The Five Largest Law Firms in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Please note that this article is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, legal advice of any kind. Please consult with an attorney regarding your own unique legal situation.
It can be hard to know which law firm to call when you are in need of a time-proven team with a wealth of resources to back them up, but luckily, there are a number of such reputable law firms in the Milwaukee area should the need arise. The following list introduces Milwaukee’s five largest law firms and contains relevant information about each one. Below you will find the location, contact details, and website address for each law firm, as well as a short history of each and their primary areas of practice.
1. Foley & Lardner LLP
Milwaukee offices: 777 E Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202-5306
Phone: (414) 271-2400 Fax: (414) 297-4900
Foley & Lardner LLP rank in at number one on the list of Milwaukee’s largest law firms by number of lawyers. The international law firm employs a total of 874 lawyers, including 463 partners and 364 associates. It is comprised of 21 offices, 18 of which are located across the United States, with an additional two more Foley & Lardner offices found in Asia and a single office located in Europe. Originally founded in 1842 by Asahel Finch, Jr. and William Pitt Lynde, the firm is recognized for its excellent client service, as well as its equality and diversity in the workplace. The law firm’s current CEO is Jay Rothman and its headquarters are located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The primary areas of practice at the firm include business law, government and public policy, intellectual property, and litigation. Some well-known clients of Foley & Lardner include Allstate, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Citigroup, General Electric, Harley-Davidson, and Nissan. They also represent Major League Baseball and various sporting teams like the Milwaukee Brewers and the Green Bay Packers.
2. Quarles & Brady LLP
Milwaukee offices: 411 E Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2350, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 277-5000 Fax: (414) 271-3552
Ranking in at number two on the list of Milwaukee’s largest law firms is Quarles & Brady LLP with 413 total lawyers, including 253 partners and 150 associates. The firm, which has eight offices in the United States and one additional office in Shanghai, China, is known for its extensive legal knowledge and quality council. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and currently led by chairman John W. Daniels Jr., the firm was founded in 1974 following the merger of Quarles Herriott Clemons Teschner & Noelke and Brady Tyrrell Cotter & Cutler. This merger brought together 120 years of law experience, which has allowed them to specialize in a wide range of practice areas.
Of these practice areas, the firm’s featured specialties are China law, class action defense, clean energy, climate change and sustainability, and intellectual property litigation. Some of the more notable clients who have been represented by Quarles & Brady are the Bank of America, Microsoft, MillerCoors, UPS, and Wal-Mart.
3. Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C.
Milwaukee offices: 1000 N Water Street, Suite 1700, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (800) 553-6215 or (414) 298-1000 Fax: (414) 298-8097
The third largest law firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C. which employs a total of 202 lawyers, including 125 partners and 65 associates. The firm currently operates out of seven offices located across the United States, with their primary headquarters located in downtown Milwaukee. Originally founded back in 1894 by William Kaumheimer, the law firm’s current CEO is Jerome M. Janzer.
Known for the wide range of services they provide, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren’s primary areas of practice include business law, employee benefits, health care, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax law among others. Some well-known clients who have been represented by the firm are the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Real Estate Foundation, Sargento Foods, and Steiner & Associates, the re-developer of Bayshore Town Center.
4. Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Milwaukee offices: 100 E Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 3300, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 271-6560 Fax: (414) 277-0656
Milwaukee’s fourth largest law firm by number of lawyers is Michael Best & Friedrich LLP with 196 total lawyers on staff, including 131 partners and 59 associates. The firm was originally founded in 1848 by Edward G. Ryan (who later went on to become Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court) and is known for its superior client service. Michael Best & Friedrich currently operates out of four offices in Wisconsin (including their Milwaukee headquarters) and one additional office located in Chicago, Illinois.
Though they are recognized for their exceptional service in intellectual property law and labor and employment relations, they offer a complete range of practice areas including, but not limited to, banking and financial services, corporate finance and securities, environmental law, real estate, and taxation. Michael Best & Friedrich are also the only Wisconsin law firm that is affiliated with Lex Mundi, the Employment Law Alliance, and the American Property Tax Counsel.
5. Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.
Milwaukee offices: 780 N Water Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202-3590
Phone: (414) 273-3500 Fax: (414) 273-5198
With a total of 172 lawyers, including 90 partners and 70 associates, Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. ranks in at number five on the list of Milwaukee’s largest law firms. They are known for their wide range of business-related services and their focus on client success. Clients served by the firm range from individuals and small businesses to governmental entities and international corporations. Originally founded by Dudley Godfrey and Jerry Kahn back in 1957, the firm currently operates out of five offices in Wisconsin and one additional office located in Washington, DC. The five Wisconsin offices include their headquarters located in Milwaukee.
Godfrey & Kahn’s primary areas of practice revolve around two themes – business (which includes banking, commercial, and corporate law) and litigation (which includes trust, antitrust, and securities). Major clients of the firm are Magna, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Apple, and the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.
* Figures for each law firm’s total number of lawyers, including the partner and associate numbers are listed as found in the NLJ 350 - the National Law Journal's list of the 350 largest law firms in the United States, 2012 edition. The current number of lawyers employed at each of the various law firms may have changed since the original publication of this list.