I landed in the employee benefits area by chance. I was clerking at Winthrop during my third year of law school, and I had announced that I intended to go into the corporate department. The easiest thing to give a law clerk is litigation research, and I was trying to work on as much corporate work as possible, since I knew litigation wasn’t for me. I asked around the department if there were any projects I could work on, and was told, “Not unless you do employee benefits.” I was willing to try anything, so I took on the project. The next day, I was walking past a shareholder’s office, one of the three people in town who did ESOP work. He was on a call, but beckoned me into the office. The moment he hung up the phone, he turned to me and said, “So, I hear you want to do employee benefits.” That was the start, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
It’s no small thing when business owners decide the time has come to exit the business. Wrapped up in that business is their life’s work, their legacy, and the operations and employees that have been cultivated over time. I work with clients to transition their businesses in a way that is true to the culture of the business and respects the motivations of the owner, while also positioning the company for future prosperity. Often, this arrangement results in Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), and I represent clients in the day to day legal ESOP questions as well as structuring the transaction. It’s a transaction where everyone is happy at the end of the day, because the owners are able to exit into retirement, and the employees have ownership in their company.
Sometimes an ESOP is not the right answer for the business, and I work with clients to understand their business and find the transition plan that works best in each case. I also have clients who have come to me after an ESOP has been created that wasn’t right for the business, looking for help unraveling it. No matter the transition structure, I can help clients find the right one.
I also advise clients on other employee benefit related matters, such as health and welfare questions, as well as ways to incentivize and reward key employees at the company.
Outside of work, I love being outside, camping and hiking, watching sports and drinking wine.
A Groundbreaking Moment in my Career
Honors & Awards
The Best Lawyers in America©
Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2009-2019
LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, Peer review ratings
Associations & Memberships
American Bar Association
Tax Section and Real Property
Probate and Trust Law Section
Minnesota State Bar Association
Employee Benefits Section
Trust Law Section