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Spencer Fane Establishes Presence in Minneapolis, Tampa

January 8, 2019

Firm Bolsters Presence With New Attorney in Phoenix

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce its expansion into two new markets with three attorneys joining in Minneapolis and two in Tampa as the firm continues to expand services to align with the business, legal and geographic needs of its clients.

Donald Heeman, Jessica Nelson and Randi Winter join Spencer Fane in Minneapolis where they will expand the firm’s capabilities in business litigation and financial services. The trio regularly represents Fortune 500 companies, closely held businesses and mortgage lenders in a variety of litigation. Heeman, Nelson and Winter joined the firm effective Jan. 8, 2019.

Doug Knox and Kirby McDonough open the firm’s first Florida office and add depth to the business litigation, financial services and franchise practices. The firm is equally pleased to welcome partner David Funkhouser, who joins the firm’s Phoenix office, which was established in 2017. Knox, McDonough and Funkhouser joined the firm effective Dec. 18, 2018.

With the addition of the Minneapolis and Tampa offices, Spencer Fane now operates 17 offices located throughout the nation. The growth of the firm’s geographic footprint and service offerings is driven by a longstanding strategy to continually align Spencer Fane resources with the evolving needs of its client base.

“Our commitment to delivering the best possible legal solutions requires agility–including expanding to areas where our clients can significantly benefit from our local presence,” said Patrick J. Whalen, Spencer Fane Managing Partner. “As we have grown, we continue to enhance the client service excellence that resonates with our clients.  These attorneys share the firm’s high standards in this regard, and we are thrilled to have them help lead our efforts to serve clients in Minneapolis, Tampa, and Phoenix.”

Spencer Fane has realized similar growth in multiple new markets in recent years as the firm executes on its commitment to provide clients with increased access to trusted attorneys where they are doing business. In addition to the Minneapolis and Tampa offices, as well as the launch of the Phoenix office in 2017, the firm expanded into the Dallas area in 2018; established its Las Vegas office in 2017; added an Oklahoma City office in 2016; and doubled in size in Denver during the same three-year period.

“We are excited to join Spencer Fane for a variety of reasons and one characteristic that stands out is our shared interest in giving clients confidence that their legal and business needs are our top priority,” Heeman said. “Like Spencer Fane, our group prides itself on being decisive, executing with purpose and understanding the importance of the legal matters clients entrust us to handle on their behalf. Our team looks forward to joining our new colleagues in delivering this level of service not only in Minneapolis but also throughout the Spencer Fane footprint.”

“The collaborative culture at Spencer Fane is a perfect match for us, and the service platform that the firm offers will be a great benefit to our clients,” McDonough said. “We are excited to join a firm that judges its growth by the impact it has on client outcomes, and we are eager to integrate Spencer Fane into our local markets.”

Brief attorney biographies are included below, as well as on


Donald G. Heeman (Minneapolis) — Don focuses his practice on business litigation and professional licensing matters. He represents defendants in nationwide class actions involving various state and federal claims, including antitrust claims and claims brought under ERISA. Don also represents primary and secondary mortgage lenders in repurchase, breach of contract and RMBS litigation, serving as counsel for a prominent liquidating trust on cases involving national repurchase and indemnification matters.

Jessica J. Nelson (Minneapolis) — Jessica’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation and employment disputes. She has extensive experience advocating for clients at all stages of the dispute resolution process through trial.  She frequently represents companies, employers, benefit plans, and fiduciaries in lawsuits and class actions, including residential-mortgage backed securities litigation, ERISA class actions, antitrust lawsuits, FLSA collective actions, employment claims, and commercial disputes.

Randi J. Winter (Minneapolis) — Randi focuses her practice on commercial and employment litigation and arbitration.  She also counsels clients on health law, employee benefits, labor law, and utility law matters.  Randi regularly represents clients in jury and bench trials in federal and state court.

Douglas Knox (Tampa) — Doug focuses his practice on litigation and dispute resolution with experience representing franchise companies, financial institutions and other entities in commercial litigation. He also provides counseling to clients on regulatory compliance and risk management and alternative dispute resolution, regularly working with them on contractual disputes, business torts, consumer protection claims, trademark and trade secret disputes, unfair trade practices, class actions and insurance coverage matters.

Kirby McDonough (Tampa) — Kirby focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on consumer finance, real estate, and corporate disputes. He has experience representing financial institutions and corporate clients in all phases of litigation and dispute resolution, including consumer class action defense, intellectual property disputes, derivative shareholder actions, dissolutions, and contractual disputes. McDonough also has a robust appellate practice and has represented financial institutions in several important appeals throughout Florida’s five District Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. 11th Circuit.

David E. Funkhouser III (Phoenix) —David counsels clients in complex commercial litigation matters. He is a deeply trusted advisor to many of the nation’s largest consumer loan servicers, mortgage origination companies, and financial institutions, using a client-centric, results-oriented approach to each and every matter he is entrusted with by his clients.  David also routinely handles real estate disputes and contract litigation, as well as fiduciary, trust and probate litigation.  He has also defended clients in multiple class-action lawsuits across the country.

About Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane is a full-service business law firm focused on providing results that move clients and their businesses forward. With direct access to firm leadership and a different approach to client engagement, its attorneys instill confidence and certainty that the clients’ interests are the firm’s priority. The firm has offices in Phoenix, Arizona; Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado; Tampa, Florida; Overland Park, Kansas; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Cape Girardeau, Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; Las Vegas, Nevada; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Dallas and Plano, Texas. For more information, visit or follow @spencerfane on Twitter.