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Timothy M. Barnett

p (612) 604-6653   f (612) 604-6853 
University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1982
C.P.A., 1980
University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., highest honors, 1979
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Timothy M. Barnett, a shareholder in Winthrop’s business transactions group, has been practicing in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, multi-unit franchise transactions and corporate law for more than 30 years. Much of Tim’s practice focuses on helping his clients buy and sell businesses, large and small, in a wide variety of industries, including construction, distribution, software sales and licensing, manufacturing, real estate, and quick service restaurants (QSRs). Tim also has represented a large number of new and emerging closely held businesses, applying his entrepreneurial spirit and experience to the benefit of his clients. He possesses special skill in counseling entrepreneurs on the organization, financing and development of their closely held businesses, helping them convert business opportunities into reality.

Tim also is the leader of the firm’s franchise legal team, and has been representing franchisees of national and international brands for more than 25 years. Franchise clients are quick to recognize Tim’s depth of knowledge in the franchise field and rely heavily on him to advise them on the most important aspects of complex franchise transactions. Tim’s financial and accounting background serves his clients particularly well on M&A and financing transactions; in the last ten years he has been the principal attorney on more than 60 multi-unit QSR acquisitions, sales and financings throughout the United States. For more information on Tim's and the franchise group's experience, please click here.

Tim is consistently named in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business on its list of "Leaders in their Field," for Corporate/M&A client representation. Only a few attorneys in Minnesota receive this distinction.

Representative Transactions

  • Representation of an international conglomerate in the sale of its Wisconsin-based whey protein business
  • Representation of a large healthcare products distribution company in a sale of one of its subsidiaries to a Fortune 500 company
  • Representation of one of the five largest QSR franchisees in the United States in its acquisition of 77 franchised units in the northeastern United States
  • Representation of a large Phoenix based franchise company in the acquisition of 44 QSRs from Pizza Hut, Inc.
  • Representation of one of the nation’s largest KFC franchisees in its sale of 64 franchised restaurants to a large private equity group
  • Special counsel to Minnesota-based development-stage biotech company in a transaction involving substantial funding from a New York-based venture firm
  • Representation of one of the nation’s oldest and largest Burger King franchisees in the sale of its multi-state restaurant holdings to an East Coast private equity group

Bar Admissions
Minnesota, 1982

Articles and Presentations
Presenter. "What You Need to Know to Negotiate an Effective Purchase Agreement." Restaurant Finance Monitor's Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. Las Vegas, NV. 10 Nov. 2014.
Honors & Awards
  • Recommended in Corporate/M&A: Chambers & Partners USA, 2011-2017
  • Ranked as “AV Preeminent” in LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review ratings
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 1994-2017
    • Top 40 Vote-Getters for Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2002
Professional Associations & Memberships
  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
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