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Bonnie L. Michael*


Bonnie Michael has more than 20 years of legal experience representing equipment finance companies and the financial services industry.

*Baker Donelson professional admitted to the practice of law in Illinois; not admitted in Maryland or North Carolina.

Professional Biography

Representing clients in a full range of commercial financing, Bonnie Michael guides banks, financial institutions, equipment and leasing companies, and other lenders in structuring and negotiating their complex finance transactions, as well as advising on commercial financing disclosure laws. She has extensive experience advising clients on motor vehicle fleet financing. 

Ms. Michael's impressive background includes more than a decade serving as the General Counsel and Vice President of Legal and Compliance (USA) for Volvo Financial Services, which provides a full range of commercial financial services to dealers and customers of the Volvo Group. While there, she was responsible for managing and monitoring all aspects of the company's U.S. legal affairs, regulatory issues and new product development and participated in various global projects. Prior to that position, she served as a director and senior legal counsel for the captive finance company of another large global manufacturing corporation.

Ms. Michael is highly engaged with the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA), serving on the Board of Trustees for the Equipment Leasing & Financing Foundation from 2015 – 2021. She is a former member of the ELFA Legal Committee and, from 2010 to 2016, she served as chair of the ELFA Motor Vehicle Subcommittee. Ms. Michael is a frequent presenter on industry topics and actively supports various ELFA legislative initiatives.

  • Equipment Leasing & Financing Foundation
    • Board of Trustees (2015 – 2021)
    • Vice Chair (2020)
    • Member – Industry Futures Council (2020 – present)
  • Equipment Leasing and Finance Association
    • Member – Legal Committee (2010 – 2012)
    • Chair – Motor Vehicle Subcommittee (2010 – 2016)
    • Recipient – 2021 Edward A. Groobert Award for Legal Excellence
  • Panelist – "Everything but the Lease," Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's (ELFA) 2024 Legal Forum (May 2024)
  • Panelist – "Motor Vehicle Roundtable," Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's (ELFA) 2023 Legal Forum (May 2023)
  • "ELFA State Advocacy New Year's Resolutions: Prepare for Commercial Financing Disclosure Laws in New York and California," ELFA Webinar (December 2021)
  • "The Internal/External Counsel Relationship," ELFA Legal Forum (May 2016)
  • "Current Issues Impacting Motor Vehicle Financing," ELFA Legal Forum (May 2015)
  • "Legal Issues Arising when Leased or Financed Vehicles Cross into Canada," ELFA Legal Forum (May 2014)
  • "California Heavy-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Reg.," ELFA Legal Forum (May 2013)
  • "Treatment of Equipment Attached to Titled Vehicles Under Article 9," ELFA Legal Forum (May 2012)


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 1999
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A., 1993


  • Illinois, 1999
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois



Baker Donelson professional admitted to the practice of law in Illinois; not admitted in Maryland or North Carolina.

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