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Brett C. Donahe

Brett C. Donahe, Associate


Legal: Drake University, J.D., with highest honors, Order of the Coif, Iowa Supreme Court Scholar (2022) (Projects Editor and Junior Staff Member, Drake Law Review, 2020–2022)
Undergraduate: Grand View University, B.A. (Business Administration with a concentration in Finance), Summa Cum Laude (2018)

Practice Areas

Transactional: Corporate Organization and Governance; Securities and Corporate Finance; Mergers and Acquisitions; Contracts; Secured Transactions

Litigation: Complex Civil Litigation

Admitted to Practice

States: Iowa

Brett C. Donahe, Associate

Brett Donahe serves as both a transactional and litigation attorney. Brett has a broad array of experience that includes assisting with high-value corporate transactions and drafting appellate briefs. Through his close attention to detail and persistence, Brett strives to meet and exceed each client’s individualized needs. While maintaining a transactional and litigation practice, his primary areas of emphasis are corporate organization and governance, securities and corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and complex civil litigation.

Transactional Practice

Corporate Organization and Governance: Brett advises directors, officers, and other corporate constituents regarding various matters pertaining to corporate organization and governance. He identifies pertinent organizational and governance issues and uniquely tailors a variety of documents to fit each client’s needs.

Securities and Corporate Finance: Brett counsels clients regarding the raising of capital, including the complexities of state and federal securities laws and regulations, with an emphasis in unregistered offerings. Brett has also assisted with private placements, SEC reporting, and the deregistration of securities.

Mergers and Acquisitions: Brett facilitates the consolidation of business entities. In doing so, he advises clients at all stages, from the initial letter of intent to post-closing obligations.

Contracts: Brett drafts, reviews, and interprets financing, construction, management, marketing, and other commercial contracts to safeguard the interests of the client. He has experience drafting a variety of complex commercial contracts uniquely designed for each client.

Secured Transactions: Brett advises clients regarding creditor/debtor relationships and Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code generally.

Litigation Practice

Complex Civil Litigation: Brett has participated in the representation of companies and corporate constituents in lawsuits pertaining to a variety of commercial matters. He has experience in all facets of the litigation process, from discovery to appellate work.


Brett is a graduate of Drake University Law School. While at Drake, he served as a student attorney at the Drake University Entrepreneurial and Transactional Law Clinic (the Clinic). Brett had the privilege of serving as legal counsel to underserved entrepreneurs and local non-profit organizations. During his time as a student attorney at the Clinic, he formed and obtained 501(c)(3) status for an organization created to support refugees in central Iowa; facilitated the organizational restructuring and subsequent dissolution of an Iowa nonprofit organization; assisted in the merger between two prominent Iowa nonprofit organizations dedicated to mitigating homelessness; provided employment-related advice and guidance for a Midwest-based nonprofit organization; and advised an LLC client regarding the choice of entity decision, formation, and licensure obtainment. Learn more about Brett’s clinic experience at Student Attorneys in Drake’s Entrepreneurial and Transactional Clinic provide critical services to ensure the success of area nonprofits.

Most recently, prior to joining Hanigan Law Group, PLC, Brett interned with the Iowa Securities and Regulated Industries Bureau where he investigated potential securities violations and assisted in the corresponding discovery of such investigations. Brett also served as a summer associate and school-year law clerk at Dentons Davis Brown, P.C., a law clerk at Simpson, Jensen, Abels, Fischer & Bouslog, P.C., and a law clerk at West Bank.

Brett is a West Des Moines, Iowa native. In his free time, Brett enjoys biking, golfing, and spending time with friends and family.

Recent Successes

  • Aided in the completion of a large merger resulting in the deregistration of securities with the SEC;
  • Drafted a variety of documents and assisted in the representation of a multi-state commercial lender in its $165 million loan transaction;
  • Assisted in the development stages of a joint venture involving a Fortune 500 company;
  • Facilitated a multimillion dollar equity restructure through the drafting of intricate agreements and financial analysis;
  • Directed the structure and implementation strategy for an international joint venture;
  • Drafted a $30 million asset purchase agreement and assisted in the negotiation of the terms thereof;
  • Assisted with a $15 million interstate subordinated debt issuance through the drafting of complex agreements;
  • Drafted a letter of intent for a $300 million project and assisted in related negotiation for tax incentives;
  • Provided guidance regarding the propriety of a complex merger involving two prominent financial institutions;
  • Facilitated the issuance logistics for a private placement of profits interest units;
  • Directed the conversion of an Iowa limited liability company to a Delaware corporation in preparation of a capital raise;
  • Drafted an appellate brief for a matter of first impression before a federal agency that resulted in two clients receiving approximately $7.5 million in additional apportioned funds on an aggregate basis.


  • Legal Publications: Full Speed Ahead: Compulsory Employment Arbitration and the Transportation Workers Exemption to the Federal Arbitration Act (forthcoming in Drake Law Review, Volume 70, Number 4).
  • Legal Accolades: 2022 Drake University Law School Class Rank: 2/106; H.G. Cartwright Law Review Award for best student-written article; CALI Excellence for the Future Awards (Administrative Law; Business Associations; Constitutional Law; Criminal Procedure; Entrepreneurial/Transactional Clinic; Evidence; Real Estate Transactions); Highest grade on all memorandum assignments and appellate brief assignment; Dean’s List each semester.