Mary C. Bonnema
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Mary Bonnema


Maybe it’s the time she spent writing fiction, developing a facility for studying and remembering important and telling details. Or perhaps it’s the years she’s put in understanding and developing complex organizations, but Mary Bonnema has an unnerving way of committing many details to memory where they are easily drawn upon when the occasion calls. What she has seen during her years in businesses and serving them, what she remembers, the resources she can put her hands on, the relationships she can call on – these fill the rolodex in her brain.

The truth is that Mary accomplishes more in a day than most of us could in a week. Energy, intensity, and wit play their part in that, of course. But she also possesses an unquenchable fascination for companies, their people, and what it takes to protect their turf and make them successful. Her lessons have been learned by experience – she was a partner in a mammoth general practice law firm, and then a vice president in a Fortune 500 company before joining McGarry Bair. And her presence here elevates our work and our minds.

Like all of McGarry Bair’s people, she looks forward to discussing the next great ideas and meeting the people who first conceive them. Her passion is studying how people think, how they work, what makes them give and what makes them take. In a competitive field, she sees the forest before the trees have sprouted. Her study makes her an artful negotiator, a natural leader, and the kind of circumspect counselor your company needs.



Calvin College (B.A., with honors, 1990); Wayne State University (J.D., magna cum laude, 1993).


Related Experience

Partner of Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett LLP, 1993-1999; Vice President of Business Relations, Herman Miller, Inc., 1999-2000.


Bar Admissions

1993, Michigan.


Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth and Seventh Circuits. Michigan state and federal courts.



Board of Trustees, Calvin College (Vice Chair; Executive Committee; Student Life, Chair; Planning & Priorities Committee) (2013-2019); America's Most Honored Professionals 2017- Top 1%; Fortune Magazine Women Leader in the Law® (2015); Top Rated Intellectual Property Lawyer in Michigan (2016, 2015); Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Attorney (2014-2017); Top 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan (2014); Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers (2014); Committee Member, Judicial Qualifications Committee, State Bar of Michigan (2007-2009); Board Member, Calvin Business Partners (2001-2006); Deacon, Hillside Community Church (2002-2005). Board Member, Calvin National Alumni Association (1995-1998). Board Member, Silent Observer (1994-1995). Faculty, University of Phoenix (2002-2003).



State Bar of Michigan (Member, Intellectual Property Law and Litigation Sections); American Bar Association (Member, Intellectual Property Law, Litigation, and Law Practice Management Sections); American Intellectual Property Law Association; International Trademark Association.



Co-Author, Intellectual Property Considerations in Buying and Selling a Business in Michigan (2002-2015 ). Contributor, Protecting Intellectual Property and Confidential Legal Information (A Practical Guide to E-Business Law, ICLE 2001). Author, America’s Inventive Mind (Acton Institute 2004). Author, MESC Takes a Hard Line on Drugs (Grand Rapids Business Journal. Labor Law Quarterly 1994, 1995). Author, Annual Survey of Michigan Law: Labor and Employment Law (Wayne Law Review 1994). Author: “Trance on Trial: An Exegesis of Hypnotism and Criminal Responsibility,” Wayne Law Review (1993). Author, Our Feminine Foes: Women Discriminating Against Women (1992).