LEGAL TALENT
To ensure service of the highest quality, clients are assigned to VELN’s Lead Attorneys on the basis of prior transactional and business experience. They are armed with a wealth of experience, a proprietary database of several hundred agreement types and advanced technology.

VELN’s legal talent includes lead attorneys and Achievers. Lead Attorneys are highly accomplished practitioners from the best schools, law firms and businesses. Achievers are high-potential attorneys under the mentorship of Lead Attorneys. VELN’s Lead Attorneys and Achievers share a passion for knowledge, exactitude, efficiency and technology.
William J. Kohler is the founder and president of VELN.

Mr. Kohler is globally recognized in the legal services industry for his depth and breadth of experience with commercial agreements, business transactions, business disputes and regulatory compliance. He has served as the chief legal officer of major businesses. In private practice, he advises clients in the manufacturing, automotive, advanced automotive, biotech, pharmaceutical, electronics and professional services sectors.

Clients seek Mr. Kohler’s involvement in the disposition of businesses and the design and negotiation of commercial arrangements. Representative commercial matters include joint ventures, supply chain relationships, equipment sales, industrial services, commercial transport, distribution, aftermarket sales, technology development, technology licensing, software development, SaaS, eSports relationships, professional services and real property leases.

Within the automotive industry, Mr. Kohler has led some of the industry’s largest and most complicated acquisitions and divestitures, established two of the industry’s largest minority joint ventures and represented more than 100 suppliers through the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler (now FCA). In private practice, he led the global Automotive and Manufacturing Groups of one AmLaw 200 law firm and the Autonomous and Connected Vehicle practice of another.

Mr. Kohler is an authority on legal issues relating to autonomous, connected and electric vehicles. His work in those areas, and others, has involved investment transactions, technology development, technology licensing, supply chain relationship and legislative and regulatory issues. He is the author of “Current Law and Potential Legal Issues Pertaining to Automated, Autonomous and Connected Vehicles,” published in the Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal. He is on the board of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association.

A frequent speaker on manufacturing and automotive topics, Mr. Kohler appears regularly at business, legal, and professional conferences. He has written several articles on these subjects, and he is often quoted in legal and business journals, including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Education
J.D. University of Michigan Law School
B.A. University of Michigan, Honors College (high honors and high distinction in economics); Chief Editor, Michigan Journal of Economics
M.B.A. Michigan State University, Broad College of Business
Texas A&M, Master of Science, Kinesiology and Exercise Science

Professional Accomplishments
Designations: Top Corporate Counsel; Top Lawyer for Mergers & Acquisitions; Best Lawyers; SuperLawyer

Board member of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association. CVTA is an association established to facilitate the interaction and advance the interests of entities involved in the vehicle communication environment.

Board member of Rock Steady Boxing (for people with Parkinson’s); boxing coach

Former Board member of the Michigan District Export Council;
Former member of the Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association, Government Affairs Committee and Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Former member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Great Lakes Industries and the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s MichAuto Steering Committee.

Former Chair and Trustee of the Board of Trustees of the Friends School in Detroit, and a former Board Member of ORT. Technology

Publications
“Current Law and Potential Legal Issues Pertaining to Automated, Autonomous and Connected Vehicles” in the Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal
“Current Risks in Automotive Acquisitions” in the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Journal
“Warranty Cost Sharing: The Framework for Negotiations” in OESA’s Comparative Analysis of OEM Warranty Programs
“Managing Acquisitions as a Corporate Process” in Financier Worldwide Magazine “Bankruptcy Reorganization in America: Strategies, Dynamics and Law”
“Contingency Planning In An Era Of Massive Industrial Failure” in Financier Worldwide Magazine International Distribution Relationships: Commercial and Legal Perspectives in Michigan International Lawyer
"Speaking from Experience: Setting Yourself Up for a Successful Dental Practice Acquisition" in DSO News
"Best Practices for Sellers in the Evolving DSO Marketplace" in DSO News
“Changes In Transportation Are Poised To Transform Commercial Real Estate” in Commercial Investment Real Estate
"Feds Don't Need New Powers Over Self-Driving Cars" in Crain's Automotive News
“International Distribution Relationships: Commercial and Legal Perspectives” in Texas CEO Magazine
“Literature review of studies considering the effect of forced exercise on symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease” in Clinical Kinesiology: Journal Of The American Kinesiotherapy Association
David H. Lowenschuss
David H. Lowenschuss is a Lead Attorney at VELN. As a practicing attorney who specializes in biotech and life science, Mr. Lowenschuss provides legal guidance to large and small pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Mr. Lowenschuss’s knowledge and experience in the legal and business realms of life science and technology enables him to offer valuable legal advice to start-ups and established pharmaceutical developers. His experience includes negotiation and drafting commercial agreements, R&D agreements, in-license and out-licensing contractual deals, SEC filings, lease negotiations and construction agreements. In addition, he is expert at the resolution of ongoing legal issues to prevent costly litigation and sound legal guidance for business plan development and implementation.

Mr. Lowenschuss is co-founder and founding board member of Gemphire Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEMP) and co-founder of Michigan Life Ventures, LLC. He lectures at the University of Michigan on various topics, including historical perspectives on human subject research.

Education:
JD, The George Washington University Law School
BA, University of Michigan
MUP, Transportation, University of Michigan
Tom Trapnell
Mr. Trapnell has over a decade of experience advising clients in the automotive and construction industries. His expertise focuses on business risk management, with the aim of avoiding or resolving disputes over the course of commercial relationships. As a member of the Industry Committee of the National Demolition Association, a former attorney on an in-house litigation and regulatory compliance team at General Motors, and a former member of Fiat Chrysler's outside counsel group dedicated to franchise management, Mr. Trapnell has an understanding of the corporate concerns driving contracting, regulatory compliance, and dispute resolution processes. This includes extensive experience interpreting indemnification and liquidated damages clauses.

In matters where disputes have arisen, Mr. Trapnell has litigated several multi-million-dollar matters in the automotive and construction industries. This includes representation of OEMs and Tier 1s in disputes with equipment suppliers, and representation of heavy civil contractors in litigation arising from significant public works projects. In addition to managing litigation processes themselves, Mr. Trapnell also has in-depth experience in ediscovery helping clients coordinate identification of document custodians, retrieval and processing of relevant documents, and management of large-scale document review and document production.

Mr. Trapnell has been licensed to practice law in New York and Michigan since 2010. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyers "Rising Star" every year from 2015 through the present. He graduated with honors from Princeton University and the University of Michigan Law School. His professional experience includes several years of work for an AmLaw 200 law firm headquartered in Detroit and for a sophisticated construction boutique with a national practice. Mr. Trapnell is also fluent in Russian and has extensive experience living and working in Moscow.
Robert Zitnick
Robert Zitnick is a junior attorney at VELN. He has advised and represented telecom clients AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile on a range of leasing matters for their cell towers in the US market. Additionally Mr. Zitnick has provided counsel for a range of transactional real estate matters, easements, lease negotiations, lease amendments, acquisitions and transfers, not to mention environmental and FCC risk and compliance for cell tower 5G upgrades and new cell tower builds.

Mr. Zitnick has advised startups and small businesses on structuring their software and data sharing agreements, and on the protection of customer intellectual property and data. He is admitted to practice in Illinois.

Education:
J.D. DePaul College of Law
B.A. University of California-Berkeley
Jeffery Brinza is a lead attorney at VELN. Since 1986, Mr. Brinza has been advising clients in the startup environment, venture capital financing, operations, and public company representation, as well as serving as in-house counsel in the life sciences and retail services industries. Mr. Brinza has served as counsel at Butzel Long and Pfizer, and was General Counsel at QuatRx Pharmaceuticals and Millendo Therapeutics, the latter of which he was also Chief Administrative Officer. He has also been involved in mergers and acquisitions, the negotiation and drafting of numerous technology and product licenses, research collaborations, clinical development agreements and product manufacturing agreements.

Mr. Brinza led Millendo’s 2017 acquisition of Alize Pharma, a French biotechnology company, as well as Millendo’s 2018 reverse merger with OvaScience and simultaneous $50M financing, which resulted in Millendo being listed on Nasdaq (MLND). As General Counsel, Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer for RGIS, LLC, a Blackstone portfolio company, he headed the legal and human resources departments for this large, global enterprise. Mr. Brinza is admitted to practice in Michigan.

Education:
J.D. University of Michigan Law School
B.A. University of Michigan
Anthony Krempa is the Executive Head of Legal Management of VELN. He has held positions at SkyBridge Capital, Morgan Stanley, and interned at the Michigan House of Representatives.

Education:
B.A. University of Michigan