Philip M. Cavanagh is a senior attorney in the firm's Government Relations, Public Policy and Regulatory Compliance Practice Group. 

Mr. Cavanagh has over 24 years of legal experience, ranging from civil litigation to criminal law. He is also an accomplished businessman and former elected official who has extensive knowledge of local, state and federal governmental operations.

As a member of the Government Relations Practice Group, Mr. Cavanagh will focus his practice on policy development, strategic collaboration, relationship and coalition building, legislative monitoring and bill tracking. 

Mr. Cavanagh is a former member of the Michigan House of Representatives, representing District 10, which was a portion of Detroit and some of its western suburbs. While in office, he served on the Tax Policy, Energy and Technology and Judiciary committees. He also served as the vice chair for both the Financial Liability Reform and Judiciary committees.

After serving as a state representative, Mr. Cavanagh was appointed by then Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder as a board member of the Governor's Interagency Council on Homelessness and then re-appointed to the board by current Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. In this capacity, Mr. Cavanagh collaborates closely with the administration's department heads to diminish and, ultimately, to eliminate homelessness.

Mr. Cavanagh is a former four-term member of the Wayne County Commission. He also served as an appointee to the Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Authority and to the Wayne County Land Bank Authority. Mr. Cavanagh served as Assistant Deputy Treasurer in the Forfeiture/Foreclosure office of the Wayne County Treasurer’s office.

Representative Client Work

  • Introduced and stewarded seven bills signed into law by cross-party collaboration, the most by any House Democrat in 97th Legislature
  • Developed intergovernmental relations with state, Detroit and “resilient cities” (Inkster, River Rouge, Hamtramck and Ecorse) to coordinate tax foreclosure prevention efforts
  • Partnered with city of Detroit to implement pilot program with Bloomberg’s CFE, which led to a permanent Financial Empowerment Center that provides financial coaching to all Wayne County residents

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Michigan

Community Involvement



  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, cum laude, J.D., 1998
  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Business, cum laude, M.B.A., 1998
  • Aquinas College, cum laude, B.S.B.A., 1983


  • Michigan, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1999


Honors & Recognitions

  • Henry Toll Fellowship Program, Council of State Governments, Louisville, KY, 2012
  • Senior Executives in State and Local Government Fellowship Program, Harvard JFK School of Government,  Cambridge, MA, 2005
  • Vista Maria 2008 Child Advocate of the Year