January 26, 2023

Five Faegre Drinker Partners Selected as Minnesota Lawyer ‘POWER 30 Mergers & Acquisitions’ Honorees

Minnesota Lawyer named partners Morgan Burns, Randall Kahnke, Kate Sherburne, Michael Stanchfield and Michael Stewart as 2023 “POWER 30: Mergers & Acquisitions” honorees. The recognition focuses on those whose mere presence on a matter signifies the stakes, who have influenced the direction of the law, whose leadership in the community is pervasive and whose respect within the bar is undeniable.

To select honorees, the publication interviewed respected attorneys and other leaders around the state, reviewed outcomes of myriad significant cases handled by these and other attorneys, and consulted its archives to highlight people whose achievements and influence are recognized as powerful M&A attorneys in Minnesota.

Minnesota Lawyer emphasized the mass number of M&A and capital markets transactions Burns has led during his career. Burns touched on his outlook of M&A being a relationship business, saying, “Clients need someone who is going to take it very seriously but not be paralyzed by it. Fearless but not careless. If you are afraid or nervous, you’re not going to do well.” Read Burns’ profile. 

In Kahnke’s profile, he discussed the deal-making process and shared his experience in making it stick. Acknowledging that the deal-making process can be disruptive to both buyers and sellers, particularly when it comes to protecting trade secrets, Kahnke said, “The lesson from that situation is that the ethical wall around the confidential information is crucial. ‘Do you have an ethical wall? Can you track information? Do you have documentation of your development efforts? Did you have the discipline to adhere to the ethical wall?’” Read Kahnke’s profile. 

The publication also detailed Sherburne’s extensive knowledge in negotiations and closing deals. She addressed the many factors influencing how deals are done. To anticipate these challenges, Sherburne advised preparation: “There used to be more of a path to work through solutions. Now it’s something buyers and sellers are focused on early; you’re taking to antitrust experts earlier in the process. ‘Are we going to get approval, and how long will it take?’” Read Sherburne’s profile. 

Minnesota Lawyer featured Stanchfield’s role as co-chair of Faegre Drinker’s 2022 Minneapolis M&A conference, along with Sherburne and Faegre Drinker corporate partner Ryan Miske. He discussed a major thread of the conference being “people’s psychology” and noted the importance of relationships when it comes to concluding successful deals. Stanchfield also touched on what he sees as the client’s focus on M&A deals, which is “building sustainable businesses.” Read Stanchfield’s profile.

Stewart’s profile highlighted his knowledge of the M&A world and expanded on the idea that not all M&A transactions involve enormous sums of money changing hands. He stated, “The definition of a distressed business could be different definitions, including liquidity problems, significant liabilities, changing business and third parties creating pressure. Companies have a lot of options.” Stewart also shared predictions for upcoming years, which he thinks will include more bankruptcies due to the increase of several factors. Read Stewart’s profile. 

Read the full “POWER 30: Mergers and Acquisitions” list to learn more. The full articles are available for Minnesota Lawyer subscribers.

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