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Michael J. Petersen
  • Of Counsel






Practice Admissions: California, Wisconsin (inactive), Minnesota (inactive) and Illinois (inactive)

A Lawyer Who Gets Deals Done

Mike Petersen is a "deal guy" lawyer focusing on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and commercial real estate, including buying, selling, financing and leasing. Mike served many years as an in-house lawyer, where he learned the skills to close a deal efficiently and effectively and not lawyer it to death. Mike also advises clients on corporate formation, governance and their ongoing business transactions including employment agreements, contract review and special contracting needs including licensing, leasing and consulting agreements. Representative transactions include the sale of a large nursery farming operation for in excess of $70 million, bank representation on financing based on unusual security including pools of secured commercial loans and leases, the sale of commercial industrial buildings, large commercial leases, the sale of an aftermarket auto parts maker and acquisition of full-service hospitals.

Backward Career: In-House to Law Firm

Mike ran his career backwards moving from in-house to law firm practice. Mike started at Prudential Insurance in Minneapolis, moving to Chicago, then Newark, New Jersey and finally Orange County. At Prudential, Mike did real estate commercial lending, real property acquisition, real estate development, leasing, and large real estate joint ventures which included financing and redevelopment of Prudential Plaza in downtown Chicago. In Orange County, Mike served as general counsel of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, where he learned corporate mergers, acquisitions (M&A) and business finance. When Mike left Prudential, he joined a dot-com as counsel where he completed the C round of funding for a dot-com. Unfortunately, like many dot-com companies, it did not succeed, but Mike learned a lot about startup business, VC funding and the internet. Mike’s next job was as General Counsel of Newport Federal, where Mike did commercial real estate transactions and leasing, acquisition, charter business for a private jet and a number of other interesting projects. Shulman Bastian LLP brought Mike in to start a Corporate and Transactional practice at the firm. Mike has been with the firm since 2003.

Since joining the firm, Mike has developed its commercial real estate and corporate practice. M&A and commercial transactions typically range from $1 million to $50 million.

Mike is married with two grown children. He and his wife live in Irvine. Mike serves on the board of directors of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce.

Areas Of Practice

  • Transactional
  • Corporate Governance
  • Real Estate
  • Financial Transactions


  • University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • J.D. - 1977
    • Honors: cum laude
  • University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, WI
    • B.S. - 1974
    • Honors: With High Honors