Jim leads Husch Blackwell's Food & Agribusiness industry team. His legal knowledge has guided some of the world's most visible food and agriculture companies, along with their investors and financers. Jim's first exposure to agribusiness came during his formative years growing up in a California farming community. He also worked as a plant manager for the citrus cooperative Sunkist, where he accumulated additional perspective on the food industry.
Jim's engagements in the agribusiness industry cover a range of issues, including mergers, international expansion, governance, securities and various general corporate matters. He twice was asked to serve as interim general counsel to a Fortune 1000 company and understands his clients' operations with an insider's perspective. His food and agribusiness projects have included:
· Advising on the $2.2 billion merger of Applebee's and IHOP.
· Advising on the $1.2 billion merger of American Italian Pasta and Ralcorp.
· Representing pork-producer-owned Triumph Foods.
A frequent speaker on corporate governance, securities law issues, and mergers and acquisitions, Jim is a member of Husch Blackwell's Partner Board and a former member of its Executive Board.
Awards & Recognitions
· The Best Lawyers In America, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 1995-2014; Kansas City Corporate Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2010
· Chambers USA, Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions Law, 2010-2013
· Kansas City Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2002
· Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
· Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Business/Corporate, 2005-2012
· Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, Board of Governors
· Represented Applebee's International Inc. in its acquisition by IHOP Corp. In connection with this transaction, Applebee's entered into a securitization transaction with respect to its U.S. franchise agreements, U.S. company-owned restaurants and U.S. intellectual property rights.
· Counsel for American Italian Pasta Co. in its merger with Ralcorp Holdings Inc. Negotiated merger agreement, prepared tender offer documents and all public company filings, and advised board of directors on all aspects of sale.
· Represented Monterey Gourmet Foods Inc. as it was acquired by Korean company Pulmuone Holdings Co. The $50 million transaction was structured as a tender offer followed by a short-form merger.
· Outside general counsel for Triumph Foods LLC, a top pork processor in the United States.
· Handled dozens of restaurant chain and grocery chain acquisitions.
· Counseled industry leading agribusiness investment company Oppenheimer Industries Inc. in structuring livestock and ranching investment partnerships.
9.21.10, SEC Adopts Final Rules on Shareholder Proxy Access
8.5.10, Impacts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance
2.17.10, SEC Issues Interpretive Guidance on Disclosure of Business or Legal Developments Regarding Climate Change and Related Issues
12.28.09, SEC Clarifies Transition Rules and Effective Dates for Expanded Disclosure Requirements
12.22.09, SEC Expands Disclosure Requirements on Compensation and Corporate Governance Issues and Accelerates Reporting of Shareholder Votes for Public Companies
10.30.09, SEC Defers SOX 404 Attestation Requirement for Smaller Companies
10.1.09, NYSE Proposed Amendments to Corporate Governance Listing Standards
8.11.09, Proposed Rules Expand Compensation and Corporate Governance Disclosure Requirements for Public Companies
7.15.09, SEC Approves Amendment to NYSE Rule 452
6.16.09, Recent Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law and SEC Proposed Rules
3.13.09, Stimulus Bill Provides Acquisition Tax Opportunities
1.29.09, Activist Shareholders' Stealth Tools: Empty Voting and Total Return Swaps