Chris is passionate about helping clients grow, scale, manage, and transition their businesses with direct, pragmatic advice and advocacy. His clients value his collaborative approach to developing and implementing strategies through legal structures and tactics designed to enhance reward opportunities, improve control and predictability, and minimize risk.
Chris has extensive experience with drafting and negotiating contracts, business restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, financings, strategic partnerships, distribution agreements, licenses, governance issues, exit strategies, and sales and recapitalizations.
Chris works with clients in a spectrum of industries, including insurance, investment advisors, health care, manufacturing, distribution, pharmacy, hospitality, transportation, and accounting, as well as law, medical, and other professional service firms. A substantial proportion of his business acquisition deals have been for insurance, investment advisor, bank, and other financial service providers, with over 140 transactions to date.
He regularly acts as outside general counsel for closely held businesses regarding governance, risk management, contracting, and operational issues. In performing those services, Chris understands that clients need the right size representation, proportional to their needs and the circumstances of the representation. He believes that pragmatic legal advice goes hand in hand with managing the realities of business relationships.
- Assisted regional accounting firms in restructuring ownership, compensation, and succession planning relationships.
- Negotiated a succession plan between three branches of a family for control and ownership of large family-owned business.
- Represented regional banking group in the acquisition of banks and insurance agencies.
- Assisted a private equity group in purchasing a series of manufacturing companies in a roll-up strategy.
- Represented an investor in acquiring a majority interest in a luxury boat manufacturer.
- Represented AFAM Capital Inc. in its sale of its investment advisory practice to Kovitz Investment Group.
- Represented the shareholders of Ahmann & Martin Inc. in its sale to Associated Financial Group LLC, a transaction valued between $48 million and $56 million.
- Represented controlling shareholder in the divestiture of an insurance carrier, a deal valued at over $400 million.
- Represented three long-term care pharmacies, each with individual transaction values in excess of $75 million.
- Represented national building supply manufacturer in its sale to private equity group, a transaction valued in excess of $100 million.
University of Minnesota Law School, J.D.; cum laude; Minnesota Law Review
Carleton College, B.A., Economics; cum laude
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
- U.S. Tax Court
Honors & Recognitions
The Best Lawyers in America (2021)
Minnesota Rising Stars (2006-2009)
News & Insights
- The Best Lawyers in America, 08.20.2020
- Proposed Changes to IRS Regulations May Limit or Eliminate Valuation Discounts for Family-Owned Businesses09.26.2016
- The Legal Platypus – Minnesota Revised Limited Liability Company ActMinneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN, 05.10.2017
- Insurance Agency Management – Three Regulatory Burdens to Shed Before 2017Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, MN, 11.16.2016
- Fair Credit Reporting Act and Drivers Privacy Protection Act – A New Trend in Enforcement and ComplianceMinnesota Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association, Prairie Conference Center, Eden Prairie, MN, 02.25.2015
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association