Foley & Lardner

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Foley & Lardner LLP
Logo foley lardner.png
HeadquartersU.S. Bank Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
No. of offices24
No. of attorneys1,100
Major practice areasGeneral practice
Key peopleJay Rothman (Chairman & CEO), Stanley S. Jaspan (Managing Partner)
RevenueIncrease $837,000,000 (2018)
Date founded1842; 179 years ago (1842)
FounderAsahel Finch Jr., and William Pitt Lynde
Company typeLimited liability partnership Edit this at Wikidata

Foley & Lardner LLP (Sometimes referred to simply as "Foley") is an international law firm started in 1842. In terms of revenue it ranked 59th on The American Lawyer's 2019 AmLaw 100 rankings of U.S. law firms, with $837 million in gross revenue in 2018.[1]


The oldest and largest law firm in Wisconsin, it was established in 1842 as Finch & Lynde.[2] Its founders were Asahel Finch Jr., a Republican and former Michigan state representative,[3] and William Pitt Lynde, a Democrat who later served in the United States House of Representatives, the Wisconsin state legislature, and as mayor of Milwaukee.[2][4][5] By 1970 the firm had changed its name 11 times, and was beginning to grow substantially.[6] In 2001, after absorbing firms in Chicago and Washington, D.C., it was the 11th largest firm in the United States.[7]

The firm's current name was adopted in 1969,[8] and refers to two name partners, both corporate lawyers: Leon Foley, who died at age 83 in 1978 after more than 50 years with the firm,[9] and Lynford Lardner Jr., who died at age 58 in 1973 after drowning in the Milwaukee River.[10] When the firm merged with Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in 2018, the plan -- (at least initially) -- was to use, in some cities, a firm name including the name partner name "Gardere".[11]

In 2020, Foley & Lardner partner Cleta Mitchell aided Trump in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and pressure election officials to "find" votes for him to defeat Democratic candidate Joe Biden.[12] Mitchell criticized Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, accusing him without evidence of saying things "that are simply not correct" about the presidential results in Georgia.[12] She also claimed without evidence that dead people voted in the election.[13] When confronted with why a Foley & Lardner partner was involved in aiding Trump in overturning the 2020 election, Foley & Lardner distanced itself from Mitchell.[14] On January 5, 2021, Foley & Lardner announced that Mitchell had resigned.[15]

Foley & Lardner's primary practice areas include intellectual property, business law, litigation, and regulatory. Notable clients of the firm include the Nicholas Maduro regime in Venezuela,[16] Johnson Controls, CVS,[14] Harley Davidson, Major League Baseball,[2] and Acciona.

Notable current and former employees[edit]

  • William M. Conley, U.S. District Court judge for the Western District of Wisconsin, was a partner in the Madison office[17]
  • Jim Doyle, Former Governor of Wisconsin, is of counsel in the Madison office[18]
  • Bob DuPuy, former president and chief operating officer of Major League Baseball, has been a partner in the Milwaukee and New York offices[19]
  • Thomas E. Fairchild, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge and Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, was an associate in the Milwaukee office from 1945 to 1948[20]
  • Russ Feingold, Former United States Senator from Wisconsin, was an associate in the Madison office[21]
  • Brian Hagedorn, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, worked at the Milwaukee office
  • William Isaac, Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from 1981 to 1985 and current Chairman of consulting firm LECG’s Global Financial Services
  • Joan F. Kessler, Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge and candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, was a partner in the Milwaukee office
  • Scott L. Klug, Former United States Congressman from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district, is a public affairs director in the Madison office[8]
  • Brett H. Ludwig, U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, was a partner at the Milwaukee office[22]
  • Marcia Morales Howard, U.S. District Court judge for the Middle District of Florida, was an associate in the Jacksonville office[23]
  • Lisa S. Neubauer, Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge, was a partner in the Milwaukee office[24]
  • Barack Obama, Former President of the United States, was a summer associate in the Chicago office
  • Ulice Payne Jr., Former CEO of the Milwaukee Brewers and first African-American CEO of a Major League Baseball franchise, was a partner in the Milwaukee office
  • Fred Ridley, current Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, is a partner in the Tampa office, former national chair of the Real Estate Practice, a member of the Hospitality & Leisure (former co-chair) and Sports Industry Teams, a member of the Transactions Practice, and a former member of the firm’s Management Committee.
  • Manuel Rocha, Former U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia (2000–02), is a Senior Advisor on International Business in the Miami office
  • Cleta Mitchell, attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election and subsequently resigned.
  • Antonin Scalia, United States Supreme Court Justice, was a summer associate in the Milwaukee office[25]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Schmid, John. "As it looks to future, Foley & Lardner commemorates 175 years of shaping Milwaukee's economy". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  3. ^ Asahel Finch, Jr., Dictionary of Wisconsin History (Wisconsin Historical Society).
  4. ^ "William Pitt Lynde,", Dictionary of Wisconsin History (Wisconsin Historical Society).
  5. ^ Judy Slinn, "Foley and Lardner: Attorneys at Law, 1842-1992" (book review), Business History (Frank Cass, pub.), January 1, 1994  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  6. ^ "State's Oldest Firm Changed Name 11 Times", Milwaukee Journal, January 6, 1970.
  7. ^ Adrienne Drell, "Longtime law firm here joins megamerger trend", Chicago Sun-Times, February 5, 2001  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  8. ^ a b "Foley & Lardner History", (accessed 2013-04-12).
  9. ^ "Leon Foley Dies; Headed Law Firm", Milwaukee Journal, March 25, 1978.
  10. ^ "Lardner's Death Labeled Drowning", Milwaukee Journal, October 17, 1973.
  11. ^ Chanen, Jill (March 30, 2018). "Foley & Lardner LLP and Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP Complete Combination". Foley & Lardner LLP. Foley & Lardner LLP and Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP today announced the successful combination of the two firms, effective April 1, 2018. [...] The combined firm will be known as Foley Gardere in Austin, Dallas, Denver, and Houston and as Foley Gardere Arena in Mexico City. All other offices will operate as Foley & Lardner LLP. With joint revenues of $830 million, the combined firm will be among American Lawyer’s Top 50 U.S. law firms. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ a b "'I just want to find 11,780 votes': In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor". The Washington Post. 2021.
  13. ^ Joseph, Samantha (2020). "'Dead People Having Voted': Foley Lardner Partner Says Trump Has Proof of Illegal Ballots". Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  14. ^ a b Schmidt, Michael S.; Vogel, Kenneth P. (2021-01-05). "Trump Lawyer on Call Is a Conservative Firebrand Aiding His Push to Overturn Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
  15. ^ Opfer, Chris; Strom, Roy (January 6, 2021). "Trump's Georgia Call Lawyer Blames 'Leftist Groups' for Exit (1)". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  16. ^ Meyer, Theodoric. "Foley & Lardner scraps contract with Maduro regime". POLITICO. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  17. ^ "United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees: William Conley" (PDF).
  18. ^ Paul Gores, "Doyle joins Foley & Lardner law firm", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 17, 2011.
  19. ^ "DuPuy rejoins Foley & Lardner", Milwaukee Business Journal, February 7, 2011.
  20. ^ Joan H. Lefkow, "Thomas E. Fairchild: A Judge's Legacy" Archived 2010-06-12 at the Wayback Machine, 2007 Wis. L. Rev 1, 4.
  21. ^ Sanford D. Horwitt, Feingold: A New Democratic Party (Simon & Schuster, 2007), ISBN 978-1416546184, pp. 80-82. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  22. ^ "United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees: Brett Ludwig" (PDF).
  23. ^ "Morales Howard gets District Court appointment", Financial News & Daily Record, February 20, 2007.
  24. ^ [1], Wisconsin State Journal, May 9, 2018.
  25. ^ Ben Poston, "At new hall, Scalia stresses teaching", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 8, 2010. ("Scalia, who once clerked at Foley & Lardner in Milwaukee between his second and third years at Harvard Law School, joked that Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson had named him an 'honorary cheesehead.'")