Photography by Spacecrafting

Clayton Halunen

Halunen Law 

Maybe it’s his Finnish/Iron Range upbringing that infused attorney Clayton Halunen with a hefty dose of sisu. Or perhaps it’s due to a childhood in which he witnessed both parents experience workplace discrimination and the painful repercussions that came with it. Whatever the roots, he was determined to make a difference, and he chose the law as his course for change.

As founder and managing partner of Halunen Law for the past 21 years, Halunen has solidified his place in the legal landscape and achieved national recognition for his work. From whistleblowers experiencing retaliation to executives unknowingly short-changed in their severance to employees facing illegal workplace practices, he is committed to representing people who find themselves at a turning point and in need of a fierce legal advocate. 

Some 15 years ago, Halunen secured his first verdict north of $1 million in a workers’ compensation retaliation and discrimination case. “That was a milestone in my career,” he says. “It felt so satisfying to get justice for my client.”

His most famous case? Perhaps representing former NFL player Chris Kluwe. The athlete sued the Minnesota Vikings after his contract with the team wasn’t renewed, allegedly because of his outspoken advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community’s right to marry. The case was resolved, with the settlement donated to LGBTQ nonprofits.

“We represent individuals in cases of wrongful termination with a specialty in whistleblowing, sexual harassment, executive severance matters, consumer class actions, and violations of the False Claims Act — cases that involve whistleblowers exposing fraud committed against the U.S. government,” Halunen explains. “When people come to us, they are often angry, confused, fearful and dealing with a host of other emotions. We take that burden off their shoulders and take care of it so that they can move on with their life. We are fighters, and at the end of the day, we almost always succeed. In fact, we successfully resolve cases more than 95% of the time.” 

With that kind of record, it’s not surprising that Halunen’s ambition is to be one of the top whistleblower firms in the nation. And with his vision, leadership and thoughtfully selected team of passionate, strategic, skilled professionals, it’s all but a foregone conclusion he will do just that.

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.