Tammera Diehm began her career with Winthrop & Weinstine as a summer associate, and has risen to the role of president of the Minneapolis firm of 166 attorneys.
Her practice in M&A grew out of real estate and environmental work, where she became a trusted adviser to business owners. When a family-owned business was sold, she was able to help her clients through the transaction and its impact on the family.
She practices with businesses in the downstream energy market, including gas stations and convenience stores, and also fuel distributors. She also serves as general counsel to Sigma, a national trade association of fuel marketers. The fuel industry is an amazing industry, said Diehm. One reason is the number of family-owned businesses that started small and are still thriving, she said.
The client-relationship skills that made Diehm a trusted adviser to businesses also come into play in M&A situations, Diehm said. One important skill is to manage the client’s expectations, which helps to keep the transaction moving as smoothly as possible.
It’s important to educate the client in the different steps along the way to closing a deal, and get them ready to start M&A talks. There are necessarily bumps along the road, and the clients need to understand that bumps don’t mean the deal is falling apart. “The clients have someone who’s been down this path before leading them down the path again,” Diehm said.
The client counseling is not unlike her job of managing expectations of the lawyers in the firm, Diehm said. When she was first offered the role, she wanted to maintain an active practice. The firm added a chief operating officer, who will allow her to continue her practice. The new officer, Joe Chow, was announced on Aug. 1
Diehm joins an expanding rank of women in leadership of law firms, which she is excited to see. “It’s really important to the profession and diversity within the ranks of leadership makes an organization stronger. While there is still work to be done for women in the profession, the growth at Winthrop & Weinstine is exciting and shows the value of diversity in leadership,” she said.