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NJL People: John C. Levy

John loves practicing law. He’s practiced for over 35 years, beginning on Wall Street, and brings a level of authenticity to his work that strengthens relationships, not only with his own clients but also with parties on the other side of transactions. His clients value the perspective he brings to the table, which is often a recognition of the actual dynamics at play, sometimes different than the stated or apparent interests or objectives of the parties.

Whether in the context of general advisory services or transactions, John’s commitment, attentiveness, perspective, and assertiveness often makes him an integral part of client management teams.

When John is not advising clients, he is relaxing with loved ones, listening to the Grateful Dead, or playing disc golf, surfing or basketball. He particularly enjoys doing all of that on the East End of Long Island, where his family has a home.

 Key Practice Experience

  • Bankruptcy, Workouts and Debtor/Creditor Law
  • Business Formation, Structuring and Joint Ventures
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Commercial Lending
  • Closely Held Businesses
  • Corporate Finance and Capital Raising
  • Corporate Governance
  • Employment and Executive Compensation and Severance
  • Entrepreneurs and Emerging Businesses
  • Family-Owned Businesses and Succession Planning
  • Food and Hospitality, Restaurants, Food Trucks
  • Intellectual Property and Licensing
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Real Estate Development, Finance, Acquisitions and Sales
  • Securities
  • Supply Chain and Distribution Arrangements
  • Technology, Internet and E-Commerce
  • Venture Capital and Private Equity

Key Industry Experience

  • Construction
  • Food Trucks
  • Health Care
  • High Tech
  • Investment Banking
  • Legal Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Nonprofits
  • Printing
  • Real Estate Development
  • Restaurants and Food & Beverage Services
  • Venture Capital; Private Equity

Representative Matters

  • Represent clients in middle-market M&A transactions ranging from several hundreds of thousands to several hundreds of millions of dollars
  • Focus on executive compensation and severance, including having represented over 20 senior executives in connection with either executive employment or severance agreements
  • Experienced negotiator and mediator
  • Represent numerous restaurants, chefs, food trucks, and other food and beverage industry participants
  • Represent (pro bono) unaccompanied minor asylum seeker from El Salvador who arrived in the US at age 15 with her (then) 9-year-old brother
  • Significant experience in loan workout work including representation of creditors’ committee in high profile investment bank (Stockwalk) bankruptcy
  • Represent clients in initial public offerings, having completed over 20 transactions aggregating in excess of $1 billion in capital raised
  • Represent clients on numerous private placement and other types of private financings
  • Well-versed in going-private transactions, including two management and ESOP-led going private leveraged buyout transactions
  • Lead lawyer on several proxy contests, including two public company contests
  • Represent numerous developers, lenders and/or guarantors in complex real estate developments and restructurings
  • Comprehensive industry experience in manufacturing, construction, printing, real estate development, and high tech
  • Founded and lead as President of Minnesota Food Truck Association, which informs Food Truck Law practice

Recognitions and Honors

  • North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2013-2020
  • Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers numerous years since inception in 1993
  • *AV® Preeminent peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Member of Expert Panel of the Legal Transformation Study, an acclaimed study exploring strategic planning scenarios for the legal industry to 2020
  • Member of Law & Politics/Twin Cities Business M&A Editorial Advisory Group
  • Executive Managing Editor, Bankruptcy Developments Journal, Emory University School of Law

Publications and Presentations

  • Moderator: “Food Trucks: Advising Your Clients on Wheels,” American Bar Association Section of Business Law, November 16, 2017
  • “Food Trucks – What it takes from a Legal and Practical Perspective,” Minnesota State Bar Association, April 27, 2016
  • Presenter: Grant Thornton Food & Beverage Executive Forum, April 20, 2015
  • Author, “Delaware Court’s decision could affect reverse triangular mergers,” In House Counsel Supplement to Minnesota Lawyer, October 2011
  • Quoted and featured in various newspapers and publications including the New York Times and Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Member of the Twin Cities Business M&A Editorial Advisory Group
  • Author, Chapter 1 “Working with an Attorney” and Chapter 13 “Management Contracts” The Practical Musician, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, a division of the Minnesota State Bar Association, 1993
  • Author, “Recent Developments: Section 507 of the Bankruptcy Code 1,” Bankruptcy
  • Developments Journal (1984)
  • Speaker at seminars on various topics pertaining to mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, business law, and food trucks

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Food Truck Association, Founder and President
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section
  • National Food Truck Association, Officer and Board Member
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Business Law Section
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Business and Securities Law Section

Community Engagement

  • Fulfilled wish for Make-A-Wish patient
  • Board of Directors, Minnesota Food Truck Association (Chairman)
  • Board of Directors, EnerChange (Secretary, past Vice Chairman)
  • Member of MN Department of Health Environmental Health Continuous Improvement Board Mobile Food Workgroup
  • Board of Directors, Soo Visual Arts Center
  • Member, Leadership Summit of Minneapolis Hospitality Zone Assessment
  • Board of Directors, National Food Truck Association
  • Board of Directors, ChefLucasFood

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