Vincent Louwagie is a successful senior trial lawyer who practices in all areas of business litigation with an emphasis in complex investment and shareholder matters. During his 32-year career Vince has been consistently and widely recognized as one of the top business litigators in the state of Minnesota and has tried numerous cases to verdict or arbitration award in Minnesota and throughout the country.
Vince's experience is enhanced by his previous work as a financial auditor with KPMG. That background allows him to better understand the transactions and financial reports that form the backbone of his clients’ investments. It also helps him probe those transactions for financial fraud. He has litigated disputes involving investments of all kinds, and has tried numerous cases to arbitration award, court or jury verdicts.
Vince has been selected to "Top 100: Minnesota Super Lawyers" list by Super Lawyers, 2008, 2011, 2013 – 2019; Chambers USA Rated Attorney, 2013 – 2019; "Local Litigation Star - Minnesota" list by Benchmark Litigation, 2015 – 2018; Minnesota Best Lawyer Listings by Minnesota Monthly magazine in the area of Securities / Capital Markets Law, 2015 – 2019; The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Securities / Capital Markets Law every year since 2013; "Minnesota Super Lawyers" list by Super Lawyers, 2003 – 2019; Top 40 Business Litigator.
Vince was recognized as one of Minnesota Lawyer’s “Attorney of the Year,” 2008.
He is Peer Reviewed as "AV® Preeminent™ 5.0" (highest possible rating), by Martindale Hubbell.
Vince’s financial auditing experience informs his representation of broker dealers, registered representatives and customers in securities matters. He has represented in excess of 30 broker dealers and investment advisor companies in hundreds of cases. Vince has served as a mediator on several occasions to resolve investment-related disputes.
Vince has over thirty years of extensive experience in shareholder disputes. In 1998, Vince represented the prevailing party in the seminal Minnesota Supreme Court case of Wessin v. Archives, 581 NW2d 380, (1998), which set the standard for distinguishing between direct and derivative claims by shareholders.
He has served as a board-appointed Special Litigation Committee for a number of Minnesota Companies and as a court-appointed Consensual Special Magistrate. As Consensual Special Magistrate, Vince presided over an 8-day trial and his decision and order was upheld by the Minnesota Court of Appeals on all substantive grounds. ROA, Inc. v. Nicholson, No. A12-1695, 2013 WL 2460354 (Minn. Ct. App. June 10, 2013).
Vince is often engaged in disputes between officers/owners and their companies. While Vince has been able to obtain favorable settlements for his clients in many such disputes, where necessary, he has taken such cases through trial and obtained successful verdicts.
Because lawyers are the most sophisticated consumers of legal services, Vince is proud to have been selected on numerous occasions to represent lawyers and law firms in connection with law firm owner disputes. Vince tried one such case to a successful jury verdict obtaining a multi-million-dollar judgment on behalf of Brian Williams in the case of Williams v. Heins, Mills & Olson.
Vince has often represented individuals and companies in disputes with a variety of professionals, including accountants. He has successfully recovered millions of dollars for his clients in such matters.
Vince regularly represents parties in disputes relating complex transactions, including asset purchases, mergers and acquisitions, earn out provisions and deferred payment terms.
Vince has been involved in numerous marital termination cases in which there are significant and complex financial matters in dispute, including highly-disputed matters relating to the value of a closely-held business. As but one example, Vince’s client prevailed in the most material issues in Hamelink v. Hamelink, 2013 WL 6839700 (Minn. Ct. App. 2013).
Represent Great Plains Educational Foundation in its lawsuit to recover damages for fraud claims. Anthony Ostlund successfully argued to the Minnesota Court of Appeals that Great Plains’ fraud claims should proceed, causing the Court of Appeals to reverse the district court’s earlier decision to dismiss the case.
Represented the majority owners of a large agricultural company in Wisconsin in a shareholder dispute, which settled on a confidential basis after trial.
Served as a special litigation committee (SLC) in a business dispute between the owners of PowerBlock, Inc., a Minnesota Corporation. PowerBlock appointed Vince Louwagie to investigate, evaluate, and make a determination as to whether it was in the best interests of the corporation to pursue certain claims asserted on behalf of the corporation.
Successfully defended a claim by an individual investor against an independent broker/dealer alleging in excess of $1 million in damages. The investor alleged that several real estate related investments, which later failed, were misrepresented to him and were unsuitable. After a three-day hearing before a FINRA arbitration panel, the claims were denied in their entirety.
Pursued significant accounting malpractice claims against a Big Four accounting firm on behalf of a group of individual clients. After months of discovery including over a dozen depositions and two weeks of arbitration during which numerous representatives of the accounting firm were cross examined by Mr. Louwagie, Anthony Ostlund was able to negotiate a settlement for its clients.
Successfully defended broker dealer through FINRA arbitration hearing on customer claim. Claimants sought hundreds of thousands but were awarded zero. Panel ordered claimants to pay the vast majority of the hearing session deposits.
Successfully defended broker dealer through FINRA arbitration hearing on customer claim. Claimants sought millions but were awarded zero. Panel ordered claimants to pay the vast majority of the hearing session deposits.
Successfully defended broker dealer through FINRA arbitration hearing on customer claim. Claimants sought hundreds of thousands but were awarded just $20,000.
Successfully obtained restraining order against city in dispute and subsequent settlement relating to a parking restriction which would have had a serious impact on the restaurant business.
Successfully defended mechanics lien case through trial in Dakota County District Court.
Marital Dissolution case tried to Scott County District Court verdict.
Successfully prosecuted raiding claim through FINRA arbitration hearing.
Served as Consensual Special Magistrate presiding over 8-day trial. Decision on the merits affirmed on appeal on all substantive grounds. ROA, Inc. v. Nicholson, No. A12-1695, 2013 WL 2460354 (Minn. Ct. App. June 10, 2013)
Successfully obtained confidential settlement for client in dispute with competitor and employee involving misuse of confidential information and competitive hiring.
Successfully represented Susan Thornton in dispute with certain Republican members of state legislative staff over her employment as director of Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.
Vince has successfully represented broker dealers and registered representatives in defending against literally hundreds of claims since the start of the Great Recession. While many of these matters are resolved on a confidential basis, in the past several years several have gone through a hearing, and Vince’s clients have prevailed. Vince has represented clients through arbitration hearings since 1989.
Committee Member, drafting or amending the Minnesota Business Corporations Code, Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, and the Minnesota Public Benefits Corporation Act
Past President, Board of Directors, Hennepin County Bar Foundation (HCBF)
Chair of the Development Committee (2014-2016), Hennepin County Bar Foundation (HCBF)
HCBA Representative, Minnesota State Bar Association Assembly
Member, Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association
Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
Member, Private Business Governance Committee, Minnesota State Bar Association's Business Law Section
Member, Federal Bar Association
2016-2017 Chair, Partners in Excellence Annual Fund for University of Minnesota Law School
OK Boomer, You Do Have Special Civil Remedies for Consumer Fraud; Minnesota Lawyer and Finance & Commerce - Partner Content, December 2019
Vincent Louwagie featured in Hennepin Lawyer: 2018-2019 HCBF President; Link to PDF of article only; November / December, Vol. 87, Issue 6
Lessons From Jury Service, Attorney At Law Magazine - Twin Cities Edition, September 2015
Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation: Vehicle for Public Good or Abuse?, Attorney At Law Magazine - Twin Cities Edition, November 2014
Damages in Fraud Cases, Not Just Out-Of-Pockets, co-authored with Andrea Davenport, The Hennepin Lawyer, July 2013
Business Valuations in Marital Dissolutions, Attorney At Law Magazine - Twin Cities Edition, February 2013
Cutting the Cost of Derivative Claims: The Role of the Special Litigation Committee, co-authored with Cory D. Olson, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, March 2009
Will Counsel Please Take the Stand? The Hennepin Lawyer, February 2001
When Abel Sues Cain: How Minority Shareholders Seek Redress for Corporate Wrongs in Light of Wessin v. Archives, The Hennepin Lawyer, September 1999
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Investors’ Rights, The Hennepin Lawyer, March/April 1996
LLCs A to Z: Member Rights, Fiduciary Duties, Oppression, Liability, Remedies, and Indemnification, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, February 2020
Business and Tax Considerations with Minnesota's New LLC Act (Webinar), MN CPA Society of Certified Public Accountants, December 1, 2016
Flex Your Fiduciary Duties: Options, Opportunities and Decision Points Under the New LLC Act, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, May 3, 2016
Business Law Series: New MN LLC Act - Rights of Minority Owners, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Panelist, February 16, 2016
The New Minnesota LLC Act, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, August 11, 2015
Business Law Series: New MN LLC Act - Rights of Minority Owners, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, January 23, 2015
Public Benefit Corporation Seminar: Unique Litigation Traps and Issues, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, August 28, 2014
Remedies and Damages Series: Damages in Fraud Cases - Not Just Out-Of-Pockets, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, August 20, 2014
Mock Securities Arbitration Presentation for Brokerage Firm, July 19, 2014
Drafting Dispute Resolution Agreements: Top Traps for the Unwary, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, October 28, 2013
Understanding the Legal Basis for Shareholder Disputes in Closely Held Businesses, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, October 28, 2013
How to Litigate a Case in Minnesota State Court - When the Opposing Lawyer Crosses the Line: Effective Responses to 5 Common Discovery Abuses, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, October 2, 2013
Winning Discovery: Successful Strategies, Processes and Best Practices, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, November 27, 2012
Mastering the Deposition Process from Beginning to End, Hennepin County Bar Association, May 10, 2011
Handling Challenging Depositions, Hennepin County Bar Association, April 6, 2010
How to Litigate a Case in Minnesota State Court, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, March 3, 2010
Twombly & Iqbal: The Death of Notice Pleading?, Minnesota State Bar Association Civil Litigation Section, February 8, 2010
Candid Conversations between the Bench & Bar, Hennepin County Bar Association, November 5, 2009
Business Law 101: The Ongoing Business - Business Opportunities as a Company Asset, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, November 16, 2009
Handling Challenging Depositions, Hennepin County Bar Association, October 12, 2009
Strategic Discovery: How to Fight Discovery Abuses and Win Discovery Disputes, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, May 20, 2009
Business Law 103: Business Opportunity as a Company Asset, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, August 9, 2007
Business Law 102: Divorce Business Style - Litigation among Corporate Shareholders and LLC Members under Sections 302A.751 and 322B.833, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, August 16, 2007
Business Law 102: Divorce Business Style - Litigation among Corporate Shareholders and LLC Members under Sections 302A.751 and 322B.833, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, August 29, 2006
Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Lorman Education Centers, Bloomington, MN, May 17, 2006
Divorce Business Style: Litigation among Corporate Shareholders and LLC Members under Sections 302A.751 and 322B.833, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, March 31, 2006
Business 202 Seminar: Divorce, Business Style, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, August 3, 2005
Business 202: "Divorce, Business Style - Litigation Amongst Corporate Shareholder and LLC Members under Sections 302A.751 and 322B.833," Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, August 13, 2004
Fundamentals of Organizing Minnesota Corporations Seminar, Minnesota State Bar Association, MN CLE, August 7, 2003
Arbitration Fundamentals Training/Mock Arbitration: Presentation to a regional securities broker/dealer and its registered representatives, June 6, 2003
Professional Dilemmas in the Representation of Corporations and Institutions, Ethics & Elimination of Bias seminar sponsored by Minnesota CLE, April 29, 2003
Ethics and the Elimination of Bias. Seminar, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, March 2003
The Fundamentals of Organizing Minnesota Corporations - "Planning to Avoid Shareholder Disputes," Minnesota State Bar Association, 2002
Accountants’ Liability Seminar, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 2002
Brokerage Raiding Seminar, Hot Trends in Securities Arbitrations, 2002
The General Practitioner’s Guide to Advising the High-Tech Start-Up Company, 2001
Hennepin County Bar Association Fundamentals of Organizing Minnesota Corporations, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2001
Securities Law for Non-Securities Lawyers, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education
Minority Shareholder Disputes. Seminar - 2001, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 2001
Securities Laws Recent Developments, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education,1998
How to Avoid Spending Time and Money with Lawyers-Compliance Seminar for Registered Representatives, 1998
White Collar Crime: Lying, Cheating & Stealing for Everyone, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 1995
Broker/Dealer Compliance Systems and Supervision of Registered Representatives: Issues in Arbitration, 1994
Mr. Louwagie has also provided private training to groups of securities brokers and arbitrators relating to securities arbitrations.