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James F. Anderton, V

313 South Washington Square
Lansing, MI 48933-2114
T 517.371.8282


James “J.V.” Anderton advises clients in a variety of different areas, primarily focusing his practice on estate planning, business formation, shareholder/ownership disputes, real estate, and tax law.

Based in Foster Swift's Lansing office, he has extensive experience in:

  • Estate Planning: Assisting both individuals and families with creating Trusts, Wills and Powers of Attorney. With his extensive background in tax law, J.V. advises his clients on the tax implications of their estate planning decisions.
  • Business Law: Representing entrepreneurs and business start-ups in all phases of the growth cycle, including finding additional financing and capital.
  • Real Estate: Assisting real estate owners and developers with acquisitions, financing, operations, and disposition of projects. J.V. has developed a significant practice in multi-family housing projects, often with financing backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or HUD.
  • Medical Practices: Assisting in the sale and acquisition of numerous medical practices, particularly dental practices. J.V. frequently serves as outside general counsel to many of the acquiring practices.

In addition to being licensed in Michigan, J.V. became licensed to practice in Florida in 2013.

In 2012, J.V. was honored with the distinction of being named as one of the “10 Over the Next 10”, an award given to the next generation of business leaders as selected by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. Also in 2012, he was named one of the “Top 5 Under 35” by the Ingham County Bar Association. This award is given annually to five members of the ICBA's Young Lawyers Section where recipients are recognized for their talents, skills, professionalism, and civility in the practice of law.

J.V. was the lead author for an article related to the special allocation of gains between partners in 1031 transactions published by the Journal of Real Estate Taxation in2010.

He received his Master's of Law (LL.M.) degree in Taxation from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2008. In 2007, while attending Cooley, J.V. won the school's 2007 Tax Writing Competition for his article on non-spousal rollovers under the Pension Protection Act of 2006. J.V. is now an adjunct professor for the school in the LL.M. in Taxation program. He has spoken on various topics related to estate planning and fiduciary issues (both in the corporate setting and estate/trust administration setting), as well as 1031 tax-deferred exchanges.

J.V. prioritizes giving back to his community. He has particular interest in economic development agencies, serving as a Board Member and past President of Downtown Lansing Inc. (DLI), and as a Board Member and Executive Committee Member of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). Both DLI and LEAP are organizations that are dedicated to promoting the culture and sustainability of Lansing.

Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America© (Tax Law), 2023

Best Lawyers in America© (Business Organizations, Closely Held Companies, Family Businesses Law, and Tax Law), 2018

Michigan Super Lawyers “Rising Star”, Tax Law, Business & Corporate, Estate Planning & Probate


Leading Lawyers, 2019

Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, LL.M. in Taxation Program, Adjunct Professor

“10 Over the Next 10”, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, 2012

Ingham County Bar Association Young Lawyer Award, “Top 5 Under 35”, March 2012

State Bar of Michigan, Winner of Tax Student Writing Award, 2008


Memberships & Affiliations

Legal Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
      • Member
  • State Bar of Michigan, Member
    • Probate & Estate Planning Council for the Probate & Estate Planning Section
      • Member
  • Forms Committee of the Probate & Estate Planning Council
    • Member
  • Tax Committee for the Probate & Estate Planning Section
    • Chair
  • Tax Pro Bono Committee (2014-2017)
  • State Bar of Florida
    • Member
  • Ingham County Bar Association
    • Member
  • Ingham County Bar Foundation
    • Board Member and Treasurer, President
  • U.S. Tax Court Bar
    • Member

Community Affiliations

  • The First Tee of Mid-Michigan
    • Co-founder
    • Member of the Board of Directors, President - (2007-2018)
  • Advisory Board for the Mid-Michigan Innovation Club for Entrepreneurs
    • Member, 2010 – 2012
  • Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP)
    • Member, Board of Directors
    • Executive Committee
  • Downtown Lansing Inc.
    • Board Member, Past-President



News & Events

Speaking Engagements



Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, LL.M. in Taxation, 2008

Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, 2004

Cornell University, B.A. in Economics and Philosophy, 2001

Bar and Court Admissions