Wallace G. Hilke

Partner

hilkew@ballardspahr.com
Tel 612.371.3298
Fax 612.371.3207
Minneapolis

Wallace G. Hilke uses his deep understanding of business valuations, owner relationships, family businesses, and closely-held business law to protect his clients' investment and rights in ownership disputes and "business divorces." He has advised more than 200 clients in business valuation and closely-held and family business disputes, resolving most of these conflicts without resorting to litigation.

Wally prides himself on developing practical and economical approaches to deliver excellent outcomes for his clients. He has been lead counsel in well over 100 commercial lawsuits and arbitrations in more than 20 states. Wally regularly represents clients in noncompetition, trade-secret, and wind energy disputes, and has represented several companies in the life sciences arena on litigation, corporate, and business issues.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a judgment in a dissenter's rights business valuation lawsuit that the client representative described as a "three-run homer". Charter Bank Eau Claire v. Todd L. Johnson, et al., No. 07-C-0222 S (W.D. Wisc.).
  • Advised group of minority shareholder/employees through complex negotiations to a successful take-over in the midst of a complex ownership dispute.
  • Protected a middle school student's First and Fourth Amendment rights in a nationally prominent social media student rights lawsuit, resulting in a consent judgment requiring the school district to change its policies and practices and pay damages to the student. R.S. v. Minnewaska Area School District No. 2149, Civil No. 12-CV-00588-MJD-LIB (D. Minn).
  • Worked with an investor to obtain the full value for her shares in a competitive appraisal process.
  • Obtained dismissal of claims in complex business torts case. Anthony P. Kiehn v. Martin Stein, et al., Case No. 12-cv-6554 PJH (N.D. Cal.).
  • Handled business valuation, financial fraud, and intricate business re-organization issues in a large marital dissolution proceeding with a substantial positive client outcome.
  • Successfully represented an engineering/construction firm in a major vendor arbitration, leading the firm's general counsel to write "Wally's ability to understand and analyze the financial data and to make unique/novel arguments was key, not to mention his close attention to detail.... I think we got a much better result than we expected…"
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order enforcing a non-compete on behalf of a client in an extremely competitive services industry.
  • Represented a group of franchisees in a lawsuit and two subsequent arbitrations over 17 years which established them as independent licensees with highly favorable financial terms and intellectual property rights.

Professional Activities

Minnesota State Bar Association, Member

Federal Bar Association, Member

American Bar Association, Member

Recognitions and Accomplishments

North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2013-2016

Minnesota Lawyer, Attorney of the Year, 2014

Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2006-present

Alumni of Notable Achievement Award, University of Minnesota, 2010

Leonard E. Lindquist Pro Bono Award, 2009

Speaking Engagements

"Exit Strategies: Liquidity For You and Your Investors," 28th Annual Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference, October 1, 2014

Community Activities

Civic Consulting Minnesota, Chairman and Co-Founder

ACLU of Minnesota, Board President, Committee Chair, Board Member, 2003-2013

ACLU of Minnesota, Volunteer Attorney (2013–present)

University of Minnesota, Former Regent and Committee Chair

University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts Alumni Association, former President

Youth Soccer Coach, 1995-2007

University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 1986)

University of Minnesota (B.A., 1983)

Minnesota

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois