Robert Hartman

Robert J. Hartman

Senior Counsel

Robert Hartman practices in the employee benefits area, with an emphasis on qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation and counseling clients on fiduciary matters.

Bob has significant experience with the creation and operation of ESOPs, and service as special counsel to ESOP trustees with respect to fiduciary issues and merger and acquisition transactions. During the past 30 years, Bob has represented companies, shareholders and fiduciaries in a variety of ESOP transactions, such as the establishment of new ESOPs, the financing and sale of ESOP shares, and company sales and acquisitions by special ESOP trustees.

In addition to his benefits practice, Bob regularly provides general business advice to closely held companies in various aspects of their operations, including contracts, dispute resolution and employment practices.


Representative Matters

  • Represented a financial company and its shareholders in the establishment of a new ESOP and the financing and sale of all outstanding shares to the ESOP
  • Represented the special ESOP trustee of a manufacturing company in the sale of ESOP shares to the sponsoring employer
  • Represented the special ESOP trustee of a manufacturing company in the acquisition of the company by a third party

Professional Highlights

Professional Activities

Employee Benefits Section, Minnesota Bar Association, past Chair

Minneapolis Pension Council, past President

Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, Investment Committee Chair

ESOP Association, Member

Minnesota State Bar Association, Member

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Legal 500 US, Labor and Employment - Employee benefits, executive compensation, and retirement plans - design, 2019, 2020

Best Lawyers in America, employee benefits (ERISA) law, 1995-2024; "Lawyer of the Year," Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (Minneapolis), 2016, 2017 

Leading American Attorneys (American Research Corporation)

Speaking Engagements

"Board of Directors: Inside v. Outside," 2018 National Center for Employee Ownership Annual Conference, Atlanta, April 2018 

2017 Employment Law Seminar: A Time of Change, October 2017

"The Employee Stock Ownership Plan Alternative: Does it Make Sense for Your Business Clients?" Seminar, April 11, 2013

"Risky Behavior: What the IRS and DOL Are Auditing," Lindquist & Vennum Client Seminar, June 2011

Board Memberships & Community Service

Sholom Foundation, past President

Blake School Boosters, past President



Washington University School of Law (J.D., 1975)

University of Minnesota (B.A., 1972)