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Jennifer L. Carey
Jennifer L. Carey

The POWER 30: Jennifer L. Carey

Hanft Fride

Hanft Fride, in different iterations and with different names, has been a fixture in Duluth for more than a century. In 1899, in State of Minnesota v. Duluth Gas & Water Company, the defendants were represented by the firm of Washburn, Lewis and Bailey, Hanft’s predecessors.

In the 1970s, the groundbreaking State of Minnesota v. Reserve Mining Co., an epic environmental case, gave the Environmental Protection Agency new powers to regulate pollution. Hanft’s client, the mining company, which began in 1956, stayed open pursuant to the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals order.

The firm still finds itself central to construction and development in the Duluth area, according to Jennifer Carey, shareholder and real estate attorney. Carey says that residential, mixed-use and business development is active and important to the community.

One project has been the revitalization of the Silver Bay Business Park on Highway 61.

Another significant project for the firm is the redevelopment of Essentia Health medical facilities. The important medical provider to the area is planning to elevate building quality and enlarge its space, Carey said.

The $21 million project includes replacement for St. Mary’s Medical Center and clinic space as well as renovation of existing buildings on its downtown Duluth campus.

The firm representing Essentia and Silver Bay, among other clients, “has a sophisticated enough practice that clients don’t have to go to the cities for legal services,” Carey said.

Carey agrees with other attorneys who worry about attracting lawyers who want to live and practice outstate.

When the financial crisis hit in 2008, the market quit making houses and real estate lawyers, Carey said. “We have to play catch-up. It will take time to correct itself.”