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Home / Special Sections / Attorneys of the Year / 2021 Attorneys of the Year: Court J. Anderson and Benjamin J. Hamborg
Court J. Anderson and Benjamin J. Hamborg
Court J. Anderson (right) and Benjamin J. Hamborg

2021 Attorneys of the Year: Court J. Anderson and Benjamin J. Hamborg

circle-excellenceSeven years is a long time to wait for justice. But Court Anderson and Ben Hamborg got their clients that justice — plus possibly the largest whistleblower payout in Minnesota history.

Their clients, two minority shareholders in a company that went public in 2012, came to Anderson when they suspected some of the company’s controlling shareholders were manipulating its stock price. “They didn’t know exactly what had happened, or what claims or remedies they had open to them,” says Anderson.

Those controlling shareholders had manipulated the stock price in the first days of trading, increasing the company’s debt from approximately $9 million to tens of millions of dollars and benefiting the majority shareholders who held the debt. When Anderson demanded that the company respond, they settled with the majority shareholders, leaving the minority shareholders with no way to have their day in court.

Anderson went to the SEC and explained what had happened, providing significant documentation and evidence to help the agency investigate. Hamborg, an associate attorney who joined the case two years in, prepared the application and argued for the clients to receive the maximum amount (30%) of monies recovered as a result of the civil and criminal actions.

Based on the $24 million in sanctions against the controlling shareholders involved, the minority shareholders were awarded more than $7 million. Several majority shareholders were charged, among them Ryan Gilbertson, who received an unusually long 12-year sentence for a white-collar first offense. “That shows the magnitude of the scheme and its effect on everyday people,” Hamborg says.

Anderson took satisfaction from the perpetrators being charged and held accountable. “Not only did [the award] compensate the clients for their losses from this scheme,” he says, “the criminal convictions brought a sense of fairness and justice.”

Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2021 here.

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