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Jeffrey R. Ansel

Business realities must drive the decision-making in a litigation matter, not the other way around.

My Approach

As a new and impressionable lawyer some 30 years ago, a senior partner at my firm, who was not a litigator, told me that to be a successful litigator, I had to “know the deal.” He was right. A litigator who “processes” a matter through the usual cookie-cutter assembly line style of litigating does the client no service. At Winthrop & Weinstine, I learned the importance of building a strategy around the details of the client’s business and the realities of the transaction at issue. I visit the client’s office and facility to see first-hand how things are done and to learn what the business looks like and feels like in a tactile way. Once I know the business, I can guide the client on the strategies that need to be pursued to resolve the dispute, or even how to avoid one. I work with clients – not above them – to make sure every course of action fits their business goals.  I consider myself a member of the client’s “team,” and work collaboratively to resolve their matters.

My practice over the years has touched many areas, from securities fraud defense to real estate and title insurance disputes. I have represented financial institutions and their officers and directors in matters involving the FDIC and other regulators, and have foreclosed mortgages and managed “bet the company” cases. Most recently, I had the pleasure of working on a committee to rewrite Minnesota’s receivership laws, and as a result of that experience now have many clients whom I represent as court-appointed receivers. I work with real estate management companies, turnaround management companies, and financial institutions in high level consulting and litigation matters, as well as strategic decision making.

A Groundbreaking Moment in my Career

I had represented a publicly traded company for more than 10 years on various and numerous contract and litigation matters. Over that time, I developed an expertise on how this client’s business worked. When I read in the court filing notifications that this client and several of its key executives had been named in a class action securities fraud cause, I called the client and said I could help. The client was considering a larger national firm for the matter, but when I asked, "What lawyer knows your business better than I do?” the client agreed. My law firm and I were hired, and we successfully moved to have the case dismissed with prejudice, without ever having to engage in expensive discovery. I felt grateful for the client’s willingness to “take a chance” on us based on our prior performance, and the client was more than grateful for the excellent result.

Practice Areas

Honors & Awards

Minnesota Super Lawyers®


Top 100 Lawyers

Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2011

The Best Lawyers in America©

Minneapolis Lawyer of the Year: Litigation - Real Estate, 2012 and 2016
Minneapolis Lawyer of the Year: Litigation - Banking & Finance, 2014 and 2023
Commercial Litigation, 2010-2024
Litigation - Banking & Finance, 2011-2024
Litigation - Real Estate, 2011-2024
Litigation - Trusts and Estates, 2024
Arbitration, 2011-2024
Mediation, 2011-2024

Minnesota's Top 40 Business Litigation Attorneys

Minnesota Law & Politics, 2007

AV Preeminent

Lexis Nexis Martindale-Hubbell, Peer review rating

MSBA North Star Lawyer

Pro Bono Service, 2022

Associations & Memberships

American Bar Association

Minnesota State Bar Association

ADR Section Council

Hennepin County Bar Association

Ramsey County Bar Association

Turnaround Management Association

Commercial Receivers Association

Federal Bar Association

Highrise Networks - Minneapolis II Mastermind Group

Membership Director