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Philip J. Halley


555 East Wells Street
Suite 1900
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3819
Phone: (414) 978-5426

Trusts & Estates PDF
Philip J. Halley is a shareholder in Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.’s Milwaukee office where he is the co-leader of the firm’s Trusts & Estates and Trust, Estate & Fiduciary Litigation teams. He has served the estate planning, administration and taxation needs of clients for more than 30 years, and also has represented many of them in estate and trust controversy matters and general business law matters. Mr. Halley was recognized by Best Lawyers® as Lawyer of the Year 2013 and 2015 in Milwaukee for Litigation - Trusts & Estates, and Lawyer of the Year 2012 and 2014 in Milwaukee for Trusts & Estates. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and ACTEC State Chair-Elect for Wisconsin.


  • The Cardozo Dispute Resolution Institute, Yeshiva University, 2003
  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, J.D., with honors, 1981; Order of the Coif; Board of Editors, Ohio State Law Journal
  • The Ohio State University, B.S.B.A., Economics, summa cum laude, 1978


  • Wisconsin
  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court

Awards & Distinctions

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers® as Lawyer of the Year 2013 and 2015 in Milwaukee for Litigation - Trusts & Estates, and as Lawyer of the Year 2012 and 2014 in Milwaukee for Trusts & Estates.
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in Trusts & Estates (1995-2016), Litigation - Trusts & Estates (2012-2016)
  • Named to the Wisconsin Super Lawyers® list (2005-2015), recognized as Wisconsin Top 50 (2005-2013, 2015), Wisconsin Top 10 (2007-2010), and Top 25 Milwaukee Area (2011-2014)
  • Co-Author, Marital Property Law in Wisconsin (State Bar of Wisconsin)
  • Member of State Bar of Wisconsin / Wisconsin Bankers Association drafting committee for adoption of the new (2014) Wisconsin Trust Code
  • Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service, Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association and Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Robert W. Warren, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1981-1983

Representative Work

  • Structured estate plans to meet the specific business, family and financial needs and circumstances of various clients.
  • Prepared wills and trust agreements, including revocable and irrevocable trusts, life insurance trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, and private foundations (both trusts and corporations).
  • Represented clients in planning estates involving multijurisdictional and multinational issues.
  • Negotiated and drafted various types of marital property agreements for clients.
  • Represented fiduciaries and beneficiaries in complex estate, trust and tax disputes.
  • Argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in one of the leading cases on federal and Wisconsin estate tax apportionment.
  • Represented a national charitable organization in connection with the construction and reformation of a devise benefiting southeastern Wisconsin.
  • Represented one of Wisconsin's largest private charitable trusts in regard to numerous grant agreements with public charitable organizations.

Professional Associations

  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC); Wisconsin State Chair-Elect
  • Milwaukee Estate Counselors’ Forum
  • Milwaukee Mid-Winter Estate Planning Clinic
  • American Bar Association
  • Milwaukee Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Board of Directors, Camp Manito-wish YMCA (Boulder Junction, WI); Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Task Force (2013 – 2014); Chair, Governance Committee (current); Executive Committee (current)
  • Past Chair, Board of Directors, Dominican High School
  • Board of Directors (former), Wiscraft, Inc. (formerly Wisconsin Enterprises for the Blind)
  • Board of Directors (former), Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind

Teaching Positions

  • Adjunct Faculty Member, Marquette University Law School’s course in Marital Property Law (1993 - 1997)

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