Robert J. Hartman

Partner

hartmanr@ballardspahr.com
Tel 612.371.3520
Fax 612.371.3207
Minneapolis

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
  • Represented the special ESOP trustee of a manufacturing/distribution company in the acquisition by the ESOP of 100 percent of the company shares from various shareholders in conjunction with a corporate reorganization
  • Represented a manufacturing company and its shareholders in the establishment of an ESOP and the structured, periodic sales by shareholders to the ESOP in connection with ownership transition planning
  • Represented a manufacturing company and its ESOP in the acquisition of another ESOP company in a transaction designed to permit the selling shareholder to qualify for tax-favored treatment
  • Represented an ESOP trustee in connection with the negotiation and purchase of a significant block of shares of a thinly traded public company
  • Represented the special ESOP trustee of a manufacturing company in connection with the sale of ESOP shares to a third party upon termination of the ESOP
  • Represented a financial institution in the establishment of an ESOP, including funding by third party lenders and participants through the transfer of assets from existing plans to the ESOP
  • Represented ESOP trustees of a service company in connection with the purchase by the ESOP of the remaining shares held by Company founders

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

Recognitions and Accomplishments

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

Best Lawyers in America, employee benefits (ERISA) law, 1995-2020; "Lawyer of the Year," Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (Minneapolis), 2016, 2017

Minnesota Super Lawyers, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009-2017

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

Community Activities

Sholom Foundation, past President

Blake School Boosters, past President

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

University of Minnesota (B.A., 1972)

Minnesota