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Matthew A. Drewes

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  • J.D., cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • B.A., cum laude, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota


  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota

Matt is a litigator who focuses his practice where business and real estate intersect. He views his role as helping clients identify issues, develop strategies and solve problems; when needed, he is ready to step in and litigate disputes. Matt enjoys hearing the stories behind his clients’ businesses, seeing their completed projects, and understanding the hard work and process that goes into making those projects a reality. He enjoys working with builders, design professionals, real estate owners and investors, developers, contractors, building managers, brokers and community associations on a range of issues, including drafting, revising, or simply interpreting and enforcing corporate documents and contracts, and has extensively litigated litigating construction defect and insurance coverage disputes, as well as creditors’ remedies (i.e., collections) matters.

He also represents individuals, local and national banks, and businesses ranging from small family-owned companies to international corporations, including automotive dealers and aftermarket vendors. He has substantial expertise in matters involving corporate or business ownership, including disputes regarding LLC member’s rights under operating agreements and compensation arrangements, advising logistics companies and materials suppliers in disputes around the country, and developing new compensation structures for company executives, among other things. He has served as a mediator on an international contract dispute implicating the UN Commission on Foreign Trade, and as an appraiser on an insurance appraisal panel.

Matt has been recognized by his inclusion in U.S. News and World Report’s listing of The Best Lawyers In America®, as well as the list of Minnesota’s Rising Stars, a distinction afforded to only 2.5% of Minnesota attorneys in any given year. He has been quoted in numerous articles related to his real estate and litigation practice, including those published online at, and, and in print in Minnesota Lawyer. Matt has also been asked to serve as co-chair for the Hennepin County Bar Association’s Real Estate Section.

Matt also has particular expertise in legal matters relating to community associations, including working extensively with community property managers, management companies and boards of directors for homeowners associations and has been a leader in the industry, sitting on the Board of Directors and even as President for the Minnesota Chapter of Community Associations Institute, an international organization helping to educate and promote the vision of better run communities. He has been quoted in and authored scores of articles in this field as well, including those appearing at, Habitat Magazine and the Minneapolis StarTribune, as well as Minnesota Community Living Magazine and CIC Midwest News, and has presented at seminars in Minnesota and on national webcasts on topics that affect community associations and their managers.

Outside the firm, Matt enjoys spending time with his family at the lake and his kids’ sporting events, and reading, talking about and looking at cars.


  • Best Lawyers® – Best Lawyers in America – Community Association, Construction, and Real Estate (Since 2022)
  • Section Co-Chair -Real Estate (2021) – Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Chapter President (2018) – Community Associations Institute (Minnesota Chapter)
  • Board Member (2014-2019) – Community Associations Institute (Minnesota Chapter)
  • Member – Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Member – Hennepin County Bar Association

Articles & Interviews

2021 Articles

2020 Articles

2019 Articles

  • "Boards Best Response When an HOA Owner Builds Without Permission" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes) December 2019

  • "How to Handle an HOA Owner Trying to Steamroll New Board" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes) December 2019

  • "When Condo | HOA Owners Don’t Pay Out Personal Account" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes) December 2019

  • "Whooo Should Install Barn Owl Box in HOA?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes) December 2019

  • "Can This HOA Board Vote Change Meeting Date by Email?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes) December 2019

  • "California’s New Accessory Dwelling Unit Law – What HOA Boards Need to Know" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes) December 2019

  • "What to do When Kids Playing in Hallways Disturbs Condo Neighbors" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes) December 2019

  • "Kids Playing in Condo Hallways – Enforcement May Be Tricky" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes) December 2019

  • "FHA Certification – How to Check Your Status and Get Application Started" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes) December 2019

2018 Articles

  • "Seen These New Ploys Condo/HOA Owners Are Deploying to Beat Your Rental Restrictions?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), December 2018

  • "Condo/HOA Owners Are Crafty! Another Way to Try to Get Around Rental Restrictions" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), December 2018

  • "New California Law Seeks to Prevent Condo, HOA Fraud; How You Can Benefit, Too" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), November 2018
  • "Privacy Laws and Your Condo/HOA’s Data: 6 Steps to Protect Owners’ Data" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), November 2018

  • "6 Steps to Safeguarding the Personal Info Your Owners’ and Residents’ Give Your Condo or HOA" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), November 2018

  • "When Can You Waive Provisions in Your Condo/HOA Governing Documents (to Allow Hunting)?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), November 2018

  • "Virginia Allows Electronic Meetings; Is a Totally Remote Condo/HOA Meeting Wise?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), November 2018

  • "What to Do When Your Condo/HOA Residents Conceal Ownership Information" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), November 2018

  • "Is It Time to Carry an Umbrella (Policy, We Mean) to Shield Your Condo/HOA?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), November 2018

  • "How to Prevent Theft in Your Condo, HOA’s Common Areas" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), November 2018

2017 Articles

  • "How To Handle An HOA Board At War Against Itself" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2017

  • "Who Can Call HOA Meetings? What If There’s An Emergency (And Is This An Emergency?)" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2017

  • "The Latest News On E-Voting For HOAs" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2017

  • "When Your Lawyer Should Be Your Date At Your HOA Meeting" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2017

  • "4 Situations Where You Should Insist Your Lawyer Attend Your HOA’s Meetings" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2017

  • "Did This Board Blow It By Not Letting Owners See A Buyout Offer?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2017

  • "Don’t Drive On HOA Sidewalks, And Other Absurd Things You Have To Tell Residents" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2017

  • "Think You’ve Heard It All At Your HOA? We’ve Got A New One: Sidewalk Driving" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2017

  • "Can You Have “Working” HOA Meetings And Exclude Homeowners" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2017

  • "Here’s A Tactic For Meeting Away From The Gaze Of Those Meddlesome HOA Owners" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2017

2014 Articles

  • "Let’s Make a Deal! Putting Owners to Work to Pay Off HOA Fees" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), June 2014

  • "When HOA Owners Say, “Those New Rules Don't Apply to Me!” (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), June 2014

  • "Recalls, Part II: What Can You Learn from this HOA’s Bitter Recall Fight?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), June 2014

  • "Do Big HOA Rule Changes Require Exemptions? And What’s a Fair Pet Deposit?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), June 2014

  • "Can You—and Should You—Help HOA Owners in Dire Financial Straits?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), June 2014

  • "Who Fixes What in HOA Units After a Disaster?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), June 2014

  • "When Security Clashes with HOA Aesthetics, Which Wins?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), March 2014 

2013 Articles

  • "More HOA Meeting Minute Madness: When Can Minutes Be Changed?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), November 2013

  • "What’s Your Duty When Fellow HOA Board Members Violate Governing Documents?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), November 2013

  • "When HOA Owners Speak Up, Respond Wisely" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), September 2013

  • "Know How to Respond to HOA Owners’ Concerns" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), September 2013

  • "7 Tips to Keep HOA Legal Fees in Check" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2013

  • "HOA Owners and Security Cameras: OK or No Way" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2013

  • "Smart Rules for Your HOA Meetings Open Forum" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2013

  • "When You Can – and Can’t – Extend Your HOA’s Vote Deadline" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2013

  • "Should Your HOA Delay – Not Ban – Rentals?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2013

  • "Smart HOAs Get Tenants on Their Side" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), March 2013

  • "Restarting Your HOA? Where to Begin" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), March 2013

  • "Court Says HOA Can Issue Speeding Tickets; What’s next, Undercover Ops?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), March 2013

  • "Getting Tenants Invested in Your HOA" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), March 2013

2012 Articles

  • "When a Board is Afraid to Take the Heat on a Controversial Topic" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2012

  • "Should This HOA Board Member Resign?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2012

  • "Distributing Minutes: Can Your HOA Save Money?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2012

  • "Is a Rule Prohibiting HOA Dues Increases Validor—Smart?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2012

  • "Should a Board Member in Foreclosure—But Current on HOA Dues—Resign?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2012

  • "Can an HOA Board go into Executive Session to Dodge Controversy? Discussion Forum Follow-up" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2012

  • "What Should Your HOA Do to Prevent Hoarding?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2012

  • "What Should HOAs Learn from the Trayvon Martin Tragedy?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), May 2012

2011 Articles

  • "State HOA Registration Requirements—What You Should Know" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), February, 2011

  • "How Solvent is Your HOA Manager—and Should You Care?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), February 2011

  • "Would Term Limits Be Good for Your HOA Board of Directors" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), January 2011

  • "Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Good HOA Board Member?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), January 2011

  • "Requiring Neighbor Approval of Owners’ Modifications; Discussion Forum Follow-Up" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), January 2011

  • "The Pros and Cons of Term Limits for HOA Board Members" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), January 2011

  • "10 Traits of Successful HOA Board Members" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), January 2011

2010 Articles

  • "How to End Email Harassment" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2010

  • "What You Should Know about Nominating Committees for HOA Board Positions" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2010

  • "New-Owner Welcome Kit: The Whys and Hows" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2010

  • "Selecting a New HOA Board Member: How to Choose" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2010

  • "Smart Practices for Association Parties" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2010

  • "What to Consider When You Appoint a New HOA Director; 4 Tips" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2010

  • "HOA Board Elections: What's a nominating Committee? Can You Use One? Should You?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2010

  • "Discussion Forum Follow-Up: Stopping Harassing E-mails" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2010

  • "What Should Be in Your New-Owner Welcome Kit?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2010

  • "Common Dog Rules: Does Your HOA Need Them?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2010

  • "How should you title your home?" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), March 2010

2009 Articles

  • "HOA Construction Defects: Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), December 2009

  • "What Your HOA Must Know About Construction Defects" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), December 2009

  • "Recalls, Part II: If You Must Do a Recall Vote, Read This First" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2009

  • "HOA Elections: 6 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Condo or Homeowners Association" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2009

  • "HOA Reserve Studies: What You Need to Know" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2009

  • "HOA and Condo Insurance: 5 Tips to Double-Check Your Association’s Insurance Coverage" (quoting Matthew A. Drewes), August 2009

Articles & Presentations

Notable Representations

Real Estate

  • Advised a group of investors engaged in reinstating a prior investment vehicle used to develop a real estate project and a subsequent 29-unit purchase and sale, including purchasing a portion of pre-existing debt related to the project and obtaining new financing
  • Advised developers in formation of community associations, considerations relating to organizational structure, and construction contracts
  • Guided entity facing substantial losses due to an agent’s fraud in the recovery of substantial sums resulting in a more favorable outcome than other victims who were advised to pursue more costly and less successful strategies
  • Represented a national restaurant and bar chain in litigation involving claims in excess of $5 million for rent and property damage in a high-profile site
  • Assisted community associations in disputes of all kinds including with developers, contractors, insurance companies, owners, neighboring property owners, governmental agencies, and other issues relating to governing documents, policies and procedures
  • Obtained summary judgment establishing adverse possession against multiple neighboring landowners in a hotly contested boundary dispute
  • Defended a real estate agent and brokerage against claims of negligence and fraud, including successfully briefing and arguing plaintiff’s motion to amend the complaint on the second day of trial, and obtaining a zero jury verdict
  • Prosecuted and defended numerous disputes involving interests in real estate, including mechanic’s liens, leases, partition actions, boundary disputes, title, and other matters
  • Represented property owners through summary judgment and, at trial, established defendant was a general contractor and had not earned fees by abandoning project

Business/Logistics/Employment Matters

  • Advised general counsel for one of the three most highly circulated newspapers in the world regarding collection practices
  • Advised client engaged in dispute filed in the Northern District of California by technology fund over ownership of intellectual property rights related to software application for the delivery of medical services
  • Within two days of learning that a financial institution erroneously issued a wire transfer of almost $200,000 over the intended transfer amount, obtained a complete refund by the financial institution on behalf of an automotive dealership
  • Represented logistics and transportation companies involved in matters throughout the country, including catastrophic injury matters, contract enforcement and insurance coverage disputes
  • Obtained recovery for automotive reseller and dealer in dispute regarding management, control, and division of profits of combined dealership venture
  • Developed a strategy for structuring employment and compensation for executives in a startup to facilitate both growth of the business while maintaining the executives’ earning potential
  • Represented auto dealership in bankruptcy of a check cashing service to obtain a priority status for a portion of its claim and advised regarding the availability and merit of other arguments resulting in a greater net recovery than other creditors who were less discerning in their strategies
  • Represented a business or a highly compensated employee or seller of business in numerous actions, including seeking emergency injunctive relief, to enforce non-competition, non-solicitation, and/or trade secret protection provisions
  • Represented a business in the interpretation and enforcement of a stock purchase agreement that became the subject of a determination of whether the stock was properly a part of the bankruptcy estate, including litigating the matter in bankruptcy court in Texas

Construction Litigation

  • Successfully represented community associations and other parties in construction defect matters relating to negligence, breach of contract, and/or breach of warranties resulting in millions of dollars in recoveries, including:
    • In a complex, 20-party lawsuit, elicited deposition testimony eliminating affirmative defenses, successfully opposed multiple motions for summary judgment, and negotiated the resolution of a construction defect suit involving claims in excess of $10 million.
    • Negotiated a settlement in a construction defect matter resulting in the complete replacement of the roofs, plus additional inspection and repair protocols in a community association on a project estimated at approximately $2 million.

Creditor’s Remedies and Bankruptcy

  • Successfully tried a case involving dischargeability issues in bankruptcy court, and argued appeals before the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Eighth Circuit and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Represented banks and other creditors in matters involving bankruptcy, replevin, foreclosure, eviction, and negotiated workouts, recovering multi-million dollar judgments for clients and, on one occasion, the removal of a wall constructed in a commercial building to conceal a Ferrari, which was then seized as part of collection efforts
  • Guided numerous creditors through chapter 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy matters, including motions to lift the bankruptcy stay to proceed with foreclosures and other forms of litigation


  • Successfully litigated insurance coverage disputes in the context of construction defect claims, resulting in six figure settlements paid by multiple insurance carriers.
  • Retained as an appraiser to serve on the appraisal panel to determine the amount of the loss in a partial collapse involving a mixed-use commercial building containing residential and retail tenants
  • Represented property owners through summary judgment and, at trial, established defendant was a general contractor and had not earned fees by abandoning project

Service Area Subspecialties

  • Litigation
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Construction Litigation
    • Insurance Coverage
    • Real Estate Litigation