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Godfrey & Kahn attorneys named 2019 “Lawyers of the Year” by Best Lawyers®

August 15, 2018

MILWAUKEE (August 15, 2018) − Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. is proud to announce that Best Lawyers®, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, has named nine of the firm's attorneys "Lawyer of the Year" for 2019. In total, 65 attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019.

Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the "Lawyer of the Year," making this accolade particularly significant. Godfrey & Kahn attorneys who received this accolade are:

  • Stephen L. Chernof: Milwaukee Real Estate Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • James A. Friedman: Madison Litigation – First Amendment “Lawyer of the Year”
  • John A. Haase: Green Bay Employment Law – Management “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Nicholas A. Kees: Milwaukee Trademark Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • John L. Kirtley: Milwaukee Litigation – Banking and Finance “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Christopher B. Noyes: Milwaukee Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • James N. Phillips: Milwaukee Tax Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Peter M. Sommerhauser: Milwaukee Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Brady C. Williamson: Madison Litigation – Bankruptcy “Lawyer of the Year”

Lawyers being honored as "Lawyer of the Year" are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments they conduct with thousands of leading lawyers each year. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.

Godfrey & Kahn attorneys who were selected to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019 are:

Milwaukee Office

  • Michael B. Apfeld (Appellate Practice, Real Estate Law);
  • Anthony S. Baish (Commercial Litigation);
  • Jeffrey S. Billings (Trusts and Estates Law);
  • Sean O'D. Bosack (Litigation - Securities);
  • Stephen L. Chernof (Real Estate Law);
  • John L. Clancy (Environmental Law, Litigation - Environmental);
  • Todd M. Cleary (Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law);
  • Dennis F. Connolly (Corporate Law, Securities / Capital Markets Law);
  • Donald A. Daugherty (Commercial Litigation);
  • John A. Dickens (Corporate Law, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law);
  • John E. Donahue (Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law);
  • Michael J. Dwyer (Real Estate Law);
  • Patricia L. Falb (Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law);
  • Carol A. Gehl (Corporate Law, Mutual Funds Law);
  • Brian G. Gilpin (Trademark Law);
  • J. Gardner Govan (Trusts and Estates Law);
  • Paul W. Griepentrog (Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law);
  • Arthur J. Harrington (Energy Law, Environmental Law, Litigation - Environmental);
  • Paul F. Heaton (Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law);
  • Thomas R. Homberg (Banking and Finance Law, Financial Services Regulation Law);
  • Nicholas A. Kees (Litigation - Intellectual Property, Litigation - Patent, Patent Law, Trademark Law);
  • John L. Kirtley (Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Banking and Finance, Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions, Litigation - Securities);
  • Joan D. Klimpel (Trusts and Estates Law);
  • Brett D. Koeller (Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law);
  • Maria L. Kreiter (Commercial Litigation);
  • Kristi E. Leswing (Trusts and Estates Law);
  • Diane M. Marchik (Environmental Law);
  • Christine Liu McLaughlin (Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management);
  • Patrick S. Murphy (Financial Services Regulation Law);
  • David R. Navarre (Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law);
  • Christopher B. Noyes (Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Securities / Capital Markets Law);
  • Andrew S. Oettinger (Commercial Litigation);
  • Mark E. O'Neill (Real Estate Law);
  • Douglas J. Patch (Tax Law);
  • David H. Patzer (Trusts and Estates Law);
  • James N. Phillips (Tax Law);
  • Brian L. Pierson (Native American Law);
  • Kristin A. Roeper (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law);
  • Peter M. Sommerhauser (Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law, Corporate Law, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law);
  • Charles G. Vogel (Health Care Law, Corporate Law);
  • Nicholas P. Wahl (Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law);
  • Mark C. Witt (Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Corporate Law, Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law);
  • Edward (Ned) B. Witte (Environmental Law); and
  • Jennifer P. Wolff (Commercial Finance Law, Corporate)

Madison Office

  • Jon E. Anderson (Education Law, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management, Litigation - Labor and Employment);
  • Bryan J. Cahill (Litigation - Real Estate);
  • James A. Friedman (Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Litigation - First Amendment);
  • David J. Gilles (CleanTech Law, Energy Law, Energy Regulatory Law);
  • Jennifer L. Gregor (Intellectual Property Litigation);
  • Jennifer A. Hannon (Trusts and Estates Law);
  • Kendall W. Harrison (Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Trusts and Estates Law);
  • Josh Johanningmeier (Product Liability Litigation - Defendants);
  • Kevin J. O'Connor (Litigation - Antitrust, Antitrust Law);
  • Jed A. Roher (Corporate Law);
  • Thomas N. Shorter (Education Law, Health Care Law);
  • Todd G. Smith (Commercial Litigation);
  • Katherine Stadler (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law)
  • Brady C. Williamson (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, First Amendment Law, Litigation - Bankruptcy, Litigation - First Amendment, Media Law);
  • Eric J. Wilson (Criminal Defense: White-Collar); and
  • Mike B. Wittenwyler (Administrative / Regulatory Law, Corporate Compliance Law)

Green Bay Office

  • Carla O. Andres (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law);
  • John A. Haase (Employment Law - Management);
  • Timothy F. Nixon (Litigation - Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/ Insolvency and Reorganization Law);
  • William J. Plummer (Mergers and Acquisitions Law)

Appleton Office

  • Daniel T. Flaherty (Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Litigation - Intellectual Property, Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions, Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy))

With more than 160 lawyers, Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. is one of Wisconsin's leading business law firms. Founded in 1957, Godfrey & Kahn maintains offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton, Green Bay and Waukesha, Wis.; and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit the firm's website at

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