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Zachary Willenbrink

Zachary R. Willenbrink

  • Biography
  • Representative Experience
  • Admissions, Activities & Honors
  • Updates, News & Presentations
  • Education
Zachary Willenbrink

Zach is a member of the firm’s Litigation, Data Privacy & Cybersecurity, and Technology & Digital Business practice groups. He holds the Certified Information Privacy Professional/US (CIPP/US) and Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) certifications from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). He is also Certified in Cybersecurity (CC) by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)². Zach helps clients navigate data privacy, intellectual property, non-competition, trade secret, trade practices, and other complex commercial and business disputes, including appeals.

Prior to joining Godfrey & Kahn, Zach spent more than four years clerking for Judge J.P. Stadtmueller of the Eastern District of Wisconsin. While at Marquette University Law School, he served as a research assistant to a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and to Dean Joseph Kearney. He also interned with Judge Lynn Adelman of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Outside of work, Zach enjoys distance long-distance running, reading fiction and listening to and writing music. He is a former member and songwriter of several touring bands.


Representative Experience

Prevailing on a motion to dismiss fraud and breach-of-contract claims brought by a purchaser following its acquisition of a large regional business, then obtaining an affirmance of that dismissal on appeal

In a contentious, complex business dispute with components in several different courts:

  • Defeating a motion for an anti-suit injunction filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery
  • Obtaining reinstatement of a breach of contract claim following discovery
  • Defeating a motion for summary judgment

Represented U.S. dairy organizations and companies, and prevailed in a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board trial and subsequent district-court appeal, opposing the attempted registration by Swiss and French organizations of GRUYERE as a certification mark in U.S.

Obtaining multiple temporary restraining orders against departing employees on the basis of enforcing non-competition agreements and prohibiting trade-secret theft

Successfully defending departing employees against a request for a temporary restraining order and obtaining dismissal of multiple trade-secret-related claims alleged against them

Prevailing in a pro bono appeal before the Seventh Circuit on behalf of an Illinois state prisoner alleging civil rights violations

Achieving transfer of a case alleging false advertising and unfair trade practices, on the basis of a lack of personal jurisdiction, to a more favorable venue

Compelling arbitration in a complex corporate governance dispute between majority and minority shareholders

Settling multiple trade-practice and consumer-protection claims, including putative class actions

Ensuring the return of master tapes of a filmmaker’s documentary, which had been purchased and temporarily lost by a large media distributor


Admitted To Practice

Wisconsin - 2011

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
United States District Court, Central District of Illinois
United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
United States Supreme Court

Professional Associations

Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association
International Association of Privacy Professionals
Seventh Circuit Bar Association
Thomas E. Fairchild American Inn of Court


Bel Canto Chorus, Board Member

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Burnham Block, Board Member

Godfrey & Kahn's Ethics Committee, Member

Godfrey & Kahn’s Summer Associate Committee, Member

Marquette Law School’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition Moot Court teams, Coach

Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association’s Charles N. Clevert Mentorship Program, Past Mentor



CIPP/US certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)

Named a 2019 "Up and Coming Lawyer" by Wisconsin Law Journal

Recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (Appellate Practice, 2021 - present)


Juris Doctor, Marquette University Law School, 2011, magna cum laude

Bachelor of Arts in English, Bellarmine University, 2008, cum laude

833 East Michigan Street
Suite 1800
Milwaukee, WI
Charlie Gibbs


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