. 

Risk Advice

Advice to clients on business decisions that pose potential for litigation risks.

Tell Us About Your Case

If you have a serious legal problem that requires skilled trial counsel, we encourage you to review the information contained in this website. But more importantly, we invite you to contact one of our attorneys. Only by talking to us and getting to know who we are as professionals and individuals will you come to understand the pride we take in our work, the commitment we bring to each and every case, and the value we can add to you or your business by resolving your legal disputes in a cost-effective manner. Feel free to contact us today.