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About Us

Firm Statistics

  • Year founded: 1943
  • Office locations: Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Chicago
  • Attorneys: 136
  • Paralegals: 27
  • Chief Executive: Paul J. Eberle
  • WHD ranks sixth among "Largest Milwaukee-Area Law Firms" (2013 Business Journal of Milwaukee Book of Lists)
  • WHD ranks #313 on the NLJ 350
  • Number of practice areas and industry teams: 51

Firm Recognitions

  • Diversity – The Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers (WAAL) presented WHD with its Diversity Partner Award for 2011 in recognition of WHD's extraordinary work in supporting WAAL's efforts to create a culture of diversity in the practice of law throughout Wisconsin.
  • World Finance named WHD Best M&A Law Firm in USA for 2012. The award was received as a result of the nomination of Richard W. Silverthorn in recognition of his national M&A experience, and the outstanding work performed by WHD’s Corporate Transactions Team. The World Finance Legal Awards identify industry leaders, individuals, teams and organizations that represent the benchmark of achievement and best practice in the financial and business world.
  • Lawyer Monthly Magazine named WHD Real Estate, Finance & Construction Law Firm of the Year for 2011, due to the work performed by Brad Dallet and the firm's Real Estate, Finance and Construction teams. The Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards highlight outstanding achievement within the legal profession across key practice areas and sectors, and recognizes achievement both at the firm and partner level, and the recent achievements of the leading law firms.
  • Corporate INTL named WHD Clients' Choice–Wisconsin M&A Law Firm of the Year and Clients' Choice–Wisconsin Natural Resources Law Firm of the Year for 2011. The publication received more than 11,500 nominations from law firms, in-house counsel teams, business directors and private individuals from around the globe, and advisers from more than 100 countries were awarded.
  • Finance Monthly Magazine selected WHD as M&A Law Firm of the Year (USA) and Corporate Governance Law Firm of the Year (USA) for its 2011 Finance Monthly Law Awards. The firm received the M&A Law Firm of the Year Award through the nomination of Richard W. Silverthorn in recognition of his national M&A experience.
  • LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® named WHD to its inaugural "Top Ranked Law Firms" list. The list is exclusive to U.S. law firms of 21 or more attorneys, where at least 33% of the firm's lawyers achieved the AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating. This rating indicates the rated lawyer has been deemed by his or her peers to have demonstrated the highest level of ethical standards and legal ability. Currently, 36% of WHD attorneys are AV-rated.
  • WHD is recognized by Goodrich Corporation as a 2012 Go-To Law Firm for litigation, according to ALM, an integrated media company. WHD is one of an elite group of firms that delivers exceptional work for the in-house legal departments at the Fortune 500.
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2014), published by Woodward/White, Inc., includes 45 WHD attorneys. Best Lawyers conducts exhaustive peer-review surveys to determine the top attorneys in the country.
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2011) ranked WHD No. 1 in Milwaukee in Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law, and among the top firms in Wisconsin and Milwaukee in Civil Rights Law and Mass Tort Litigation.
  • Thirty one of WHD's practice areas received national and local recognition in the 2014 U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" rankings.
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® named 23 WHD lawyers as top attorneys in Wisconsin for 2013. Only 5% of the lawyers in the state are included in this recognition.
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® named WHD the 2011 Top Large Law Firm for Litigation in Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® – Rising Stars Edition 2013 selected for inclusion 10 WHD lawyers. No more than 2.5% of the lawyers in the state are named to the list.
  • WHD's Corporate/M&A, Intellectual Property (including Litigation), Litigation (General Commercial), Natural Resources & Environment and Real Estate practices have been ranked among the best in Wisconsin by Chambers and Partners in its Chambers USA 2013 guide.
  • Thirteen WHD attorneys earned individual recognition in the Chambers USA 2013 guide, based upon their reputations among clients and peers.
  • The National Law Journal named WHD to its 2010 "Midsize Hot List" for the firm’s successes and innovation.
  • Green Recognition: The American Bar Association recognized WHD’s offices as Law Office Climate Challenge Partners for their best practices in office paper management. WHD ensures that at least 90% of its office paper products contain a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content and recycles at least 90% of its mixed office paper.

Practice Group and Team Recognitions

Corporate/M&A

  • Chambers USA 2013 – Chambers recommends the group for its transactional capabilities. According to sources, “They have been very good at listening to what our issues and concerns are and proposing strategies that make sense given what we're trying to accomplish.” “Master negotiator” John Emanuel is praised by clients for his “ability to see the big picture on transactions.” “Practical and solutions-focused counselor” Richard Silverthorn’s clients appreciate that “he is deeply experienced in both the legal and market elements of transactions.”
  • World Finance named WHD Best M&A Law Firm in USA for 2012. The award was received as a result of the nomination of Richard W. Silverthorn in recognition of his national M&A experience, and the outstanding work performed by WHD’s Corporate Transactions Team. The Finance Monthly Legal Awards identify industry leaders, individuals, teams and organizations that represent the benchmark of achievement and best practice in the financial and business world.
  • Corporate INTL named WHD Clients' Choice–Wisconsin M&A Law Firm of the Year for 2011. The publication received more than 11,500 nominations from law firms, in-house counsel teams, business directors and private individuals from around the globe, and advisers from more than 100 countries were awarded.
  • Finance Monthly Magazine selected WHD as M&A Law Firm of the Year (USA) and Corporate Governance Law Firm of the Year (USA) for its 2011 Finance Monthly Law Awards. The firm received the M&A Law Firm of the Year Award through the nomination of Richard W. Silverthorn in recognition of his national M&A experience.

Health Care

  • Chambers USA 2013 – Chambers notes that the “very effective” Patrick Coffey undertakes health care-oriented litigation and is well versed in a wide range of matters including antitrust, Stark law investigation and reimbursement

Intellectual Property (Including Litigation)

  • Chambers USA 2013 – Chambers recognizes the group for its handling of a wide range of intellectual property matters, including patent, trademark and copyright law, as well as information technology issues and indicates it is well-versed in trade secret agreements and disputes. According to sources, “The service we have received from them has been outstanding.” Gina Carter is praised for her management of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret disputes. John Pienkos is a “highly skilled and knowledgeable” intellectual property counselor with a focus on the electrical engineering sector. “Associate to watch” Michael Cronin is “absolutely outstanding in the realm of patent prosecution.” He is “extremely detailed and extremely customer-focused.”

Litigation (General Commercial)

  • Chambers USA 2013 – Chambers notes the group’s experience of litigating a broad spectrum of contentious matters, including intellectual property, white-collar crime, bankruptcy, product liability, professional liability and insurance coverage. According to sources, “They are extremely thorough and are very prepared for court hearings.” “Well-respected” Ann Maher focuses her practice on antitrust, distribution and dealership litigation.
  • WHD is recognized by Goodrich Corporation as a 2012 Go-To Law Firm for litigation, according to ALM, an integrated media company. WHD is one of an elite group of firms that delivers exceptional work for the in-house legal departments at the Fortune 500.
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® named WHD the 2011 Top Large Law Firm for Litigation in Wisconsin.

Natural Resources & Environment

  • Chambers USA 2013 – Chambers recommends the group for its ongoing compliance counseling, noting that it also has experience handling the environmental aspects of corporate transactions within the natural resources sector, including environmental due diligence and permit transfers. In addition to this, the team is active in the area of permitting, and is well equipped to advise clients on permit applications and related defense litigation. Jennifer Drury Buzecky is an “extremely helpful,” “proactive” counselor who has a broad practice that encompasses compliance, permitting, utilities and renewable energy projects. 
  • Corporate INTL named WHD Clients' Choice–Wisconsin Natural Resources Law Firm of the Year for 2011. The publication received more than 11,500 nominations from law firms, in-house counsel teams, business directors and private individuals from around the globe, and advisers from more than 100 countries were awarded.

Real Estate

  • Chambers USA 2013 – According to Chambers, this “well-respected group” is regularly called upon to advise on development issues, with a particular focus on economic incentives, including New Markets Tax Credits and Low Income Housing Tax Credits. “They bring a very good business sense to the table. They understand where the risks and where the rewards are.” Brad Dallet, who has a broad practice, which encompasses development, financing and leasing, “is very practical” and understands companies and their needs well. Hal Karas, regularly engaged to advise on development projects involving complex financing and tax credits, is “exceptional, both as an attorney and as a business adviser.” “Associate to watch” Rebecca Mitich is “very helpful and very pleasant to work with.” “Top-notch” attorney Nathaniel Hoffman continues to be recognized for his leasing expertise.
  • Lawyer Monthly Magazine named WHD Real Estate, Finance & Construction Law Firm of the Year for 2011, due to the work performed by Brad Dallet and the firm's Real Estate, Finance and Construction teams. The Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards highlight outstanding achievement within the legal profession across key practice areas and sectors, and recognizes achievement both at the firm and partner level, and the recent achievements of the leading law firms. Chambers USA

Individual Recognitions

  • In Business Magazine named Phillip R. Bower to its 40 Under 40 list for 2014. This recognition recognizes the success of rising young business stars in the Greater Madison area – those who are business or civic leaders and have demonstrated moxie and a firm commitment to the region through board involvement, volunteerism, or other activities.
  • Best Lawyers named Philip J. Halley as 2014 Milwaukee Trusts & Estates "Lawyer of the Year," Francis H. LoCoco as 2014 Milwaukee Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants "Lawyer of the Year," Kenneth R. Nowakowski  as 2014 Milwaukee Litigation – Banking & Finance "Lawyer of the Year," and Thomas M. Pyper as 2014 Madison Litigation – Construction "Lawyer of the Year." Only a single lawyer in each designated area of practice in each community is honored as "Lawyer of the Year."
  • Wisconsin Law Journal Leaders in the Law Award. The award recognizes lawyers and judges who give their time and talent to improve the practice of law, the justice system and the communities in which they live.
  • Best Lawyers named Ross A. Anderson as 2013 Milwaukee Litigation – Real Estate "Lawyer of the Year," Philip J. Halley as 2013 Milwaukee Litigation – Trusts & Estates "Lawyer of the Year," and Kim M. Wynn as 2013 Milwaukee Banking and Finance "Lawyer of the Year." Only a single lawyer in each designated area of practice in each community is honored as "Lawyer of the Year."
  • Benchmark Litigation named Gina Carter to its 2013 Top 250 Women in Litigation list. Top 250 Women in Litigation is the first magazine devoted to honoring the achievements and issues facing female trial lawyers in the United States. Female local litigation stars from each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia are listed in this guide.
  • Wisconsin Law Journal named Timothy Posnanski a 2013 Up and Coming Lawyer, which recognizes lawyers who have been practicing eight years or less, have successfully achieved legal outcomes early in their career, have significantly contributed to their communities, and have demonstrated exceptional leadership.
  • Wisconsin Law Journal named Eric E. Lenzen and Jennifer H. Jin 2012 Up and Coming Lawyers, which recognizes lawyers who have been practicing eight years or less, have successfully achieved legal outcomes early in their career, have significantly contributed to their communities, and have demonstrated exceptional leadership.