Our firm and Herbert A. Igbanugo’s legal career originated in 1988 when he joined Hassan & Reed, Ltd., which was founded in 1985 by Jeffery A. Hassan and Larry E. Reed. The loose partnership later on admitted the Honorable Keith Ellison of Minnesota’s 5 th Congressional District, the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress in 2006. Mr. Igbanugo was an early believer in and staunch supporter of Ellison’s Congressional bid and the two former law partners are good friends.
Herbert A. Igbanugo was also a founding partner and fifty percent (50%) shareholder in the former law firm of Blackwell Igbanugo P.A. He and Jerry Blackwell, along with two other partners, created the Edina-based Blackwell Igbanugo in 2000. By 2003, the firm had grown significantly to 80-plus attorneys and support staff and expanded to Washington D. C. and Troy, Michigan. At its peak in 2004, Blackwell Igbanugo employed a greater percentage of women and minority lawyers and staff than any law firm in the United States representing primarily institutional clients. Six years later, on October 31, 2006, Mr. Igbanugo and Mr. Blackwell ended their partnership and established their own law firms in downtown Minneapolis.
In a Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal article, “Disputes lead to split of top black-owned law firm (November 17, 2006),” Mr. Igbanugo said, “If I were to pinpoint key or significant issues, it would be diverging interests, internal disagreements on management philosophy and direction,” adding that the firm’s expansion into Michigan and Washington also played a role. Blackwell Igbanugo was one of the largest black-owned law firms in the United States when it dissolved on October 31, 2006.
Igbanugo Partners continued to operate out of Edina until December 15, 2006, when it moved to its current downtown Minneapolis office on the 10th floor of Marquette Plaza – the old Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis building and an architectural landmark in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. We are now devoted exclusively to the practice of U.S. Immigration & Nationality Law and International Trade Law with a narrow focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.