Secrest Wardle Executive Partner and Municipal Attorney, Derk W. Beckerleg (pictured left), has received the Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award from the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA). The Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award is given for outstanding contributions to the practice of municipal law on behalf of cities, townships and villages throughout Michigan, and acknowledges the highest level of professional accomplishment while also recognizing service to their colleagues through professional organizations such as MAMA and the International Municipal Lawyers Association. The award ceremony and luncheon are set to take place in Holland, Michigan on September 13th at City Hall.

Mr. Beckerleg was nominated by Tom Tanghe, Auburn Hills City Manager, for his dedication to representing numerous municipalities in virtually all aspects of municipal law. Bruce Truex, Senior Partner, President and Co-Managing Partner at Secrest Wardle, also nominated Mr. Beckerleg for the Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award. Mr. Beckerleg is currently the City Attorney for the City of Auburn Hills and the City Attorney for the City of Bloomfield Hills. He is also the Village Attorney for the Village of Bingham Farms, the Township Attorney for Southfield Township and one of the Township Attorneys for West Bloomfield Township. Mr. Beckerleg is also the attorney for the North Oakland County Water Authority.

Mr. Tanghe stated that Mr. Beckerleg, “simply put, is the best of the best. His passion for representing local government is only surpassed by his dedication and attentiveness to the service he provides to our community. He is a trusted advisor to our elected officials and management staff and is respected throughout our organization.”

Bruce Truex also commented on Mr. Beckerleg’s work, “Derk Beckerleg has been a friend and colleague for over 35 years. It was my honor to nominate Derk as he is a renowned expert in municipal law, possesses the utmost in character, both personally and professionally, is a dedicated advocate for his clients, and is an exemplary leader of our Municipal Law Practice Group. I can think of no one more deserving of this award.”

With over 35 years of experience, Mr. Beckerleg has handled municipal matters including, but not limited to, zoning, condemnation and drafting of ordinances, resolutions and contracts. Mr. Beckerleg also has over 28 years of experience handling property tax matters in the Michigan Tax Tribunal and appellate Courts and is especially renowned for his expertise in this area of the law. As Managing Partner of the Municipal Law Practice Group at Secrest Wardle, Mr. Beckerleg is responsible for the general oversight of the attorneys in the practice group. In this position, he continually shares his knowledge of municipal law through mentorship of other attorneys in the group.

Derk Beckerleg is active in the legal community through his memberships in the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, the Oakland County Bar Association, and the State Bar of Michigan – Public Corporation Law Section. He is also giving of his time and knowledge to clients and others in the municipal law community. He has conducted numerous seminars on a variety of municipal topics, including the Michigan Tax Tribunal and zoning board of appeals and planning commission practices and procedures.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award. I thank and greatly appreciate the persons who nominated me and the MAMA Board for bestowing the award on me,” said Mr. Beckerleg of receiving the Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award.

The Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA) is a chartered section of the Michigan Municipal League, which is a Michigan nonprofit corporation. MAMA was established in 1935 as an affiliated organization of the League. The Association is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the member municipal attorneys. Membership consists of every city and village attorney, who represents a member of the Michigan Municipal League, their deputies and assistants, and League staff members duly admitted to practice law in the State of Michigan.

Secrest Wardle is a law firm specializing in defense litigation and counsel for insurance, municipal, and commercial clients headquartered in Troy, Michigan, with additional offices in Grand Rapids and Lansing. For additional information, please visit