Whether a Fortune 500 executive, a CEO of an airline or an entrepreneur in a start-up business, clients are proud to call Bob Fafinski their lawyer, their confidante and their friend. “Forging friendships with clients has many benefits,” says Bob. “By understanding clients and their businesses, I believe I can be a better advisor and help them make the most of their business opportunities.”
Bob’s expertise and his innate abilities to work with diverse groups of people have guided the success of hundreds of companies. “I emphasize practicality in my advice and negotiations,” he says. “I understand the global goals of my clients and implement them in workable solutions.”
Bob has been practicing law for over 30 years in the areas of corporate law, corporate finance, aviation, equipment leasing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and succession planning. Prior to founding Fafinski Mark & Johnson, he served as chair of the Business Law Department and on the management committee of one of Minnesota’s largest law firms.
He has consistently been honored by peers as a “Super Lawyer” since 1998 – an honor given to only the top lawyers in Minnesota. His peers have also named him a “Leading American Attorney”; he has been named one of the top 25 business lawyers in the state and he has been designated one of the world’s leading commercial aviation attorneys by a respected international aviation journal. In 2014, Bob received the Small Business Person of the Year award from the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce. He has been named to the “Who’s Who Legal: Transport” list for Aviation Finance in 2017 and 2018.
“Co-founding FMJ has been one of the most rewarding accomplishments of my career. I now understand what my clients go through. Being an entrepreneur has made me a better counselor.”
“My relationship over the years with Bob Fafinski has developed into a unique friendship. I have had the pleasure of working with Bob on a number of different occasions and I have found him to be a hard working individual who embodies many of the core values which I so admire…integrity, honesty, diligence and
a commitment to excellence.”
– Rich Gannon, Former NFL MVP and current analyst for The NFL on CBS
University of St. Thomas (BA cum laude)
William Mitchell College of Law (JD)
State Bar Admissions:
Minnesota State Bar
Federal Bar Admissions:
US District Court, District of Minnesota
US Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Professional Memberships and Associations:
- Member of the Board of Directors of Holy Family Catholic High School from 2004 – 2010. Co-chair of successful capital campaign which raised over $12,000,000 in cash, gifts and debt reduction for the school
- Former Executive Board Member for Common Hope, a Minnesota based non-profit which works in 27 communities helping more than 14,000 impoverished children and adults create a better life for themselves. The program focuses on education, healthcare, housing, and family development in Antigua, New Hope, and San Rafael, Guatemala. Chair of capital campaign that raised $2,400,000 for Guatemlaen families to educate their children.
- Former member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of HEART
- Member of the Board of Governors of the University of St. Thomas Law School from 2012 – present. Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors from 2016 – present.
- Member Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, MN
- Legal Counsel to the Club for 2009 PGA Championship
- Member of Executive Committee for 2016 Ryder Cup
- Member of Board of Directors 2014 – present
- Member of Executive Committee of Board of Directors / Secretary 2014 – present
- President of the Club 2017 – present
- CEO and Member of Board of Directors Fafinski Mark & Johnson 1999 – present
- Member of Board of Directors and Executive Loan Committee of Venture Bank, a business bank located in the Twin Cities from 2001 – 2018
- Member of Board of Directors of Sun Country Airlines from 2012 – 2018
- Member of Board of Advisors of Tonka Bay Equity, a $125mm SBIC leveraged investment fund from 2006 – present
- Member of Legatus, forum for Catholic CEO’s
- Member of International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading
“My clients are my friends. By understanding their business, I can be a better advisor and help them make the most of their business opportunities. I emphasize practicality in my advice and negotiations. I understand the global goals of my client and implement them in workable solutions.”
The Rest of the Story:
Bob and his wife Mary have had five children. Their oldest son Rob spent four years in the Marine Corps and served two tours in Afghanistan as an infantry platoon commander. Rob recently joined FMJ as an associate. Their son Jack died of SIDS at the age of two months. Katie is working as a nanny. Joe works at a local direct mail company and Booey is finishing up at Arizona State, getting ready to join the business world in a sales position. Bob has always been a die-hard Bruce Springsteen fan but recently, at the urging of his kids, has discovered country music and now lists George Strait, Toby Keith and Alan Jackson among his favorites. His “discovery” of country music explains the recent purchase of a black Chevy pick-up truck. Bob is also a fan of all Minnesota sports teams especially the Minnesota Twins. He has also been a Chicago Cubs fan since he was seven years old and suffered through many years of “wait until next year.” Now that the Cubs won the 2016 World Series, “next year” has arrived!