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Shareholder

Kristopher (Tip) Lee

I avoid jargon; plain language can explain complex concepts. As I tell my kids, 'Use your words.'

My Approach

When a borrower wants money to build something, finance an acquisition, or have additional funds available to operate its business and a lender has decided that borrower presents a reasonable risk, there’s no reason the two sides can’t make a deal happen. I work with banks, hedge funds, private equity funds, and other lenders and investors to find creative ways to structure deals that result in the best possible outcome for both parties.  I primarily represent lenders and protect their interests, but do so in a way that will work for the borrower, too, so the deals actually close.

Outside of work, I usher my kids around town and to soccer, basketball, swimming lessons, and gymnastics classes.

A Groundbreaking Moment in My Career

I started practicing in 2009, during the Great Recession, and for my first three years in practice, I worked in loan workout and restructuring where I ended up doing a lot of foreclosures and other collection work. I’m not a native Minnesotan, and didn’t know many places outside of Minneapolis or the South Metro. But I quickly learned my way around the wider metro area by foreclosing on properties all over the cities. And my collection work took me all around the state. When driving around the state for family getaways, we’d often pass places where my work had taken me and could tell my family: “Oh, Cloquet, I liquidated a hockey store there”; or “Hey, Hermantown, I foreclosed on an apartment complex there”; or “Hey kids, welcome to Afton, I repossessed two horses here.” One day, I was driving to a hearing, and called my mom to say hello, as I often did on long drives, and told her where I was going – to Austin, Minnesota, to foreclose on a trailer park. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew I had to make a change and diversify my practice.

So after restructuring and collecting on “bad loans” for years, I transitioned to commercial lending, which now comprises about 90% of my practice. Now, when I drive around the city, I can point to new buildings and developments and say, “Look at what we were able to turn that into.” I love feeling like I’ve helped build my community.

Practice Areas

Honors & Awards

Minnesota Rising Stars

Super Lawyers®, 2013-2017

Associations & Memberships

NAIOP

Turnaround Management Association