International law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP is pleased to announce that Finance & Commerce and Minnesota Lawyer will recognize Managing Partner Ken Cutler with a 2018 Minnesota ICON Award on December 6 at a celebration and networking event at the Hyatt in downtown Minneapolis. 

The ICON Awards honor senior leaders in Minnesota law and business for their years of service, inspiring leadership and the mark they make on the Minnesota business community. 

This December, Ken Cutler will have completed his second highly successful three-year term as Managing Partner of Dorsey.  Although he will step down as Managing Partner, under Dorsey’s term limit policy, he will continue his highly successful career at the Firm. Under his tenure as Managing Partner, Dorsey opened its 14th U.S. office in Dallas and its sixth international office in Beijing.  The Firm and its lawyers continued to be recognized for the excellence of their client service by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms, Super Lawyers and more.  And the Firm received ever more recognition for the quality of its workplace and its commitment to diversity and inclusion, including multi-year recognitions as a Best Law Firm for Women, Gold Standard Certification by Women in Law Empowerment Forum and 100% Rating as an HRC Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality, as well as a 2018 Mansfield Rule Certification Plus. 

Ken became a partner in Dorsey’s Tax Group in 1979, but refocused his practice in the 1980s and joined the Corporate Group, building from scratch a very successful practice representing emerging growth companies in venture financings, initial public offerings, ongoing compliance, governance advice and public and private capital markets and M&A transactions.  He became one of the premier emerging companies lawyers in the Upper Midwest, known for his business acumen and practical insights.  Ken has been recognized by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers and the IFLR1000 Guide, among many other honors. 

Ken has held positions in Dorsey management for nearly two decades.  He served as head of Transactions on Dorsey’s Management Committee during the tenure of his predecessor, Marianne Short, the first woman Managing Partner in Dorsey’s history.  After succeeding Marianne in 2013, Ken launched a number of important initiatives.  One was to vest practice group leaders with greater management authority, focusing responsibility for financial performance, recruiting, hiring and training on Firm-wide practice groups and helping ensure collaboration and coordination across the Firm’s global platform.  Another was to focus marketing efforts on key industries in which Dorsey had great depth and a history of client successes.  Yet another was to continue Marianne’s legacy of women in senior leadership at Dorsey.  Ken ensured his Management Committee always included multiple women partners. 

Over his career, Ken has also served as a leader in the community.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Minnesota Zoo (where he was chair from 2012 to 2013).  He was also a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Orchestral Association and the Minneapolis Club.

“Ken has shown inspirational leadership over his 45-year career at Dorsey,” noted Kim Severson, Chair of Dorsey’s Policy Committee (Board of Directors).  “His success is due in part to leading by example as a partner and to his intelligence, judgment and deep understanding of the business of law.  But it is also due to his fundamental kindness, compassion, and deep concern for everyone at the Firm.”