• Ann Arbor
    201 S. Division Street
    Suite 400
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104
    T 734-761-3780
  • Detroit
    1901 St. Antoine Street
    6th Floor at Ford Field
    Detroit, MI 48226
    T 313-259-7777
  • Grand Rapids
    99 Monroe Avenue NW
    Suite 300
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    T 616-205-4330
  • Troy
    201 W. Big Beaver Road
    Suite 500
    Troy, MI 48084
    T 248-743-6000
Go to page >
Go to page >
competitive drive

Ralph E. McDowell


T 313-393-7592F 313-393-7579313-393-7592

  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • Kalamazoo College, B.A.
  • Michigan

Ralph E. McDowell assists clients primarily in the areas of commercial bankruptcy, debtors’ and creditors’ rights, workouts, and commercial lending. He has represented the interests of banks and other financial institutions in pre-bankruptcy workout situations, commercial bankruptcy cases, and troubled credit situations.

His work with banks and financial institutions includes representation in connection with commercial loans, court proceedings, sale of debt transactions, foreclosures, liquidation of assets, and forbearance arrangements.

He also represents clients in general business law matters, including corporate finance, the purchase and sale of business interests, real estate transactions, contract disputes, and collections and workouts, among other areas. He has particular experience advising individuals on the myriad legal issues they and their closely-held businesses face.

Mr. McDowell also represents numerous clients in the automotive manufacturing industry in bankruptcy and troubled supplier situations.

He has represented trustees, creditors’ committees, non-bank creditors and various debtors in all aspects of bankruptcy cases and debtor-creditor disputes. In addition, Mr. McDowell represents the interests of parties in the purchase of assets from trustees, receivers, debtors in possession, and from troubled companies.

Mr. McDowell has been recognized on multiple occasions as a Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” and is the 2021 Detroit “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation-Bankruptcy. He has been recognized on multiple occasions as one of the Top 100 lawyers in Michigan by Michigan Super Lawyers.  

He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2024 (for over 20 years) under Bankruptcy and Debtor Creditor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation-Bankruptcy, and Bet-the-Company Litigation. He is listed in Chambers USA 2023 under Bankruptcy/Restructuring. He is also listed in Michigan Super Lawyers 2007-2023 under Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights and in DBusiness magazine as a 2024 Top Lawyer. DBusiness has also included him in its “Detroit 500” list of the region’s most powerful business leaders. Mr. McDowell is AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. McDowell serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors and a member of the Executive Committee of Hebrew Free Loan of Metropolitan Detroit, and on the Audit & Finance Committee of the Detroit Institute of Arts. He and his wife, Nancy Glen, were honored by the University of Detroit Mercy with its 2019 Alumni Achievement Award.

Honors, Awards, and Recognition
  • 2019 Alumni Achievement Award, University of Detroit-Mercy
  • Chambers USA 2007-2023, Bankruptcy/Restructuring
  • The Best Lawyers in America Detroit “Lawyer of the Year,” Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2017, 2020)
  • The Best Lawyers in America Detroit “Lawyer of the Year,” Bet-the-Company Litigation (2019)
  • The Best Lawyers in America Detroit “Lawyer of the Year,” Litigation-Bankruptcy (2015, 2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America 2003-2024, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, and Litigation-Bankruptcy
  • Michigan Super Lawyers 2007-2020, Top 100 Attorneys
  • Michigan Super Lawyers 2006-2023, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights 
  • DBusiness “Detroit 500” Most Powerful Business Leaders (2018)
  • DBusiness Magazine “Top Lawyers” 2009-2024, Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights Law
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence; Endorsed for High Ethical Standing
Professional Affiliations
  • Detroit Bar Association
    • Debtor-Creditor Rights Committee
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Debtor-Creditor Rights Subsection, Business Law Section
    • Debtor-Creditor Rights Subsection, Real Property Law Section
Civic, Cultural and Community Activities
  • Hebrew Free Loan of Metropolitan Detroit, Executive Committee and Vice President, Board of Directors
  • Detroit Institute of Arts Audit & Finance Committee 


Practices & Industries Education
  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • Kalamazoo College, B.A.
  • Michigan