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People & Practices: Jan. 23, 2023

Minnesota Lawyer//January 23, 2023//

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People & Practices: Jan. 23, 2023

Minnesota Lawyer//January 23, 2023//

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Laurie Huotari
Laurie Huotari

Stoel Rives names Laurie Huotari managing partner

Stoel Rives LLP has announced that Laurie Huotari was named office managing partner of the firm’s Minneapolis office, effective Jan. 1. As office managing partner, Huotari is responsible for the day-to-day management of the office, supporting its business and community activities and recruiting efforts. In her new role, Huotari succeeds Andrew Moratzka, who has served as the Minneapolis office managing partner since 2020.

“Laurie is an exceptionally talented attorney and a natural leader,” said Melissa Jones, Stoel Rives’ firm managing partner. “She has a great passion for the local community and is highly regarded by her clients and peers. We know Laurie will continue to nurture the inclusive and collaborative environment that already defines the culture of our Minneapolis office, while encouraging its growth and practice excellence.”

Huotari joined Stoel Rives in 2012 and has more than 20 years’ experience as a corporate attorney representing clients in all aspects of mergers and acquisitions, company reorganizations, private equity financing, corporate governance, commercial transactions, joint ventures and strategic alliances. A significant portion of Huotari’s work in recent years has involved assisting local and national clients in the food and agribusiness industries, and she is particularly experienced in providing counsel on biogas renewable energy financings.

Huotari’s prior leadership roles include mentoring associate attorneys, serving on the Minneapolis office’s recruiting committee for the past three years, and serving as the Minnesota office delegate for the corporate practice group. Huotari volunteers at several local nonprofits, providing pro bono and non-legal support. She previously served as a volunteer attorney for the Minnetonka Baseball Association and the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, and as a skilled seamstress, Huotari serves as a costumer for the theater program at St. Therese Catholic School.

Duluth’s Fryberger names Johnson new shareholder

Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson

Attorney Eric Johnson has been named a shareholder at Duluth-based law firm Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A.

Johnson joined Fryberger’s Duluth office in 2008 after graduating from law school and focuses primarily on lender services, banking law, real estate, litigation and appeals for the firm.

A native Duluthian, Johnson serves on the board of directors of North Shore Bank of Commerce and the Spirit of Duluth Hockey Tournament committee. He also previously served on the boards of Hartley Nature Center and Downtown Duluth, where he was board chair in 2015.

Before joining Fryberger, Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College with honors and his Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law. 

Former prosecutor, judge Engisch joins Dorsey

Nicole Engisch
Nicole Engisch

Former Minnesota state court judge and federal prosecutor Nicole Engisch has joined Dorsey & Whitney as a partner in the Government Enforcement and Corporate Investigations practice group in Minneapolis.

Engisch joins Dorsey from the 4th Judicial District of Hennepin County, where she served as a judge since being appointed in 2014. Before her appointment, she was a federal prosecutor for more than a decade and a successful partner at Leonard, Street and Deinard (now Stinson). She received her J.D. cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School and her B.A. from Rutgers University.

Her practice focuses on government enforcement matters and corporate investigations, working with a team of lawyers at Dorsey that includes other former assistant U.S. attorneys and lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC, and other governmental units. As a federal prosecutor, Engisch served as the Criminal Division chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota. Additionally, she practices in the areas of intellectual property litigation and other complex civil litigation.

From left: Keiko Sugisaka, David Suchar, Brian Klein, Julian Zebot, Susan Link
From left: Keiko Sugisaka, David Suchar, Brian Klein, Julian Zebot, Susan Link

Maslon elects board members 

Maslon LLP’s partnership has elected new members of its board of directors.

Partner Keiko Sugisaka was reelected board chair after serving as the firm’s top leader since January 2022. Partner and board member David Suchar was elected vice chair. Newly elected to serve two-year terms are partners Brian Klein and Julian Zebot. The remaining partner board member is Susan Link, who was elected with David Suchar in September 2022 when the firm expanded its governing body from three partners to five.

The board consists of five partners and the chief operating officer, who are responsible for strategy, policymaking, and oversight of the firm through the executive committee. The executive committee consists of two partner board members, Sugisaka and Suchar, and Chief Operating Officer Suzette Allaire. It is charged with making day-to-day operational and management decisions.

Maslon offered its gratitude to partner and former vice chair Michael McCarthy for his 8½ years of firm management, including as firm chair, and to partner Shauro Bagchi for his dedicated service on the board, as well as on the previous governance committee.

Michael Fellerman joins Winthrop as shareholder

Michael J. Fellerman
Michael J. Fellerman

Michael J. Fellerman has joined Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., as shareholder in the Real Estate Finance practice. Fellerman represents clients on the tax aspects of a wide variety of business matters, with a primary focus on the tax aspects of real estate and business transactions. He has extensive experience with tax credits in real estate transactions, including those involving Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) and Historic and Rehabilitation Tax Credits (HTC). His clients include for-profit and nonprofit developers, as well as syndicators, investors and lenders. He advises clients on IRS and HUD guidelines, including in connection with public-private partnerships, as well as advising on the use of specific credits and the best ways to combine them with other credits, subsidies and other tax savings programs.

In addition to his real-estate related work, Fellerman advises on all tax aspects of business transactions, including tax planning, partnership agreements, public finance (Section 103 tax matters) and bond issues, 1031 exchanges, international tax, IRS compliance and audits, and more. He has a particular interest in advising non-profit organizations that are working to benefit our communities.

Fellerman earned his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Baltimore School of Law. He earned his B.S. in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Kukuljan joins Husch Blackwell in Minneapolis

Rob Kukuljan has joined Husch Blackwell as a partner in  Minneapolis. He will practice out of The Link, the firm’s virtual office, and is a member of the firm’s Healthcare, Life Sciences & Education business unit.

In a career spanning over three decades, Kukuljan advises and represents clients engaged in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, strategic alliances and other commercial transactions across multiple industry segments, including health care payer service providers, digital health, home health care, software and AI, and technology and service providers to the healthcare industry, in addition to companies that develop medical devices and biopharma therapies and technologies. In addition to his strategic transaction experience, Kukuljan routinely represents clients on a wide variety of capital markets transactions, including public and private debt and equity offerings, as well as associated securities and regulation compliance and corporate governance concerns. Beyond health care and allied industries, Kukuljan also represents clients on transactions and other financing matters in a variety of business sectors, including industrial and manufacturing, real estate development, technology and e-commerce, consumer products and services, and financial services.

“Husch Blackwell’s industry focus—and its national prominence in healthcare law in particular—is an excellent platform to provide clients with a full suite of legal services and strategic thinking,” said Kukuljan. “As the healthcare industry continues to evolve very quickly, the ability to give clients 360-degree legal and business advice separates Husch Blackwell from most law firms.”

People & Practices is a lightly edited compilation of news releases from law firms and other organizations. Minnesota Lawyer welcomes news about hires, promotions and other activities in the legal profession. Send releases (and photos if desired) to [email protected].

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