Robert J. Minkus

Robert Minkus is a trusted, long-term adviser to companies large and small in matters of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate governance.
Robert J. Minkus, Partner, ArentFox Shiff

Robert Minkus is a trusted, long-term adviser to companies large and small in matters of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate governance. For more than 35 years, Bob has represented buyers, sellers, independent directors, and members of management in complex business transactions. He has worked on hostile takeovers, friendly mergers, and a variety of other large-scale negotiations. His measured and straight-forward demeanor keeps talks moving forward.

Whether working on a merger or acquisition or drafting a contract, Bob tries to understand everyone’s point of view in order to make sure all issues are addressed as well as possible. In addition to providing the legal perspective, he understands his clients’ business priorities and the bottom­line impacts to a business. He works closely with regulatory experts in his clients’ various industries. He advises public companies on their disclosure duties and matters of corporate governance, and he provides general corporate representation to both public and privately-held companies. Bob also represents issuers in securities offerings and other financing transactions.

Many of Bob’s clients have worked with the firm for several decades, and return for additional counsel because of the relationships he develops. From family­owned businesses to Fortune 500 corporations, Bob wants his clients to feel like he’s part of their team and enjoys seeing the positive impact of his work on their businesses.

Bob is also invested in the future of the firm as former chair of the Professional Personnel Committee, and a member of the Diversity Committee. Working on associate development and advancement, Bob sees his committee work as an important way to guide the next generation of partners. Bob is also a member of the Professional Practice Committee and Opinions Committee.

Client Work

  • Bob took the lead on NiSource Inc.’s $6 billion acquisition of Columbia Energy Group at a time when there had been no other hostile takeover of a utility under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA). He and his team navigated complicated regulatory issues that had never been challenged before under the now-repealed PUHCA. After the takeover of Columbia, Bob represented NiSource in subsequent dispositions of a number of non-core businesses and continues to represent the company in various corporate and securities matters.
  • After working with the principals years earlier on a large asset sale transaction between their former employers, Bob was asked to represent them and their private equity investor group in the purchase or start-up of several oilfield service businesses. Bob continues to provide counsel for the investors and their growing stable of portfolio companies, which has expanded into other industries.
  • Bob represented AAR CORP in several acquisitions, including its purchase of a provider of expeditionary airlift services and aircraft modifications to government customers.
  • After working with Bob on purchases of a number of businesses, H.D. Smith Holding Company, a family­owned and run wholesale drug distributor, retained Bob to handle the $815 million sale of the company to AmerisourceBergen Corporation.
  • Bob currently counsels New York Stock Exchange- and Nasdaq-listed clients in the energy, aviation services, manufacturing, industrial distribution and professional services industries on public disclosure and compliance issues. He also represents these issuers in registered public offerings, Rule 144A sales and other financing transactions.
  • After a British corporation purchased a U.S. inkjet printer manufacturer 30 years ago, they engaged Bob to serve as de facto general counsel for the U.S. subsidiaries of the group. Working closely with the parent company’s general counsel in the U.K., Bob continues to advise on U.S. corporate matters as well as commercial contracts, supply agreements, and other financial transactions.

Boards, Memberships & Certifications


  • American Bar Association, Section of Business Law
  • Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate and Securities Law Institute, Executive Committee, Past Chair (2013)
  • Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, Chicago Chapter Advisory Committee

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions


Bob has spoken several times at the Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate and Securities Law Institute on securities law, accounting and M&A matters. He also has been a faculty member at Practising Law Institute programs on the federal securities laws.


  • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers (2007-2009, 2012-2024)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2006-2009, 2011-2021)
  • “Lawyer of the Year,” Mergers and Acquisitions Law – Chicago, Best Lawyers (2021)
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2008-2021)
  • Client Service All-Star, BTI Consulting Group (2012-2015)
  • The Legal 500 United States – Mergers, Acquisitions, and Buyouts (2011)
  • Who’s Who Legal Illinois, Law Business Research Limited (2007-2008)
  • Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2006)
  • Peer Reviewed AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell (Since 1996)