Daniels takes helm at Quarles & Brady

Quarles & Brady LLP announced that John W. Daniels Jr. has been appointed chairman for the Milwaukee law firm.

Daniels has been with Quarles & Brady headquartered in Milwaukee since 1974 and was named partner in 1981.

Daniels was named to the position of chairman following the unexpected passing of Patrick Ryan in late August. Ryan had served as the chairman and managing partner of Quarles & Brady since 2002.

Daniels is the first Africa-American to be appointed to lead a major law firm in Wisconsin.

“I am honored and humbled to be afforded this opportunity to help lead Quarles & Brady,” Daniels said. “Our staff and our clients are the best in their fields, and I look forward to ensuring our firm continues to attract and retain the top legal talents and provides the best service and counsel to those who turn to us. Pat helped Quarles & Brady become one of the top firms in the nation and did so with such grace and adoration from those he worked with, and I will strive to continue that tradition.”

Daniels has been involved in many high-profile developments, including Milwaukee’s Midwest Airlines Center, the Theater District, Grand Avenue, and Midtown Mall, as well as representing national clients, including Philip Morris Capital Corp., General Electric Capital, Xerox Corp., Kraft Foods and many others.

Daniels obtained his law degree from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree from North Central College. 

At Quarles & Brady, Daniels has led many firm-wide diversity and philanthropic efforts.  He is also involved in the Milwaukee community as the vice chairman of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, a director of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, director of the Ralph Evinrude Foundation, director of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, director emeritus of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and a past director with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Boys & Girls Clubs of Milwaukee.

Quarles also announced that Steve Bablitch, a partner with the law firm, has been elected chairman of the board of trees for the Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin.

Bablitch considers the loss of large tracts of land to development to be the most pressing threat to Wisconsin’s forests, prairies, lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. He also said the Conservancy can play a major role in protecting high-quality natural areas by working innovatively with public and private partners.

“I care deeply about preserving natural and wild places, and I like The Nature Conservancy’s collaborative approach,” Bablitch said. “The Conservancy works well with government and business, and has the knowledge and experience necessary to conserve large areas of land. It’s important to increase the pace at which we protect wild lands because they are disappearing at such a rapid rate. We need to make sure they aren’t subdivided into small pieces and sold to multiple owners so that we can never recover them. We have to look at new ways of doing this.”

Bablitch said protection of Wisconsin’s natural resources is crucial to the state’s economy and its quality of life.

“Development is important, but some places should stay wild,” Bablitch said. “People benefit from wild lands, and they want to know they’re there and that they have access to them. Wild and natural lands are also important to our economy.”

For more information about the Nature Conservancy, visit http://natu-re.org/wisconsin.

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