Michael Novara, Novara, Tesija, Catenacci, McDonald, & Baas PLLC Photo


Wayne State University Law School, J.D., 2004

Michigan State University, B.A., 2001

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court
    - Eastern District of Michigan

Michael Novara serves as Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer. He has devoted his career to the many facets of Employee Benefits Law.


Michael represents numerous Fringe Benefit Funds throughout the country in the multiemployer (Taft-Hartley) industry. He counsels Pension and Health and Welfare Funds, as well as Vacation-Holiday, Supplemental Unemployment Benefits, and Joint Apprenticeship and Training Funds.  

He assists Funds with plan creation, design and compliance, along with plan mergers and terminations, and has navigated both self-insured and fully insured Health and Welfare Plans through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). He also assists Defined Benefit Pension Funds through all aspects of compliance with the Pension Protection Act (PPA), Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA), and alternative plan design options.

Michael also has significant experience with the review of both traditional, and alternative, investment management agreements, and has handled numerous Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit/investigations. 

He routinely represents fringe benefit funds in collection matters, and has appeared before courts in Michigan and Illinois for cases involving the IRS, DOL, and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Michael speaks throughout the country on a wide array of ERISA topics.

Professional Affiliations

Professional Affiliations

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP)

Michigan Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems (MAPERS)

American Bar Association (ABA)

Macomb County Bar Association

Oakland County Bar Association

News & Events


He regularly authors various articles to clients regarding issues pertinent to the operation of their funds. In addition, he has contributed to the Michigan Building Tradesman and was a co-author of a recent training course for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans designed to educate trustees, administrators, and other plan professionals on the delivery of health care both pre and post the passage of the PPACA. He has also authored educational pieces for both union and management trustees covering their fiduciary responsibilities under ERISA.



  • Applications to the Department of Treasury and the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation for implementation of plan amendments and for partition of underfunded plans under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014
  • Advising health and welfare plans on compliance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and federal transparency regulations
  • Negotiation of pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) and preferred provider network (PPO) agreements, including proprietary and national coalition purchasing initiatives
  • Represented large defined benefit plan in litigation over real estate financing of Detroit hotel complex
  • Conversion of health and welfare plans from insured to self-funded, including full implementation of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • Representation of numerous multiemployer (Taft-Hartley) plans in Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service audits
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