• Ann Arbor
    Ann Arbor
    201 S. Division Street
    Suite 400
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104
    T 734-761-3780
  • Cheboygan
    229 Court Street
    P.O. Box 405
    Cheboygan, MI 49721
    T 231-627-8000
  • Detroit
    1901 St. Antoine Street
    6th Floor at Ford Field
    Detroit, MI 48226
    T 313-259-7777
  • Grand Rapids
    Grand Rapids
    250 Monroe Avenue NW
    Suite 400
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    T 616-205-4330
  • Troy
    201 W. Big Beaver Road
    Suite 500
    Troy, MI 48084
    T 248-743-6000
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competitive drive

Charles M. Russman


T 248-743-6039F 248-743-6002248-743-6039

competitive drive
  • Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M. in Taxation, with distinction
  • Georgetown Law School, Certificate in Employee Benefits
  • Wayne State University Law School, J.D.
  • Michigan State University, B.A.
  • Michigan
Professional Affiliations
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals

Mr. Russman focuses on assisting clients with data privacy and security, as well as employee benefits and executive compensation.

As chair of Bodman’s Data Privacy and Security Practice Group, he oversees a talented team of attorneys helping clients of every industry sector and size to defend their data. He has been certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) as a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States, Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe and a Certified Information Privacy Manager. Backed by ANSI/ISO, they are considered the gold standard for privacy certification.

Mr. Russman regularly assists clients by providing practical and easy to use counsel on all aspects of data privacy and security. He assists clients with:

  • Data Risk Assessments
  • GDPR and EU-US Privacy Shield Compliance
  • Website and App Privacy Policies
  • Data Breach Investigation, Response, and Notification
  • Data Sharing
  • Health Privacy (including HIPAA Compliance)
  • Financial and Lending Privacy (including GLBA Compliance)
  • Advertising and Marketing Privacy (including CAN-SPAM)
  • Telecommunications Privacy
  • Data Retention Policies
  • Data Destruction Policies
  • Training of Employees on Privacy and Security
  • Consumer Privacy
  • Social Media Privacy
  • International Privacy Laws
  • State Privacy Laws and Litigation
  • Review of Cyber Security and Insurance Policies

Mr. Russman also regularly speaks and writes about data privacy and security issues.

In the realm of workplace law, Mr. Russman has extensive experience with virtually every type of employee benefit and executive compensation and he leverages this experience to provide efficient, effective and innovative counsel to clients, whether it be for a client’s internal benefits or the products offered to their customers.

Mr. Russman assists clients in designing, maintaining, and correcting their executive compensation, retirement plans, and welfare benefit plans, including:

  • Defined contribution: 401(k) and profit sharing plans
  • Defined benefit and traditional pension plans
  • Cash-balance and other cross or hybrid plans
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and myRAs
  • Cafeteria (Section 125) plans
  • Consumer-driven healthcare, including health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement accounts (HRAs), flexible spending accounts (health and dependent care FSAs)
  • Retiree health plans
  • Educational savings accounts (ESAs)

Mr. Russman also drafts plan documents and helps clients to correct grants for stock options, incentive stock options, phantom stock units, stock appreciation rights, and most other forms of deferred compensation for private and public companies from startups to international corporations.

In addition to correcting plan documents and providing ongoing counsel, Mr. Russman assists numerous clients with regulatory compliance in areas that require significant expertise, including:

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or healthcare reform)
  • Internal Revenue Code
  • ERISA (including fiduciary duties)
  • Governmental benefits (such as Social Security and Medicare)

Mr. Russman has assisted clients with the negotiation of union retirement and welfare benefits and the associated multiemployer withdrawal liability issues. He brings significant experience to the negotiation of agreements for products, services, and software particularly in the area of outsourcing benefits administration (such as claims administration) and the agreements clients need to provide services to their customers (such as HIPAA Business Associate Agreements).

Mr. Russman frequently speaks on healthcare reform, HIPAA and other employee benefits and executive compensation. He is also an adjunct professor of law, teaching employee benefits and executive compensation at Wayne State University Law School. He is listed as a 2018 “Top Lawyer” in Employee Benefits Law by DBusiness magazine, is listed in Michigan Rising Stars 2017 under Employment & Labor, and is a member of the 2016 class of Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Up & Coming Lawyers."

Mr. Russman serves as co-chair of the Michigan Region of the American Jewish Committee ACCESS as well as on the Board of Directors for the American Jewish Committee National Global ACCESS Steering Committee and the Commission on Contemporary Jewish Life. He has completed an Anti-Defamation League Glass-Sills Leadership Program and he has earned his Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) certification for both the United States and Europe, as well as his Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

In law school, Mr. Russman interned with the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service and with Federal District Court Judge Avern Cohn.

Honors, Awards, and Recognition
  • DBusiness Magazine "Top Lawyers" 2018, Employee Benefits
  • Michigan Rising Stars 2017, Employment & Labor
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Up & Coming Lawyers" 2016
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
    • Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States [CIPP/US]
    • Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe [CIPP/E]
    • Certified Information Privacy Manager [CIPM]
Civic, Cultural, and Community Activities
  • Michigan Region of the American Jewish Committee ACCESS, Co-Chair
  • American Jewish Committee National
    • Global ACCESS Steering Committee, Board of Directors
    • Commission on Contemporary Jewish Life, Board of Directors
Professional Affiliations
  • Jewish Bar Association of Michigan
  • Co-author (with Zackery T. Hugg), "9 Tips for Effective Privacy Policy Reviews and Amendments," Law360, March 2016
Speaking Engagements
  • "ERISA Myths Dispelled: Common Pitfalls and Compliance Problems," Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Oct. 6, 2016
  • "Evolution of HIPAA & COBRA: Keep Up with the Change," Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Sept. 15, 2016
  • "W-2's and the Affordable Care Act, Another Bitter Pill," Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference 2016 (San Diego, CA, Sept. 21, 2016), Co-Presenter.
  • "Current Data Privacy and Security Concerns," CFO Next/Hylant Insurance & UHY LLP (Bloomfield Hills, MI, Sept. 20, 2016)
  • "HR Sticky Situations," Michigan Chamber of Commerce, June 21 & 23, 2016
  • Kinexus 2016 Seminar, Kinexus, May 10, 2016
  • "Defense of Marriage Act," Michigan Regional Chamber, January 2014
  • "The Affordable Care Act, Defense of Marriage Act, and Your Company," Bodman Workplace Law Group seminar
  • "HIPAA and COBRA," Michigan Regional Chamber
  • "Healthcare Reform- Compliance and Benefits," Capital Area Manufacturing Council, December 12, 2013
  • "HIPAA: A Practical Summary," Ann Arbor SPARK, June 17, 2013
  • "The Affordable Care Act: Practical Possibilities," Michigan HR 4th Annual HR Day, April 24, 2013
  • "Employee Benefits," Michigan Regional Chamber
  • "Healthcare Marketplace, Exchanges and SHOPs, Michigan Regional Chamber, 2013
  • "Retirement Benefits," State Bar of Michigan, January 22, 2013
  • "Healthcare Reform: Compliance and Common Concerns," Metro Detroit Association of Health Underwriters, September 29, 2011
  • "Healthcare Reform," Michigan Association of CPA's, West Oakland Small Practitioners-Educational Conference, May 19, 2011
  • "2010 Hot Button Workplace Issues," Michigan Association of Transportation Systems
  • "Healthcare Restructuring- Its Impact on Employers," Associated Benefits, October 13, 2010
  • "Healthcare Reform-Its Impact on Employers," Bodman Workplace Law/Health Care Group seminar, June 15, 2010
  • "Healthcare Reform-An Overview," Society for Human Resource Management / Traverse Area Human Resources Association, May 11, 2010
Academic Appointments
  • Wayne State University Law School, Adjunct Professor of Law


Representative Matters

Mr. Russman's transactions of note include the following:

  • Helped an international company comply with EU-U.S. Privacy Shield by updating practices and privacy policies as well as standard contract language.
  • Helped a major health industry company update and expand its data privacy and security by conducting employee training, revising corporate procedures, website privacy policies, and helping to standardize privacy requirements between customers, patients, and service providers.
  • Helped a large employer design and implement its practices and procedures for HIPAA compliance, including its business associate agreements with third parties, training of employees, and implementation of corporate-wide policies.
  • Oversaw the review, analysis, and integration of agreements with vendors and service providers for a multibillion dollar merger.
  • Helped several clients understand and implement Michigan's tax and withholding rules, with particular focus on the tax and withholding required on retirement benefits.
  • Drafted plan documents and obtained IRS approval for a retirement plan that the employer had neglected for more than a decade.
  • Designed, drafted, and obtained IRS approval for a retirement plan to enable the employer to satisfy its goal of providing retirement income to employees and paying the wages required under Davis-Bacon.
  • Assisted an employer in its withdrawal from a multiemployer plan to ensure hundreds of thousands of dollars in involuntarily increased contribution requirements.
  • Helped a client address a data breach affecting approximately 20,000 people from analysis of breached documents to reporting individuals and the government.
  • Assisted in the design and implementation of a new retirement benefit program to be utilized by multiple employers.
  • Successfully arbitrated alleged multiemployer withdrawal liability for a client, saving them nearly $250,000.
  • Represented a multinational silicone-based technology corporation in a data breach that affected 20,000 current and former employees. Assistance included review of the breached data, preparation of letters to the affected individuals, to state governments, the preparation of court filings, and the revision of company privacy policies.
  • Assisted a DOT medical certification process company with the establishment of its corporate records and retention policies, as well as creation of a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance program, including the drafting of its privacy policies, the drafting and negotiation of Business Associate Agreements, the drafting and application of risk assessments, and the drafting of user and employer consent forms.
  • Counseled a publicly-traded financial services company in the preparation of HIPAA business associate agreements related to lending agreements, treasury management services agreements, consumer banking agreements, and insurance services agreements.
  • Counseled an agency that handles payroll processing and employee benefits for a religious order across the State of Michigan in the remediation of a data breach that affected more than 10,000 employees, helping the agency seek indemnification from its service provider, draft letters to affected individuals, and negotiate agreements to prevent recurrence of the problem.
  • Implemented a HIPAA compliance program for a professional sports team, including its privacy policies, the drafting and negotiation of Business Associate Agreements, and the drafting and application of risk assessments; represented the team during the league’s HIPAA audit.
  • Assisted numerous banks and financial institutions with GLBA and HIPAA information security compliance.
  • Assisted leading manufacturer in streamlining vendor contract privacy and security language confidentiality.
  • Reviewed numerous customer agreements and consolidated the contractual obligations into a model exhibit to be used with all vendors and service providers to ensure compliance and ease of administration.


Practices & Industries Education
  • Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M. in Taxation, with distinction
  • Georgetown Law School, Certificate in Employee Benefits
  • Wayne State University Law School, J.D.
  • Michigan State University, B.A.
  • Michigan
Professional Affiliations
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals