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Overview

Paul’s professional path has taught him to think like a business owner while also developing a deep affinity for closely held, cooperative and employee-owned businesses.

After establishing a career in California, Paul realized he was a small-town guy at heart. Moving back to his native Wisconsin gave him a chance to work as a general counsel and executive at a Wisconsin paper manufacturer. Those roles paved the way for his current work with businesses.

Paul’s clients appreciate his experience and his willingness and ability to answer their questions with practical recommendations. Businesses rely on his advice, often given in his role as outside general counsel, on governance, contracting and compliance.

Business owners and executives also turn to Paul for his extensive experience in ensuring successful operations and growth, and in developing and implementing ownership and management succession plans. Clients looking to sell as part of a merger or acquisition seek out Paul to close the deal and help them realize what can be the culmination of a lifetime’s work.


Industry

Services

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School
    • cum laude
  • A.B., Harvard College
    • cum laude
    • Economics

Admissions

  • Wisconsin
  • California

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Seed Trade Association
  • Independent Professional Seed Association
  • Employee-Owned S Corporations of America
  • The ESOP Association
Experience

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Represented owners in sale of 16 Wisconsin cemeteries and granite monuments business to NYSE-traded company.
  • Counseled client on geographic expansion through purchase of heavy equipment parts dealer.
  • Represented equipment manufacturer in sale of growth business to international strategic buyer.
  • Advised owners of privately held industrial electrical parts manufacturer on sale of its U.S. operations.
  • Guided family owners of growing natural agricultural input business in auctioning the business, selecting buyer, and negotiating and closing favorable transaction.

Corporate & Outside General Counsel

  • Participated in negotiation, planning and execution of multi billion-dollar vendor contract for buying group.
  • Provided governance guidance to cooperative on board election, director qualifications, conflicts of interest and antitrust issues.
  • Advised regional municipal power company on restructuring of investment in transmission joint venture.
  • Advised fast-growing robotics manufacturer on contract, financing and governance issues.
  • Advised national trade association on governance and tax compliance issues.
  • Provided corporate law and organizational support to marketing company in litigation with major retailer.
  • Advised healthcare buying cooperative on member contracts and governance.
  • Advised on organization and financing of growth of a network of independent living, assisted-living and long-term care facilities.
  • Assisted in wind-down and dissolution of research cooperative.

ESOPs

  • Represented company in sale of 100 percent ESOP-owned company to strategic buyer.
  • Advised on reorganization and sale to ESOP of large loan originator.
  • Represented seller in sale to 100 percent ESOP of 100-employee specialty retail chain of four stores.
  • Represented buying ESOP in 100 percent acquisition of specialty construction company.
  • Counseled company on sale of 30 percent interest to ESOP of vehicle dealer with multiple locations.
  • Led company team in $800 million purchase of paper manufacturer from foreign parent through non-leveraged 100 percent employee stock ownership plan.

Business Succession Planning

  • Assisted manufacturing business in evaluating options for retirement and liquidity for majority shareholder and implementation of refinancing and leveraged purchase by minority owner and officer.
  • Documented and implemented planned sale of ownership of transportation engineering firm over time from retiring largest shareholder to next group of leaders, providing for phased redemption based on company performance.
  • Advised executives on purchase of money management firm from founder over time.
Outside the Office

Almost every weekend, you can find Paul on a hike.

Often he is with his daughter, who lives with developmental disabilities. Among their favorite places to walk are Devil’s Lake and Mirror Lake state parks, near Paul’s hometown of Baraboo, Wisconsin.

He also enjoys hiking on vacations. His favorite trek: a coast-to-coast walk in Northern England, from the Irish Sea to the North Sea.

Community Leadership

Paul spends a great deal of time as a volunteer leader or board member for organizations that help people with severe disabilities and their families.

The defining fact of his life, he says, was the birth of his daughter, who faces cognitive and behavioral challenges. He has also contributed through leadership positions in education and other community organizations.

His recent community involvement and leadership includes:

  • Easter Seals Wisconsin Inc., Board of Directors, Chair
  • Community Work Services, Board of Directors
  • Dup15q Alliance, Board of Directors, Chair
  • Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ, Board of Directors
  • United Way of Dane County, Community Solutions Team
  • Circus World Museum Foundation, Board of Directors, Chair
  • ThedaCare Inc., Board of Directors, Chair
  • Appleton Education Foundation, Board of Directors, President
Counseling Cooperatives

Paul has nurtured relationships with several cooperatives and is adept at counseling clients on the special laws that cover their transactions and governance. He has negotiated key supply agreements for an independent pharmacy cooperative, advised members on the winding down and dissolution of a research and development cooperative, and advised healthcare cooperatives on membership and regulatory issues.