Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership | This website contains attorney advertising.

Charles F. Knapp



Chuck Knapp is a nationally recognized litigator who represents employers in employment-related litigation matters throughout the country. Chuck is tenacious, proactive and responsive in advocating for clients and has particular experience in complex employment litigation matters, including trade secret misappropriation, noncompete, wage/hour and executive employment disputes.

Employment Litigator

Chuck has served as lead trial counsel in employment cases venued throughout the country in state and federal courts. His litigation outcomes have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Reuters, Chicago Tribune, ABA Journal and Bloomberg.

Chuck litigates:
  • Trade secret, non-competition, business interference and CFAA claims
  • Wage and hour claims, including exempt/non-exempt classification, off-the-clock work and tip pooling claims
  • ERISA benefit and breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Executive compensation disputes
  • Class action employment discrimination and breach of contract cases
  • Discrimination, harassment, disability, retaliation and leave claims

Chuck has successfully briefed and/or argued petitions for certiorari and appeals before the United States Supreme Court and numerous state and federal courts of appeal.

Employment Counselor

Chuck uses employment litigation experience to advise employers on a variety of workplace issues. For example, he helps clients develop executive, non-competition, non-disclosure, non-solicitation and other employment agreements, and has managed company-wide wage/hour audits.
Chuck’s experience serving as an interim in-house employment counsel for a national financial services company has given him valuable insight into what in-house lawyers and human resources executives need and expect from outside counsel.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota


University of Iowa College of Law
J.D. with high distinction, Order of the Coif, Law Review (1991)

University of Notre Dame
B.A. with honors (1986)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • 10 Major Developments And Trends In State And Federal Non-Compete Regulations
    Republished in HR Legal & Compliance Excellence, January 31, 2024
  • Minnesota Employment Law: Legislative Reforms And Their Implications
    Republished in HR Legal & Compliance Excellence, June 30, 2023
  • Ban On Post-Employment Non-Competes: Minnesota To Join The League
    Republished in HR Legal & Compliance Excellence, May 31, 2023
  • IT for the Labor and Employment Lawyer
    Labor and Employment Law Institute, 2017
  • Elimination of Bias in Minnesota: A Conversation With Justice Alan Page
    Employment Law Today, 2017
  • The New Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act: What Employers Need to Know and Recent Development
    Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute St. Paul, Minnesota 2017
  • New Law Prohibits Employers From Asking Applicants About Salary History
    Co-author, The Recorder, October 2017
  • Complex Employment Litigation Trends 
    Employment Law Today, 2015
  • Corporate Wellness Update — What Can You Do? What Can’t You Do?
    Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2015
  • Minnesota Employment Litigation Study
    Employment Law Today, 2014
  • What Is "Sex" Discrimination Under Title VII? The Current Landscape in the Courts and the EEOC
    Labor and Employment Law Institute, 2014
  • EEOC Update: Litigation Tactics and Approaches
    Minnesota CLE, 2014
  • Hiring From a Competitor: Tips for Mitigating Your Risk
    Client In-House Presentation, 2014
  • Restrictive Covenants in the Global Workplace
    Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2013
  • Ethical Traps for In-House Counsel
    Employment Law Today, 2013
  • Best Practices for Properly Setting Up Your Next Noncompete Case
    Employment Law Today, 2013
  • Drawing the Line Between Possibility and Plausibility: An Update on Federal Courts' Application of Twombly's/Iqbal's Pleading Standards in FLSA Collection Actions
    Minnesota CLE, 2013
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
    Client In-house Presentation, 2013

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota State Bar Association — Labor and Employment Section Governing Council (Past Chair)

Civic Activities

  • St. Paul Chamber Orchestra — Former Governing Member
  • Minneapolis Hockey Association — Former Vice President
  • Academy of Holy Angels — Former Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Notre Dame Club of Minnesota
  • Loaves & Fish — Volunteer

Firm Leadership

  • Chuck led the firm’s employment litigation team, and serves as the senior partner of the firm’s Minneapolis employment litigation practice.


  • Chambers USA — Minnesota, Labor & Employment, 2007-24
  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2021
  • Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Patent 1000: The World's Leading Practitioners, 2014
  • Best Lawyers®— Litigation  Labor and Employment, 2011-24; Employment Law – Management, 2011-24 (Lawyer of the Year - Employment Law, 2020)
  • Minnesota Law & Politics — Top 40 Employment Lawyers
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers — Employment Litigation: Defense, 2003-23
  • Martindale-Hubbell — AV Peer Review Rating
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
The Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP website uses cookies to make your browsing experience as useful as possible. In order to have the full site experience, keep cookies enabled on your web browser. By browsing our site with cookies enabled, you are agreeing to their use. Review Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP's cookies information for more details.