The Top 25 Attorneys of Wisconsin for 2024

Attorney Intel is pleased to announce the Top 25 Attorneys of Wisconsin for 2024. With more than 25,000 attorneys licensed to practice law in the state, Wisconsin’s legal profession is thriving. Contrary to many other states, most lawyers practicing law in Wisconsin work for smaller businesses consisting of five or fewer attorneys. Because many of the practicing attorneys in the state are not working for powerhouse firms with substantial resources and years of reputable service, their legal talent and reputation in corporate law are what ensure success in advising their clients and advancing in their careers. 

Among this year's awardees is Pete Tomasi, Partner at Foley and Lardner, who has been practicing law for over two decades. Tomasi focuses his career on high-stakes intellectual property litigation, environmental regulatory compliance, and renewable energy. Also being recognized is James Herriott, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Exact Sciences. Exact Sciences is a leading provider of cancer screening and diagnostic tests, which is changing the lives of patients daily. Finally, Marissa Meli, the Associate General Counsel for the Green Bay Packers, not only provides corporate counsel but also assists in securing team sponsorships and with the Packers’ real estate investment projects. 

This year’s awardees have been selected for their hard work and counsel to their corporate clients. There were many impressive corporate law finalists, which made it very difficult to tailor the final list.  Please join us in recognizing the accomplishments of The Top 25 Attorneys of Wisconsin for 2024.


1. Pete Tomasi
Partner, Foley & Lardner

Pete Tomasi began his professional career 22 years ago. Today, he is a Partner at Foley & Lardner, where he is a member of the firm’s environmental regulation practice and co-chair of the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Team. He focuses his practice on regulatory compliance and renewable energy. Tomasi has further experience with general civil, commercial, and intellectual property litigation. Foley & Lardner LLP focuses on various sectors, including energy, healthcare and life sciences, innovative technology, and manufacturing.

Tomasi started his career in 2001 as a judicial clerk in the U.S. District Court, E.D. WI. From there, he partnered at Quarles & Brady LLP, his most recent position before joining Foley & Lardner. Tomasi graduated from Duke University School of Law with a J.D. in law and from the University of Chicago with an undergraduate degree in chemistry.


2. Jim Egle
Senior Partner, Stafford Rosenbaum

Attorney James B. Egle is a Senior Partner at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP, based in its Madison, Wisconsin office. Stafford Rosenbaum LLP is a full-service law firm. With 145 years of dedication to businesses, governments, nonprofits, and individuals, the firm focuses on effective client communication. It is a member of ALFA International, a global legal network of independent law firms, connecting Stafford Rosenbaum to vetted and accomplished counsel to clients worldwide. 

Egle has served three terms on the firm’s Board of Directors, most recently as managing partner.  During more than 30 years of practice at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP, Egle has negotiated the sale and acquisition of numerous businesses, joint ventures, ownership transfers, and restructurings. He advises companies on corporate governance, tax matters, investment due diligence, and regulatory matters. Egle frequently counsels clients on the intricacies of the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law and its application to franchise and distribution arrangements. His real estate experience includes wind and solar farm projects, affordable housing, facilitating 1031 like-kind exchange transactions, tax increment financing, and commercial lease negotiations. Egle holds his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, 1992, cum laude, Order of the Coif. Egle is also an involved member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Wisconsin, and the Dane County Bar Association.


3. David Smith
Senior Partner, Michael Best & Friedrich

David Smith is a Senior Partner at Michael Best & Friedrich. Michael Best & Friedrich is a full-service law firm with more than 350 lawyers and technical professionals who work in collaborative, interdisciplinary practices. The firm works with clients in a wide range of industries, including banking and financial services, digital technology, food and beverage, life sciences, and healthcare. 

Smith has 46 years of experience and began his career in 1978. Smith focuses his practice on the legal issues that arise in intellectual property, such as patent portfolio management and strategy and negotiation of license agreements. He has extensive experience in product design counseling and the development of new and innovative products and has provided global IP strategies for manufacturers and intellectual property owners. Smith graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with a J.D. and from The University of Iowa with an undergraduate degree in M.E.


4. James Herriott
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Exact Sciences

James Herriott has served as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Exact Sciences since January 2022, and Secretary since December 2022. Exact Sciences was founded in 1995 and became a public company in 2001. A leading provider of cancer screening and diagnostic testing, Exact Sciences gives patients and healthcare professionals more options for early detection and treatment. Building on the success of the Cologuard and Oncotype DX tests, Exact Sciences is investing its time and collaborating with organizations, like the Mayo Clinic, in developing readily accessible solutions for use before, during, and after a cancer diagnosis.  

Herriott previously served as Exact Science’s deputy general counsel from February 2020 until January 2022 and senior counsel from August 2018 to February 2022. He previously worked for the global law firm K&L Gates LLP, where he practiced corporate and securities law. Before his tenure at K&L Gates, Herriott practiced corporate and securities law at Paul Hastings LLP. Herriott earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University and his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School.


5. Kira Loehr
Partner, Perkins Coie

Kira Loehr is a Partner at Perkins Coie LLP. Perkins Coie is a leading international law firm that is known for providing high-value, strategic solutions. With more than 1,200 lawyers in offices across the United States and Asia, the firm offers corporate, commercial litigation, intellectual property, and regulatory legal advice to a broad range of clients, including innovative companies and industry leaders as well as public and not-for-profit organizations.

Loehr is in the firm’s energy, environment, and natural resources practice area, where she focuses her practice on the energy industry. She advocates for generation, transmission, and distribution utilities as well as consumers before state and federal regulatory agencies and courts. Known for her strategic thinking and ability to provide business-minded answers to complex problems, she assists clients with innovative and effective regulatory, business, and policy solutions. Previously, Loehr was a special counsel at Foley & Lardner LLP and before that, executive director and general counsel at Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin, Inc. Earlier in her career she worked with Cullen Weston Pines & Bach LLP as a senior associate. Loehr earned a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an undergraduate degree in philosophy and psychology from Saint Louis University.


6. Sara Weinberg
General Counsel, Global Labor and Employment, Clarios

Sara Weinberg began her professional career 23 years ago. Today, she is the General Counsel, Global Labor and Employment of Clarios. With more than 16,000 employees in over 100 countries, Clarios develops, manufactures, and distributes battery technologies for most types of vehicles. The company also has a rigorous ESG focus – advancing sustainability practices and advocating for them across the industry.  

Weinberg started her career in 2001 as an attorney at Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker. From there, she went on to Jackson Lewis P.C., before eventually rising to senior counsel - labor and employment at Johnson Controls, her most recent position before joining Clarios. Weinberg graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology with a J.D., and from Tulane University with an undergraduate degree in history.


7. Larry Gille
General Counsel, HSHS Eastern WI Division & Prevea Health

Larry Gille serves as the General Counsel at HSHS Eastern WI Division & Prevea Health, providing legal advice and counsel to WI and Prevea, the Board of Directors, officers, management, and staff, in matters of corporate law, regulatory law, health law, contracts, transactions, and risk management. 

Before his employment with HSHS and Prevea, Gille was senior corporate counsel to ShopKo Stores, Inc., a former Fortune 500 company providing general merchandise and retail health services which operated 373 ShopKo retail stores. Gille was responsible for all litigated matters including general liability, workers’ compensation, pharmacy/optical professional errors, and contract disputes. He also managed an internal casualty claims department, supervising all covered and non-covered claims. Before his employment with ShopKo, Gille was an attorney in private practice with the law firm of Kasdorf, Lewis, Swietlik, S.C., a top 10 insurance defense firm. Before that, Gille was an attorney with the law firm of Zacherl, O’Malley Endejan, S.C., a general practice firm.  Before becoming an attorney, Gille was a political analyst for the State of Wisconsin Assembly Caucus. He earned his bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his J.D. from Drake University Law School. 


8. Brendan Matthews
Partner, MacGillis Wiemer

Brendan Matthews is a Partner at MacGillis Wiemer. He joined the company in 2023. MacGillis Wiemer, LLC, is a personal injury firm that handles a wide variety of cases and has over 50 years of legal experience. Matthews is a first responder lawyer, and since beginning his legal career, he has represented hundreds of first responders across the state of Wisconsin.  

Previously, Matthews was a president at Cermele & Matthews, SC. Earlier in his career, he worked with Gingras, Cates & Luebke as a law clerk. Matthews earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Before entering law school, Matthews received a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Vermont. 

Brendan Matthews' Insight

“I enjoy being a lawyer for first responders because it presents a unique opportunity to effectuate real change and make a major difference in the lives of those I represent—neither of which I take lightly, and my work and passion for my clients reflect that.”


9. Kristin Noel
Partner, Quarles & Brady

Kristin Noel began her professional career 28 years ago. Today, she is a Partner at Quarles & Brady. Quarles & Brady is a multidisciplinary AmLaw 200 legal services provider with approximately 550 attorneys practicing in Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Naples, Phoenix, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa, Tucson, and Washington, D.C. The firm’s national presence allows them to draw upon a group of highly skilled attorneys from all across the country to ensure the right people are working on their clients'​ matters. 

Noel is a highly experienced intellectual property trial attorney and has litigated numerous high-stakes disputes for a variety of technologies. She began her career in 1996 as an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates, and graduated from Northwestern University with a J.D. and an undergraduate degree.


10. Thomas Gonzalez
Partner, Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary

Thomas Gonzalez is a Partner for Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary. Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary is the largest law firm in the country dedicated solely to transportation and related industries. The firm’s attorneys provide advice and counsel to over 5,000 clients in virtually every segment of the transportation industry—from Fortune 500 companies to smaller, family-owned businesses—including motor carriers, brokers, logistics companies, and warehouses.

Gonzalez has been representing the interests of the transportation industry for more than 20 years. He is a trial attorney who defends motor carriers, brokers, and insurers against injury claims. He also applies his civil and criminal trial experience to clients’ cargo and freight charge disputes. His experience in the courtroom lets him counsel clients on avoiding litigation while also handling their matters at trial and through appeal if necessary. Before joining Scopelitis Garvin Light Hanson & Feary, Gonzalez was a partner at Husch Blackwell. Gonzalez graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a J.D.


11. Steve Grimm
Partner, Axley Brynelson

Steve Grimm is a Partner at Axley Brynelson with over twenty years of experience in law and accounting. His clients benefit from his experience as both an attorney and CPA, which allows him to see business issues from multiple viewpoints. Axley is a full-service law firm with three Wisconsin offices and more than 50 practicing attorneys. Axley provides exceptional legal services to a wide array of clients from individuals and small business owners to multinational corporations. 

Grimm specializes in handling the unique legal and tax issues that face closely held businesses and their owners. He assists business owners with succession and other estate planning issues, and he has experience handling sales of closely held businesses. Grimm utilizes his tax background to advise business clients on entity formation issues as well as the tax-efficient structuring of business transactions. He also advises his clients on individual income tax planning matters and estate and gift tax issues as part of an overall estate plan. Grimm started his career in 2013 as an attorney at Smith & Gesteland LLP. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School with a J.D. and has an LLM in tax from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. 


12. Chris Hussin
Partner, Boardman & Clark

Chris Hussin is a Partner at Boardman & Clark. He joined the company in 2012. The firm serves individuals, businesses, school districts, and local governments. Its areas of service include litigation, franchise and dealership law, business law, taxation, estate planning and probate, intellectual property, family law, municipal law, banking, labor and employment, land use, elder services, real estate, and school law.

Hussin has more than 20 years of experience focusing on all areas of patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright law, to provide valuable intellectual property protection strategically aligned with each client’s business objectives. He manages the patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright portfolios of several international companies. Hussin assists clients in optimizing their intellectual property opportunities through the use of patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights in the United States and abroad. Previously, Hussin was a partner at Lathrop & Clark LLP and before that an attorney at Sheridan Ross, P.C. Earlier in his career he worked with Kerr Friedrich Brosseau Bartlett as an attorney. Hussin earned a J.D. from the University of Denver and an undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


13. Katie Koelling
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Thrivent

Katie Koelling is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel within Thrivent’s General Counsel’s Office. In her dual role, Koelling serves as Thrivent’s and its affiliates and partner businesses’ Privacy Officer. Koelling also leads the enterprise’s anti-money laundering, identity theft, special investigations, customer fraud unit, information lifecycle management, and procurement offices. Thrivent is a diversified financial services organization that helps people achieve financial clarity. Thrivent and its subsidiary and affiliate companies serve more than 2.3 million clients, offering advice, insurance, investments, banking, and generosity products and programs online and through financial advisors and independent agents nationwide. 

Before her current role, Koelling provided legal support and counsel to Thrivent concerning health and life insurance, product development, new business development, product operations, and risk management, and provided management for information security, asset management, product operations, business continuity, and physical security. Koelling holds a J.D. from Marquette University Law School and a bachelor’s degree in medical microbiology & immunology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


14. Sarah Ryan
Associate General Counsel, Property Development Law, Kohl's

Sarah Ryan is Associate General Counsel of Kohl’s, Inc. handling the company’s real estate matters. Kohl’s has more than 1,100 stores and multiple distribution centers, E-commerce fulfillment centers, and office locations. Ryan’s work includes purchases, leases, 1031 exchanges, solar agreements, and governmental incentives agreements. 

Ryan began her career as a public accountant in Chicago with Kenneth Leventhal Company auditing real estate companies and valuing shopping centers and other real estate before attending law school. After law school, Ryan worked for The May Department Stores Company in St. Louis and moved to Wisconsin to join Kohl’s in Menomonee Falls in 1999. She graduated from the University of Illinois with a J.D. and an undergraduate degree in Accountancy.


15. Nick Anderson
Deputy General Counsel, Schneider

Nick Anderson began his professional career 20 years ago. Today, he is the Deputy General Counsel of Schneider. Schneider is a transportation and logistics company in North America, with a long-standing history of service, reliability, and supply-chain value creation. Its multimodal platform offers different asset intensities, enabling sustainable and resilient growth in all market conditions. 

Anderson started his career in 2004 as an attorney in labor & employment at Dorsey & Whitney LLP. From there, he went on to the U.S. Army, before eventually becoming a labor & employment attorney at Quarles & Brady LLP, his most recent position before joining Schneider. Anderson graduated from the University of Washington School of Law with a J.D. and from Boston College with an undergraduate degree in economics.


16. Brittany Pierick
Associate General Counsel, CapSpecialty

Brittany Pierick is the Associate General Counsel of CapSpecialty. CapSpecialty is a leading provider of specialty insurance for small to mid-sized businesses in the U.S., offering casualty, professional liability, surety, and fidelity products in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. By working with select partners through a limited distribution model, CapSpecialty provides personalized service and cultivates mutually successful partnerships to deliver positive results. 

Before joining CapSpecialty, Pierick was an associate general counsel at Navitus Health Solutions and an associate corporate counsel at Ryan Specialty. Earlier in her career, she worked with Jardine, Logan & O'Brien, P.L.L.P. as an associate attorney. Pierick graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School with a J.D. and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an undergraduate degree in English.

Brittany Pierick's Insight

“I consider myself incredibly lucky to have encountered some amazing mentors throughout my first decade as an attorney. These mentors have helped me navigate challenges and celebrate successes along my career path, which is a big part of the reason I was able to progress into my current position. As Associate General Counsel, I get the benefit of being involved in a variety of areas of the law, and I have the opportunity to support the company by minimizing legal risk and costs while also ensuring legal compliance.”


17. Asya Alexandrovich
General Counsel, Farmers Insurance

Asya Alexandrovich joined Farmers Insurance as General Counsel in 2023. The company is an insurer group of vehicles, homes, and small businesses and also provides other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance has more than 48,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 21,000 employees.

In her role as General Counsel, Alexandrovich provides innovative and strategic advice on an array of corporate legal issues. She is experienced in transactional work, litigation, and corporate organization and formation. Previously, Alexandrovich was a chief legal officer at American Family Insurance. Earlier in her career she worked with Mintz Levin as a senior associate, in corporate & securities. Alexandrovich earned a J.D. from Cornell Law School and an undergraduate degree in economics and history and art from Brandeis University.


18. David Arteman
Associate General Counsel, Intellectual Property, Oshkosh

David Arteman is the Associate General Counsel of Intellectual Property at Oshkosh. Oshkosh is an industrial company that designs and builds specialty trucks, military vehicles, truck bodies, airport fire apparatus, and access equipment. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Oshkosh Corporation employs approximately 17,000 team members worldwide. Oshkosh products can be found in more than 150 countries under the brands of JLG®, Hinowa, Power Towers, Pierce®, MAXIMETAL, Oshkosh® Defense, McNeilus®, IMT®, Jerr-Dan®, Frontline™ Communications, Oshkosh® Airport Products, JBT AeroTech and Pratt Miller. 

Arteman began his career in 2003, and his specialties include intellectual property, advertising, commercial contracts, and risk management and compliance. Before joining Oshkosh, he worked with Kimberly-Clark as an attorney. Arteman graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a J.D. and an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering.


19. Jeffrey Morris
Senior Attorney and Director of Environment, Health and Safety, Sensient

Jeffrey Morris began his professional career 22 years ago. Today, he is the Senior Attorney and Director of Environment, Health, and Safety of Sensient. Sensient Technologies Corporation is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors, essential oils, and extracts. Sensient employs advanced technologies at facilities around the world to develop specialty food and beverage systems, cosmetic and pharmaceutical systems, colors, natural ingredients, and extracts. Sensient has 75 operational sites in 35 countries and customers in more than 150 countries worldwide.

Morris started his career in 2002 as an attorney and professional engineer at Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., his most recent position before joining Sensient. Morris graduated from Marquette University Law School with a J.D. and from Northwestern University with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering.


20. Mary Schanning
General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, Milwaukee World Festival

Mary Schanning has been the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of Milwaukee World Festival since 2001. Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. is an independent, private corporation founded in 1965 that produces Summerfest a three-weekend music  festival featuring over 600 artists across 12 stages.  About 800,000 people each year attend the festival. 

Schanning manages the legal logistics of the festival, in addition to land leases and contracts. Previously, Schanning was an attorney at the City of Milwaukee. Earlier in her career she worked with the City of West Bend as a city attorney. She earned a J.D. from William & Mary and an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Miami.


21. Anne Readel
Deputy General Counsel, Promega

Anne Readel is the Deputy General Counsel of Promega. Promega Corporation is a leader in providing reagent toolkits, integrated systems, lab supplies, technical support, and other innovative products to the life sciences industry. Promega is headquartered in Madison, WI, with branches in 16 countries and over 50 global distributors. 

Readel has 17 years of legal experience. Before joining Promega, Readele was a patent litigator at Perkins Coie LLP and before that, a patent & licensing program law clerk at the U.S. Forest Service. Readel graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School with a J.D., from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a Ph.D. in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology, and with an undergraduate degree in animal sciences.


22. Tagen Vaughn
Deputy General Counsel and Risk Manager, Legal, Sargento Foods

Tagen Vaughn is the Deputy General Counsel and Risk Manager, Legal of Sargento Foods. He first joined the company in 2013 as senior manager, of contracts and legal operations, legal. Sargento is a family-owned, privately-held company in the cheese industry, and has been around for 70 years. Founded in 1953 in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Sargento successfully introduced America to pre-packaged sliced and shredded natural cheeses. Today, Sargento is still based in Wisconsin, where it manufactures and markets shredded, sliced, and snack natural cheese products, as well as ingredients.

In his role, Vaughn works closely with executives to ensure that all legal issues regarding the business are handled properly and with financial efficiency in mind. Previously, Vaughn was a manager, contract administration, and legal. Earlier in his career, he worked with Enterprise as an assistant branch manager. Vaughn earned a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and an undergraduate degree in communication from the University of Colorado Boulder.


23. Jacob Craft
General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, Innervate

Jacob Craft is the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of Innervate. The company offers subscriptions that provide access to dozens of free DCX connectors and more than 90 free DCX apps. This open network architecture enables a plug-and-play approach that allows companies to streamline processes, eliminate complex projects, and deliver significant financial value. 

Craft has 14 years of experience. Before joining Innervate, he was an attorney at AlphaTech Counsel, S.C. and before that an associate general counsel at Forte Research Systems, Inc. Earlier in his career he worked with Epic as a corporate counsel. Craft graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a J.D.


24. Mark Clauss
General Counsel, Sprecher Brewing

Mark Clauss began his professional career 24 years ago. Today, he is the General Counsel of Sprecher Brewing. Sprecher Brewery is a brewery in Glendale, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1985 in Milwaukee by Randal Sprecher and is Milwaukee's first craft brewery since Prohibition. Sprecher produces an assortment of beers, flavored malt beverages, and craft sodas.

Clauss started his career in 2000 as a retirement plan specialist at Marshall & Ilsley Trust Company, N.A. n/k/a BMO Harris. From there, he went on to USA Funding Corp. & Ideal Financial Financial Services Corp., before eventually rising to senior associate attorney at Gray & Associates, L.L.P, his most recent position before joining Sprecher Brewing. Clauss graduated from Marquette University Law School with a J.D. and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an undergraduate degree in behavioral science and law.


25. Marissa Meli
Associate General Counsel, Green Bay Packers

Marissa Meli is the Associate General Counsel of the Green Bay Packers, a national football league team in the United States, operated by Green Bay Packers, Inc. The company was founded as Green Bay Football Corporation in 1919 and changed its name to Green Bay Packers, Inc. in 1935. Green Bay Packers, Inc. is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Meli first joined the company as a corporate transactions counsel, before assuming her current role. Previously, Meli was an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice. Meli earned a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law and an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University.