Bruce Thelen has a wide ranging law practice in international trade and commerce extending to all regions of the world. He provides advice to clients on customs and trade issues addressing regulatory compliance, fines, penalties, seizures and investigations, advance rulings and challenge of US Customs and Border Protection decisions, preferential trade agreements, antidumping and countervailing duties, and product sourcing and supply chain planning to reduce duties. He was recognized by Best Lawyers in America, as Detroit’s 2017 and 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" for International Trade and Finance Law.
Bruce often acts as "international general counsel" for domestic and foreign clients throughout the world in cross border acquisitions and direct investments, joint ventures and strategic alliances, establishment of subsidiaries, branch offices and other facilities, distribution, marketing and licensing arrangements, cross border debt financing and trade finance, interest rate and currency swaps and derivatives, supply chain compliance and risk management, export controls and international regulatory compliance.
Although his practice covers many industries, he has extensive background in the automotive sector, including representation of global vehicle and parts manufacturers and suppliers in manufacturing and distribution in all regions of the world, as well as specialty automotive projects involving amphibious vehicles, Formula 1 racing programs, start-up electric vehicle manufacturers and the manufacturer of the classic London black taxi. For two years, while remaining a member of Dickinson Wright, he served as in-house international counsel for Chrysler Corporation.
Bruce chairs the firm’s international practice team composed of lawyers from all of its substantive practice groups. His career began as a corporate finance lawyer with Dewey Ballantine Bushby Palmer and Wood in New York. He is admitted to practice in New York, Michigan and the U.S. Court of International Trade. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the school’s International Transaction Clinic. Bruce is the founder of the German American Chamber of Commerce of Michigan and was awarded the Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz) by President of Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of his work.
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