David Jaffe is the principal of Jaffe Counsel plc, which he opened in September 2014. He provides strategic counsel to businesses around the globe facing significant opportunities, challenges and transformations.
David focuses on international expansion and joint ventures, critical disputes, in-house legal structure and strategy, succession and transition planning, compliance and private company governance.
Before starting Jaffe Counsel, David was Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Guardian Industries Corp., a $5 billion multinational manufacturing company. He joined Guardian in 1990 and served as General Counsel from 2007 to 2014. As General Counsel, David was responsible for Guardian’s worldwide legal function, its compliance and ethics program, corporate governance, shareholder relations, and crisis communications. He was also the corporate officer responsible for environmental matters.
David played leading roles in Guardian’s international expansion and in Guardian’s transition and recapitalization following the death of owner and CEO William Davidson in 2009. Earlier in his career, he spent five years in Luxembourg as General Counsel of Guardian Europe, and served as General Counsel of a publicly traded affiliate.
Before joining Guardian, he was a partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn in Detroit. David served as a law clerk to Justice William Rehnquist at the Supreme Court of the United States and to Chief Judge James Browning of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He attended the University of Chicago, where he received a J.D. with honors in 1981 and a B.A. in Economics with honors in 1978. In law school, he was a research assistant to Edward H. Levi.
In 24 years as a business and legal leader at Guardian, David gained insight into the real world consequences of business and legal decisions. David was known for his integrity, business acumen and ability to work collaboratively across the business at all levels. He is effective across borders, cultures and legal systems.
Beyond ability, integrity and people skills, business leadership requires judgment. In many challenging business situations, David has demonstrated sound judgment, the courage to act on that judgment, and the discipline not to rush to judgment.
David’s civic involvement has included serving as a board and executive committee member at the Jewish Family Service, Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, JVS, The Roeper School, the International School of Luxembourg and the Detroit Urban League, as well as serving as Chair of the Jesuit Program for Living and Learning of Michigan and President of the Detroit Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. David has also served as a director at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.