There's always a path forward, it's just a matter of finding it.
Contact: P /612.604.6489E /[email protected]
Administrative Contact: Naomi Gordon P /612.604.6615E /[email protected]
University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2007
University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., summa cum laude, 2004
I help clients realize business opportunities and solve legal challenges in ways that work for their particular business needs. Working with entrepreneurs over the entire life-cycle of their businesses – from start-up to exit and everything between – I never lose sight of the fact that being a lawyer is fundamentally a “helping profession.” I strive to develop genuine, long-lasting relationships with my clients, and I am personally invested in their success.
My style is all about integrating with your team and your culture to find creative ways to accomplish your legal and business objectives, as opposed to looking for reasons why you can’t move forward. I get that good business deals often require you to take on some legal risk. To make sure these are informed, appropriate risks, I focus on the issues that are likely to have real-world consequences, and then strategize with you about how to move forward so that you have peace of mind. I won’t waste your time or money going down rabbit holes.
I also add value by leveraging my personal network to connect you with potential funding sources, customers, and other service providers.
Outside of work, my life currently revolves around my family, especially my two rambunctious toddler boys. When we are not chasing our kids around, my wife and I love to travel, cook, try new restaurants, catch up on our favorite TV shows, and knock out a never-ending list of home improvement projects. I’m a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan, and am stealthily trying to indoctrinate my sons – against the wishes of my wife, who is a Minnesota native. Thankfully, we all root for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish!
For two years, I took a side-step from my legal career and to become a partner at a boutique investment banking firm, representing sellers trying to find the right buyer for their businesses. I loved working in the law, but was excited about the opportunity to advise business owners on deals from a different angle and at a different stage in the transaction. I learned so much from that experience, and gained a great deal of empathy for my clients as entrepreneurs. Lawyers can tend to see transactions in black and white, but for our clients, the world is a whole lot of grey. After having spent the first part of my career in a law firm, I also appreciated the opportunity to learn more about how to run a small business – everything from developing a short and term long term budget managing the buildout of new office space, and making critical hiring decisions. Ultimately, I learned something about myself, too – I like executing deals and bringing them to the finish line more than I like the thrill of finding the right buyer for a business. So I returned to legal practice, with a great appreciation for the experience I gained.
I am dedicated to helping companies grow their businesses through acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic partnerships, securities offerings, and re-financings. I also advise business owners in the sale of their businesses. I have represented business in a wide range of industries, including franchise restaurants, craft brewing, manufacturing, distribution software and technology, and business services. In addition, I have extensive experience representing clients in private equity transactions.
I work closely with buyers and sellers in significant M&A transactions involving the purchase and sale of multi-unit franchise operations. I regularly review and negotiate purchase and sale agreements, loan agreements, franchise agreements, lease agreements, landlord estoppels and consents, subordination and non-disturbance agreements, and other real estate documents. Since 2010, I have assisted multi-unit franchise owners in M&A and financing transactions involving more than 500 restaurants throughout the United States, with an aggregate transaction value of more than $360 million.
M&A – Sales
M&A – Acquisitions
I serve as “outside general counsel” to established businesses, start-up companies and entrepreneurs on all matters pertaining to their business, including selecting the appropriate type of entity for their businesses, drafting organizational documents, raising money from investors, hiring employees and independent contractors, negotiating commercial leases, and developing customized business contracts. I am a strong advocate for Minnesota entrepreneurs and small business owners. After years of working with clients who felt that federal and state laws impeded their ability to raise money from investors, I co-authored the MNvest legislation, which legalized securities crowdfunding in Minnesota. I helped organize a group of politicians, business leaders, and other supporters in a grassroots campaign to educate Minnesotans on crowdfunding, and MNvest was signed into law in 2015.
Although I work with all types of businesses, I have extensive experience in the manufacturing, distribution, craft brewing, and consumer products industries. I represent start-up and mid-sized companies in these industries on a variety of matters, including raising money from investors; awarding incentive equity to employees; securing debt and equipment financing; obtaining required permits and navigating through complex licensing regulations; negotiating commerical leases, product distribution agreements, and procurement contracts; selling distribution rights; obtaining trademarks and protecting other key intellectual property assets.
Minnesota Lawyer, 2021
Twin Cities Business Magazine. 2016
Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2014-2021