Nicole R. Hittner

Partner Minneapolis


Nicole is a partner at Taft where she focuses her practice on business law. She focuses on mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures for her clients and also provides ongoing counseling to companies on complex legal matters. Nicole has the ability to provide a unique perspective, incisive problem-solving, and practical advice. Her experience as a certified public accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers prior to entering the legal field adds a business lens her clients appreciate.

Nicole counsels private equity firms and other businesses on deal documents, negotiating strategies, and day-to-day operations. She assists both buyers and sellers in a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, food, health care, events, and hospitality. Nicole serves as outside counsel to various private equity portfolio companies and provides ongoing advice with respect to contract drafting, negotiation, and general business matters. She thoroughly enjoys being a value-added part of the team. 


  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law (2023)

  • Taft Pro Bono Honor Roll Award


  • North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association

    (2008 - present)

  • Named Top Woman in Finance by Finance & Commerce 



  • William Mitchell College of Law (2008)

    J.D., magna cum laude

  • New York University (2000)

    B.S., magna cum laude


  • State - Minnesota

Notable Matters

  • Represented management team of large private-equity backed ed-tech entity in a complex sale transaction
  • Ongoing representation of a custom plastics manufacturing and distribution company, including in connection with all M&A activity
  • Ongoing representation of a lifestyle brand company which has offerings from athletic wear to extreme racing events
  • Represented a large private equity client in several consecutive acquisitions of sole proprietorships in the medical field
  • Assisted a private equity portfolio company in purchasing multiple dermatology practices across the United States
  • Represented a group of individual buyers in a strategic acquisition of a hair salon and day spa
  • Represented a snack food manufacturer in the sale of equity to a national private equity firm and, ultimately, to a strategic buyer in the packaged foods industry
  • Represented a group of entrepreneurs in the purchase of a health club

Speeches and Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, "Table of Experts: Women in Law," Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, April 2022.
  • "Women to Watch – Legal Watch Weekly Contributor," 1210 WPHT, May 2020-present.
  • "Women to Watch Featured Guest," 1210 WPHT, April 5, 2020.
  • Panelist, "Women in Law," University of Minnesota/WLSA, March 2019.
  • "Business Law for Controllers & CFOs," MNCPA Management and Business Advisers Conference, June 2017.
  • Panelist, "Table of Experts," Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, May 2017.
  • Moderator, "Access to Leadership Event," June 2015 and June 2016.


  • "Allyship," Hennepin County Lawyer, February 2020.
  • "Ballard Spahr pushes for more female equity partners," Philadelphia Business Journal, October 22, 2019.
  • "Ballard Spahr pushes for more female equity partners, names local attorney to oversee effort," Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, October 21, 2019.
  • "Small Business Investment Companies – Fine Tuning a Vintage Investment Vehicle," Dealmaker Counsel, June 2011.
  • "New Power-of-Attorney Legislation in New York," Dealmaker Counsel, December 2009.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network
  • Association for Corporate Growth

    Member, Minnesota
    Capital Connection Planning Committee Member

  • Minnesota Society of CPAs
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers


  • Dakota County Conciliation Court

    Referee, 2013-present

Community Involvement

  • Myra Bradwell Award

    Selection Committee Member, 2016

  • River Valley Girl Scouts of America

    September 2015-present

  • Women of Nations

    Former Board Member