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John A. Knapp, John A.

John A. Knapp

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 604-6404

Practice Areas

  • Administrative/Regulatory
  • Banking
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Services
  • Coal
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Crisis Management
  • Economic Development
  • Environmental & Energy
  • Gaming
  • Government Relations
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Land Use/Zoning
  • Public Finance and Incentives
  • Tax
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

John Knapp is a shareholder in the Minneapolis law firm of Winthrop & Weinstine, where he chairs the firm’s Legislative and Regulatory Practice Group. He represents clients before the Minnesota Legislature and before federal, state and local regulatory agencies in insurance, energy, tax, transportation, environmental, and financial services matters. John received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s University and his law degree, with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law.

John has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2007, including as “Minneapolis Administrative Regulatory Lawyer of the Year” for 2014 and “Minneapolis Government Relations Practice Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 and 2016. He was recognized as one of the “75 Most Influential People in the Twin Cities” by Minnesota Monthly in 2012 and was named one of the “100 Minnesotans You Should Know” by Twin Cities Business in 2013. The Minnesota State Bar Association in 2014 recognized John as a “North Star Lawyer” for his pro bono service.

Representative professional engagements include:

• Representation of a major pulp and paper manufacturer in regard to tax and economic development incentives, and environmental review and permitting for the $630 million expansion and modernization of its pulp and paper facilities in International Falls, Minnesota;

• Representation of a large hospital system in the passage in 2013 of legislation authorizing up to $585 million in state and local funding to help make Rochester, Minnesota a Destination Medical Center;

• In 2007 and 2008, John served as General Counsel to the Host Committee for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul and Minneapolis, which raised almost $60 million to provide community assistance and support to the Convention;

• Representation of Minnesota professional sports teams in connection with public financing of professional basketball, football and baseball venues.

• For more than 20 years, he has served as legal counsel to Minnesota Business Partnership, an organization composed of the CEOs of Minnesota's 100 largest corporations.
In his legal practice, John has represented Minnesota Native American Tribes, including the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Prairie Island Indian Community, in matters related to treaty rights, financial institutions, gaming, energy and environment. John also practices in the area of campaign finance, ethics, and election law, representing businesses and nonprofit associations.

Active in the American Bar Association, John served as the Chair of Government Affairs Practice Committee of the ABA’s Business Law Section, and remains active in that committee. He has also served as the Chair of the Insurance Regulation and the Corporate Counsel Committees of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the ABA.

John represents his firm at State Law Resources, where he is a member of the SLR Board of Directors, and chaired SLR’s Insurance Practice Group. He was also admitted into membership in the Federation of Regulatory Counsel, a national organization of insurance regulatory lawyers. John served as President and Board Member of the Minnesota Governmental Relations Council and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Council, a national organization of public affairs professionals.

John has been active in law firm governance, having served several terms on the Board of Directors of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., and has been actively involved in firm committees, including the Compensation, Pro Bono and Diversity Committees.

John is also active in the community, and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Guthrie Theater, the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota and North Dakota, The Nature Conservancy for Minnesota and the Dakotas, and Catholic Charities of the Twin Cities. At Catholic Charities, he serves on the Executive Committee, chairs the Advocacy and Community Relations Committee, and chairs the Dorothy Day Center Task Force, charged with constructing a new homeless shelter in downtown St. Paul. At the Alzheimer's Association, he serves as Secretary and chair of the Governance Committee.  He also serves on the Building Chapter Boards Work group for the Alzheimer's Association. John serves on the President’s Advisory Council for Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul and in 2014 was recognized with the “Eugene and Mary Frey Community Award” from that institution. From 2015 to 2016, John co-chaired the Citizens League Metropolitan Council Task Force which made recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on reform of the governance and structure of the Metropolitan Council.

Practice Areas
Business Services
Commercial Litigation
Crisis Management
Economic Development
Environmental & Energy
Government Relations
Land Use/Zoning
Public Finance and Incentives


B.A., St. John’s University, 1971 J.D., University of Iowa College of Law, with distinction, 1974 Admitted to practice before Iowa Supreme Court Admitted to practice before Minnesota Supreme Court Admitted to practice in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota Admitted to practice in District of Columbia Court of Appeals  

John Knapp has specific and extensive experience on behalf of insurance and financial services clients with needs for regulatory and legislative representation, corporate and transactional matters and litigation. Representative activities include:

  • Regulatory and Legislative
  • Government relations and legislative solutions
  • Insurer and agent admissions
  • Market conduct exams
  • Compliance and enforcement proceedings
  • Form A and other licensing
  • Investment issues
  • Surveys and opinions
  • Insolvencies and rehabilitation
  • Corporate and Transactional
  • Product and program development
  • Service, claims, marketing and agency agreements
  • Joint ventures
  • Holding company act
  • Sarbanes-Oxley compliance
  • Captives
  • Officer and director liability
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Litigation
  • Coverage disputes and opinions
  • Claims advice and monitoring
  • Agent/broker liability
  • Unfair business practices, bad faith, fraud claims
  • Class actions
  • ERISA and employment
  • Reinsurance
  • Mediation and arbitration

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