• 1890s
  • 1900s
  • 1910s
  • 1920s
  • 1930s
  • 1940s
  • 1950s
  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s
  • 2010s
  • Today

1892

Where it all began

Edgar Liberty Wood and Lawrence A. Olwell graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Wood is likely a member of the UW Law School Whisker Club.

Wood: bottom row; 2nd from right Olwell: top row, 2nd from right

Edgar Liberty Wood and Lawrence A. Olwell

1892

The Chicago connection

William McIlvaine joins John P. Wilson in the Chicago firm of Wilson & Moore. (Wilson & McIlvaine would eventually merge with Quarles & Brady.)

Lawrence Olwell Lawrence Olwell

1892

Joining up

Lawrence Olwell joins Quarles Spence Quarles (QSQ) in Milwaukee. The Quarles are Joseph and brother Charles. Joseph would become a U.S. Senator and federal judge; Charles is president of the board of the school directors of Milwaukee, as well as a highly-involved member of the Humane Society and the Yacht Club. Louis Quarles is Charles’ son.

Edgar Wood Edgar Wood

1892

Getting to work

Edgar Wood sets up his practice in Milwaukee. His first job as a newly minted attorney is drawing up a will for a local jeweler. The fee is 50 cents.

David S. Rose David S. Rose

1898

A prominent appointment

Edgar Wood is appointed by Mayor David S. Rose as a member of the Milwaukee City Service Commission. He is the youngest person appointed to this post at the time.

Edgar Wood Edgar Wood

1903

The win goes to

Edgar Wood represents Von Sprecklesen against Chain Belt Company (Rexnord) which is represented by Quarles Spence Quarles. The Circuit Court gives the win to Wood’s client.

Courthouse

1906

Then there were five

Milwaukee has many justices of the peace but only 5 judges — one each for circuit, superior, county, district and municipal.

1904

Few guardrails

In the 1900s, there is no income tax, FDA, labor relations board, worker’s compensation, railroad or public service commissions.

Factory workers
Louis Quarles Louis Quarles

1905

A man of letters

Louis Quarles graduates with a degree in literature from the University of Michigan. He studies Greek, Latin, physics and chemistry. After graduation he works in the law office of his father and uncle, Quarles Spence Quarles, sitting for the Wisconsin bar in 1908.

Farmhouse

1907

Making the case

While working in his father’s office, Louis Quarles handles cases in Justice Court which does not require those appearing to be lawyers. Many of the early cases are between farmers and landlords over sharecropping agreements; the court limit is $200.

Louis Quarles Louis Quarles

1910

A new
Quarles
legacy

Louis Quarles branches out as Lines, Spooner, Ellis & Quarles. His brother, Charles B. Quarles, is part of the firm. In 1917 the firm becomes Lines, Spooner & Quarles.

The office of Lines, Spooner, Ellis & Quarles

1910

A growing reputation

The office of Lines, Spooner, Ellis & Quarles is in the 710 Pabst Building, 110 E Wisconsin. The firm is counsel for Central Leather Co., Green Bay & Miss. Canal Co., Pabst Brewing Co., and Standard Accident Ins. Co.

1912

A long alliance

Edgar Wood is named General Counsel and a director of Chain Belt Company (Rexnord) in 1912 and remains so until 1957.

Chain Belt Company (Rexnord); The Chain Belt Mixer

Horlick’s Malted Milk

1913

Genuine champions

Lines, Spooner, Ellis & Quarles successfully defend Horlick’s Malted Milk in an unfair trade practices suit regarding the “original and only genuine malted milk.” Local newspapers tout that the case promises “to develop into one of the hottest contested pieces of infringement litigation ever docketed in the United States tribunals.”

Registration card

1913

Brady sets his stamp

Bernard V. Brady attends Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee and is admitted to the Wisconsin Bar. In 1917, he is drafted into WWI.

Patent diagram

1918

Keeping it together

Olwell receives a patent for a one-handled briefcase that does not require a buckle to keep the flap in place, “thereby lightening the device, cheapening its construction, enlarging its stability and simplifying the method of opening and closing.”

1920

Coming together

Lawrence Olwell, Paul Durant and Bernard Brady form Olwell, Durant & Brady and take up residence in the Railway Exchange Building at the corner of Broadway & Wisconsin, in Milwaukee.

Legal Blue Book of Wisconsin: Olwell, Durant & Brady, Counselors at Law

Vests and coats

1929

Sharp dressed men

At Wood, Warner & Tyrrell, decorum is emphasized. Edgar Wood requires that vests and coats be worn at all times, even in summer. Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon are “motion days” where motions are set and heard.

1928

Formalizing the firm

Wood, Warner & Tyrrell is established. The firm operates out of the 404 Security Building at 209 Grand Avenue, in Milwaukee.

404 Security Building at 209 Grand Avenue in Milwaukee

1928

No gamble with Gimbel’s

Lines, Spooner & Quarles successfully represent Gimbel Brothers, the well-known department store, in a slip and fall case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Gimbel Brothers department store
Allis-Chalmers, Milwaukee, Wis., U.S.A.

1930

Braking litigation

Louis Quarles secures a judgment of $600,000 for inventor Neils A. Christenson and Allis-Chalmers Co. in a patent infringement suit over an air brake design. The judgment halts litigation spanning 26 years.

Sperry Candy Company: Chicken Dinner Delicious Candy

1933

Winner winner chicken dinner

President Roosevelt’s policies spur new business. The emphasis on workers’ rights propels one of the first Milwaukee strikes at Sperry Candy Company, a client of Edgar Wood and famous for their Chicken Dinner candy bar. Wood’s firm helps to bring company and strike leaders together and settle the dispute.

1935

A notable honor

Bernard Brady is appointed to the Wisconsin Bar’s Board of Governors.

Super Suds

1937

Saving suds

Louis Quarles “cleans up” for a client after a six-year soap science patent infringement battle, obtaining a $5 million settlement for Colgate Palmolive Peet, manufacturer of Super Suds laundry soap.

1939

We go way back

Lines, Spooner & Quarles file the Articles of Association for W.H. Brady Co., now a multimillion-dollar company.

1939

A chapter closes

Lawrence Olwell dies. Attorney William A. Hayes describes him as a “man of originality, a resourceful man, an energetic man peculiarly adapted to the law.” He is also remembered as “a man of dignified and courtly bearing and an immaculate dresser…”

Lawrence Olwell

1941

Supporting the war effort

In an action reflective of wartime, Brady appears before the Wisconsin Assembly Judiciary Committee on behalf of Briggs & Stratton Corporation to support legislation offering tax incentives to Wisconsin companies building new plants for defense contracts.

Soldier

1942

Strengthening railroad ties

Wood, Warner & Tyrrell continues to forge strong partnerships. They serve as local counsel for respected companies including Pennsylvania Railroad Co.; Chicago Northshore & Milwaukee Railroad Co.; Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.; and New York Life Insurance Co.

Railroad

1945

A case of foreshadowing

Louis Quarles of Lines, Spooner & Quarles and Bernard Brady of Olwell & Brady are co-counsel in a Wisconsin Supreme Court case involving a trust and estate issue. They win the case. It is their only appellate case together.

Counterspy: Memoirs of a Counterintelligence Officer in World War II and the Cold War, by Richard W. Cutler

1947

An eye for intel

Richard Cutler (who joins Brady’s firm in 1954 and remains through 1987) serves in WWII as a combat intelligence officer. Shortly after the war he works to recruit former German spies to gather information on the Russians as the Cold War begins.

Clock

1957

Honest work, honest wage

Wood, Warner, Tyrrell & Bruce has no established hourly rates. Attorneys keep track of times and then decide the fee.

1957

Five’s the charm

Olwell & Brady merges with Wood, Warner, Tyrrell & Bruce to become Wood, Brady, Tyrrell and Bruce. The firm has 12 attorneys. (Olwell & Brady had rejected offers from four other firms to merge.)

John Mariner Building

1957

Practically neighbors

Quarles, Herriott & Clemons operate in the John Mariner building at 411 E. Mason, in Milwaukee. Wood, Brady, Tyrrell & Bruce are nearby at the Monroe Building at 756 N. Milwaukee.

General Electric Appliances

1958

Showing their muscle

Quarles, Herriott & Clemons successfully represent General Electric Company’s X-Ray Department in a labor and employment appeal before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Edgar Wood

1958

A continuing presence

Edgar Wood dies at the age of 89, but his often said phrase is long remembered: “You never can tell what you can do until you try.”

1961

Trademarking excellence

Quarles’ firm has the largest patent law section and municipal bond counsel group in Wisconsin.

Registered Trademark

1962

Securing notoriety

Brady’s firm is well recognized for its estate planners, statewide municipal law practice and general corporate work.

1967

Deeply committed to community

Louis Quarles is highly committed to the community and helps to establish the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) following the school’s separation from Marquette University (MU). Louis had been a director at the MU medical school since 1923. He continues in that role as it becomes MCW. Louis’ involvements also include serving as a trustee of Milwaukee-Downer College, trustee emeritus of Lawrence University and honorary director of Milwaukee Country Day School.

the Quaviver

1968

Earning his stars

Another of Louis’ passions is his 46-foot ketch, the Quaviver, built in 1936. At the Milwaukee Yacht Club, because of his long service there, he is known as “The Commodore.”

1967

The firm evolves

Brady, Tyrrell and Bruce becomes Brady, Tyrrell, Cotter & Cutler.

Brady, Tyrrell, Cotter & Cutler
Charles Quarles

1968

Making his mark

Charles Quarles, Louis’ brother, dies in 1968. He served as president of the Legal Aid Society of Wisconsin for many years and was a past president of the Wisconsin Service Association. During his time at the University of WI, he held the record (albeit briefly) in high hurdles.

1970

Raising Arizona

Harvey Streich is a founding partner in Streich, Lang, Weeks, Cardon & French, later to become Streich Lang. (Streich Lang would later merge with Quarles & Brady.)

Louis Quarles

1972

Six decades of legal service

Louis Quarles dies at the age of 89, after a 64-year career in law. He served on 52 directorships during his career including Allen-Bradley (Rockwell), Northwestern Mutual Life, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee Road, Marshall & Ilsley Stock Corp., Oil Gear Co., and Kimberly-Clark Corp. He was also a director of the Allen-Bradley Foundation and the Allis-Chalmers Foundation.

Anne Unverzagt Anne Unverzagt

1973

Expanding excellence

Anne Unverzagt is the first woman hired at Quarles, Herriott, Clemons, Teschner & Noelke.

Quarles & Brady

1974

The new era begins

Quarles & Brady forms from the merger of Quarles, Herriott, Clemons, Teschner & Noelke (45 lawyers), and Brady, Tyrrell, Cotter & Cutler (25 lawyers). The merged firms, while “mixing up” the teams across the two offices, don’t share one space until 1979.

1974

Building
broader
perspectives

John W. Daniels Jr., Harvard Law graduate, is the first attorney hired by the newly merged firm of Quarles & Brady. He is also the first African-American hired by the firm.

Bernard Brady

1977

Saying farewell

Bernard Brady dies at the age of 85, after practicing law for 53 years. His directorships included those with Ladish Co., Briggs & Stratton Corp., Wehr Steel Co., and Lakeside Bridge & Steel Co. He also served as general counsel for Old Line Life Insurance Company of America. He was known as a man who loved the law, intellectual challenge, and order.

1981

Bringing water to the Supreme Court

Attorney Elwin Zarwell of Quarles & Brady argues a Clean Water Act case in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the City of Milwaukee and wins.

Shelves of law books

1986

Making a move

The Milwaukee office moves to its present space at 411 E. Wisconsin Ave. The move includes 2,500 shelves of law books, 9,000 cartons of paperwork and 100 trailer loads of furniture.

1982

Expanding to meet clients’ needs

The firm opens an office in Naples, FL. This is followed by the opening of offices in Madison, WI (1983) and Phoenix, AZ (1988).

Quarles & Brady Naples, FL Office
Quarles & Brady Logo

1986

Shining a light

Quarles & Brady unveils its present-day logo. The logo and its colors get press as they are seen as novel for a law firm.

Former WI Governor Anthony Earl

1987

A new house

Anthony Earl, former WI governor, joins the firm.

1990

A strong bench

Quarles & Brady now has 211 attorneys.

211 Attorneys
Walter White, Jr. Walter White, Jr.

1994

The White House is calling

Quarles & Brady attorney Walter White, Jr., a former WI securities commissioner, is appointed by the White House to head the new Asian-American Enterprise Fund in Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

1992

Centennial celebration

Quarles & Brady celebrates 100 years!

Quarles & Brady Celebrate 100 Years Anniversary

1999

Welcoming the Windy City

A Chicago office opens following a merger with the 27-attorney firm Wilson & McIllvaine.

Quarles & Brady Chicago office

2000

Merger in Arizona

The firm merges with Streich Lang PC, adding 99 attorneys and a Tucson office to the Arizona offices, and bringing the firm to 150 attorneys in Arizona (Arizona’s second-largest law firm) and a total of 450 attorneys nationally.

Quarles & Brady Arizona Office
Quarles & Brady’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee

2001

Valuing perspectives and experiences

Quarles & Brady’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee forms.

Fred Lautz Fred Lautz

2007

A new direction in leadership

Fred Lautz becomes the firm’s first managing partner following the unexpected passing of firm chair Pat Ryan. Ryan, who once tried out for the Chicago White Sox, was known as a top corporate lawyer and a man deeply committed to community service.

Quarles & Brady Milwaukee sign

2007

A sign of the times

Quarles & Brady sits high on the Milwaukee skyline with its new sign.

John W. Daniels Jr.

2007

A proud milestone

John W. Daniels, Jr., a renowned real estate and business attorney, becomes chair of Quarles & Brady, the first African-American to hold that position at the firm.

2010

Continuing to grow

The firm opens an office in Tampa, FL. This is followed by the opening of offices in Washington, D.C. (2012), Indianapolis, IN (2014), and Scottsdale, AZ (2014).

Quarles & Brady opens offices in Tampa, FL, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, IN, and Scottsdale, AZ.

2013

Leading the way

Kimberly Leach Johnson, a well-respected trusts and estates attorney, becomes chair of Quarles & Brady, the first woman to hold that position at the firm.

Kimberly Leach Johnson

2016

A legacy of service

Dedicated to community service, the firm logs over 23,100 pro bono hours.

2016

Q&B strong

The firm has over 500 attorneys and 500 staff members.

2017

Passing the gavel

Daniel Radler accepts the gavel from Fred Lautz and becomes the firm’s second managing partner.

Daniel Radler
AmLaw200 2017

Today

Ranking high in 2017

Quarles & Brady is ranked #118 in the AmLaw200 2017, gaining 11 spots since the 2015 ranking.

National Association for Female Executives and Flex-Time Lawyers

Today

Among the best

Quarles & Brady is named among the “50 Best Law Firms for Women” by the National Association for Female Executives and Flex-Time Lawyers in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

WILEF Certified 2016; Women In Law Empowerment Forum; Empowering Women to the Highest Levels

Today

Seven-time certification

For seven consecutive years, Quarles & Brady receives Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum because of the many women in leadership roles.

100% Corporate Equality Index; 2017 Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality

Today

A perfect 100

Quarles & Brady receives a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality.

Today

Recognized as top tier

Quarles & Brady receives 13 recognitions as a 2017 “Best Law Firm” by Best Lawyers and U.S. News Media Group in the National Tier 1 category; five additional acknowledgements for exceptional client service in labor law, labor and employment litigation, real estate litigation, real estate law, and trust and estates law.

2017 Best Law Firms; Best Lawyers® and U.S. News Media Group