William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 1984, Cum Laude

Florida State University, B.S., 1975, Cum Laude
 - Beta Gamma Sigma Honors

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
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Michael J. Grimes
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Mike Grimes is a shareholder based in our Minneapolis office. He has served as vice president and treasurer of the firm, and also has served as a member of the firm’s board of directors and executive committee. He practices principally in the areas of:

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Professional sports – design, development, revenue streams, intellectual property and licensing, and general counsel representation
  • Construction contracting (including structure and documentation of multi-party projects)
  • Patent, trademark and other intellectual property licensing
  • Corporate strategy and structure
  • Complex corporate and commercial law transactions
  • Executive employment and termination

Mike provides legal counsel to a wide variety of domestic and international business clients. His principal practice areas involve several interdisciplinary areas of the law, including finance, securities, regulatory compliance, taxation, employment relations, commercial litigation analysis, and corporate strategy and governance issues, including restructuring.

Mike is listed in Minnesota Super Lawyers and in Chambers USA, an independent guide to leading business lawyers in the legal profession. He also has been named by Minnesota Super Lawyers as one of the top 20 mergers and acquisitions attorneys in Minnesota. Mike has received a preeminent rating by a leading directory of the legal profession. The rating reflects the lawyer’s experience, nature of practice and other professional qualifications, as well as adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities.

Practice Areas
Mike has represented public, privately held and regulated companies in a wide variety of domestic and international transactions, including mergers, reorganizations, stock and asset acquisitions, divestitures, restructuring, trademark and intellectual property licensing, and joint ventures.

In recent years, Mike has represented entities engaged in: professional sports franchises (including new ballpark and football stadium construction and ballpark capital improvements, revenue stream related agreements including naming rights, founding partner sponsorship agreements, trademark licensing, general sponsorship, concession and catering); purchase of coal mines and associated rights; construction/purchase of gas and steam power plants and electrical transmission operations; negotiation of multi-party and multi-state regulated utility transmission capital projects; power generation plant upgrades, retrofits and new construction; energy management consulting; contracting for clean-up of CERCLA super-fund sites; mass merchandising by catalogue; high technology microchip design; nationwide veterinary, dental and rehabilitation supply and distribution; medical/clinical practices; information research and management; auto reseller marketing and distribution; manufacture and intellectual property licensing of marine industry products; waste management and disposal (industrial and other landfills); compost processing and manufacturing sites; product promotion and marketing; debt consolidation and collections; local and cellular telephone services and exchanges; business conference calling; medical specialty consolidations; equipment manufacturing; and financial services.

Prior Professional Experience – Public Accounting
Mike practiced for several years with an international public accounting firm before commencing his legal career, with a practice emphasis in leisure-time industries, mass retail, manufacturing and government contract reimbursement.

Mike received his B.S. cum laude in accounting and finance from Florida State University as a Beta Gamma Sigma honors graduate. He received his law degree cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law and in his senior year of law school was awarded the Coopers & Lybrand (Pricewaterhouse Coopers) taxation scholarship award.

Community Service
Mike serves as legal counsel to the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Fund for Legal Aid and has served as a member of the Board of Directors and as an officer of both the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis and the Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance Foundation. Mike’s community activities also have included serving the Minneapolis Aquatennial Association as chairman, president, executive committee and board of directors member, and pro bono general counsel.

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Super Lawyer, Minnesota Super Lawyers
  • Top 20 Mergers and Acquisitions Attorney in Minnesota, Minnesota Super Lawyers
  • LifeMember, National Registry of Who's Who in America (Year 2001 Edition)
  • Kenneth Walsted Award for Outstanding Community Service, 1998
  • Who's Who Among Rising Young Professionals, 1992


Representative Experience

Professional Sports

Minnesota Vikings - Outside Stadium Development and Counsel (2012-Present).
Representative work:

  • Minnesota Vikings Stadium (2012-Present). Design, development, use, operation, and revenue streams (naming rights, suite and premium seating, concession, merchandising, catering, bar and restaurant licensing, facility event use agreement and policy manuals).
  • TCF Stadium (2012-Present). Use agreement and revenue stream agreements counsel for the 2014 and 2015 seasons to be played by the Vikings at TCF Stadium at the University of Minnesota.
  • Metrodome (2012-Present). Sponsorship counsel for major sponsorship agreements and renewals for the period remaining in Metrodome. 

Minnesota Twins - Outside General Counsel (1987-Present).
Representative work:

  • Target Field (2007-2010 – Stadium Development) (2010-Present – General Counsel at Target Field). Development and sponsorship counsel for all revenue source and ancillary contracts.
  • Hammond Stadium (Lee County Sports Complex) (1991-Present). Representation in the development work (design/architectural/construction) for the 2012 $80 million development and construction renovation of Hammond Stadium and its ancillary facilities.  This work also includes development agreements, state funding applications, construction agreements, County/Twins development negotiations, use agreements, sponsorship agreements and naming rights.  Outside general counsel duties include sponsorship agreements, concessions, merchandising and amendment of use agreements.
  • Metrodome (1987-2010). Representation as Minnesota Twins outside general counsel, including negotiations with Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission for advertising, sponsorship rights, capital improvements for tenant within the Metrodome facility. 
  • Other Highlights:
    • 1987 and 1991 Playoff and World Series counsel
    • Mitchell Investigation (performance enhancing substances investigation) Counsel to Twins
    • Major League Baseball Advance Media - participation and negotiation of agency agreement for the establishment of the web-based systems and the relations between MLBAM and the Twins for web site usage and licensing
    • MLBP licensing standards implementation
    • MLB League rules compliance

Construction Law

  • Lead outside counsel to a leading regional regulated utility in a $200 million South Dakota joint venture and transmission line project.
  • Lead outside counsel to a leading regional regulated utility in a $500 million Wisconsin joint venture and transmission line project.
  • Lead outside counsel to a leading regional regulated utility for a five-state, multi-utility $3 billion transmission expansion initiative.  This initiative is a consortium of eleven (11) regional utilities in four (4) separate projects in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota to negotiate and construct over 1,000 miles of new transmission and distribution lines.
  • Primary prototype draftsman for numerous construction agreements utilized in the transmission expansion initiative described immediately above, including major/minor construction services, major supply (with and without installation), professional and consulting services, staffing services and change order and purchase order forms and standards.
  • Negotiations of construction agreements for a leading regional regulated utility for generation plan and transmission projects (2004-2009), including construction/purchase of gas and steam power plants and electrical transmission operations; negotiation of multi-party and multi-state regulated utility transmission capital projects; power generation plant upgrades, retrofits and new construction; energy management consulting; contracting for clean-up of CERCLA super-fund sites.

   Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Has served and/or currently serves as outside M&A counsel for numerous domestic and international companies in transactions ranging from $10 million to $1 billion in diverse industries. The following is a representative description of such companies:
    • Multi-national distributer of dental, veterinary, and medical supplies and equipment
    • Major Minnesota regional regulated utility
    • National manufacturer and distributor of poultry retail product
    • National recreational and luxury watercraft manufacturer
    • Shareholders of national manufacturer and distributer of luxury motor coaches

Professional Affiliations

Minnesota State Bar Association, Member

Hennepin County Bar Association, Member

The Fund for Legal Aid, Board Member

Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, former Board Member and Officer

Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance Foundation, former Board Member and Officer

Minneapolis Aquatennial Association

  • General Counsel, 1994-2000
  • Chairman, 1999
  • Member, Executive Committee, 1997-1999
  • Member, Board of Directors, 1997-1999
  • President, 1998
  • President-Elect, 1997