Founding Firms: Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A.

In 2001, Craig Trepanier left a Minneapolis office tower and “big law” job to strike out on his own, in the more modest surroundings of a subleased storage room in a Maplewood office park. Months later, he was joined by Jim MacGillis, who had left the same downtown firm two years earlier to serve in the Peace Corps in Honduras. For about a year, with their desks facing one another and overturned cardboard boxes serving as end tables, they established the foundation for what later became Trepanier & MacGillis P.A. 

With its formation on October 1, 2003, the new firm abandoned its humble storage room beginnings and relocated to the Flour Exchange Building in downtown Minneapolis. There, Craig and Jim reveled in the proximity of the federal and county courthouses, the energy of downtown during the workday and afterwards, and the luxury of each having a private office with real furniture, four walls, and a door. In short order, and with a growing client base of businesses and executives, the firm began adding staff and associates and expanded its downtown footprint. 

2013 was a watershed year, as the firm added shareholder Bryan Battina and rebranded as Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A. With Bryan’s addition, along with additional associates, the firm’s commercial and real estate litigation bench deepened. With a commitment to developing talent internally, the firm elevated associate Nick Sperling to its shareholder ranks in 2022. 

Today, the firm employs seven attorneys and multiple professional staff members who continue to serve corporations, business owners, professionals, and executives in the areas of business law, real estate, commercial litigation, management-side employment law, executive law, and non-compete/trade secrets law. Craig previously served as the Chair of the MSBA Labor & Employment Law Section and his artwork was displayed in the HCBA 2014 “Art and the Bar” show. Jim is a former chair of the HCBA’s Business Law Section. Both have also served non-profit and community organizations in various capacities. The firm remains in the historic Flour Exchange Building, and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. 

Managing Editor
Elsa Cournoyer

Executive Editor

Joseph Satter