Tom serves as outside general counsel to a variety of privately owned companies, but with an emphasis serving those clients with retail food and grocery businesses.
Tom is an experienced business attorney who serves as outside general counsel to privately owned business and their owners. Tom focuses on a client’s big picture, not just isolated transactions. Over the course of his career, Tom has amassed a deep knowledge of the many tax strategies for operating privately held businesses. He has guided clients through choice of entity in business formation, counseling them on the various legal structures available to them, including S corporations, family limited partnerships and limited liability companies. As their business matures, Tom advises clients on the effective operation of their entities and the transition of their business to younger generations, third-parties, or employees.
Tom’s experience includes negotiating and drafting purchase and sale agreements, shareholder buy-sell agreements and implementing business succession plans, with an emphasis on retail supermarket businesses. Tom provides outside counsel services to clients, addressing their full range of business needs through collaboration with other advisors. Tom invests time up front to understand his clients' strategic needs. This often involves bringing in a team of Fredrikson lawyers skilled in other areas such as compensation and benefits, employment and labor, bank and finance, trust and estates, real estate, and litigation.
As senior leadership prepares to shift ownership, Tom assists them in designing business succession and estate plans, keeping in mind their desire to save income and estate taxes. Tom helps clients develop the right strategies to maintain or dispose of business interests as their personal needs and circumstances dictate. In his work with business owners, Tom counsels them on the eventual sale, transfer to family members, or the sale to co-owners, key employees, ESOPs or third parties and provides a legal framework for an orderly transition of the business in a tax-efficient manner.
Prior to joining Fredrikson, Tom was the president of his own law firm where he advised owners of closely held businesses for more than two decades. Before launching his own firm, Tom served as the director of Business Succession and Estate Planning at a Fortune 500 food distribution company where he provided business, income tax, estate, and succession planning services to its customers.
Using his experience in the retail supermarket industry, Tom has spoken before wholesalers, franchisors, franchisees, retailers, and their national associations.
- Serving as outside general counsel for businesses of all sizes, to address their legal needs without incurring the expense of a full-time, in-house attorney.
- Working with clients in structuring entities and transactions to achieve their objectives.
- Representing businesses and shareholders in resolving family disputes.
- Representing closely held businesses in the purchase or sale of their business.
- Negotiating and drafting merger and acquisition documents.
- Advising privately held corporations on succession planning for the transfer of their business to successive generations of owners and managers.
- Working with teams of advisors to facilitate the orderly transfer of family businesses in a tax-efficient manner.
- Representing family businesses in the negotiation and implementation of buy-sell agreements.
- Drafting formation documents for corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies.
- Representing clients selling their business to an ESOP, providing for business succession and employee ownership.
- Advising individuals and their companies in complex tax planning strategies.
- Designing estate plans for business owners and coordinating implementation with their business planning.
- Boston University School of Law, LL.M., Tax, 1983
- University of South Dakota School of Law, J.D., 1980
- University of South Dakota, B.S., 1977
- Minnesota, 1987
- South Dakota, 1980
Civic & Professional
- American Bar Association
- Minnesota Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- Boston University Journal of Tax Law, Member and Editorial Board, 1983
- South Dakota Law Review, Member and Editor 1979-1980
News & Insights
Publications & Presentations
Presenter, Succession Planning for Family Businesses—Creating an Exit Strategy, National Grocers Association
Presenter, Business Succession Strategies, Supermarket Retailers National Sales Expo
Businesses in Transition, National Grocers Association