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Professional Experience
Nancy Peterson has managed all environmental matters across the country for several corporate clients, including environmental compliance, risk evaluation and crisis management. She has negotiated environmental terms in corporate transactions throughout the United States and in Europe, and has consulted with the Institute for European Environmental Policy in London. Ms. Peterson also has extensive experience in resolving complex, multi-party pollution claims under environmental and insurance laws through negotiation, mediation and litigation. Ms. Peterson’s experience includes:
  • Lead attorney on a nationally known environmental cleanup and related litigation involving the Fox River Valley in Wisconsin. Claims include governmental cleanup claims; natural resource damages claims by federal, state and tribal entities; contribution claims between potentially liable parties; and insurance claims. 

  • Representing Fortune 500 companies in the investigation and remediation of properties in fourteen states, and defending related toxic tort and cost recovery claims. She has served as group counsel or chaired responsible party groups at five sites.

  • Negotiating and mediating with insurance carriers regarding historical pollution claims as well as placement of future coverage to facilitate business transactions.

  • Working with manufacturers to assess and manage environmental liabilities in acquisition and divestiture transactions.

  • Consulting with the Institute for European Environmental Policy in London.

  • Chairing Quarles & Brady’s Diversity Committee from its inception in 2001 through October 2008.

  • Member of the Firm’s Executive Committee; current chair of the Firm’s Legal Personnel Committee.

Ms. Peterson’s visionary leadership in this role led her to being named the first recipient, in 2009, of the Quarles & Brady Sandra Day O'Connor Diversity Award.

Under Ms. Peterson’s leadership, the Firm has been recognized nationally for its diversity and mentoring programs, including ratings in the 2007/2008 Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms as #17 Best for Diversity, #10 Best in Diversity with Respect to Women and #1 in Informal Training and Mentoring, as well as a 2007 ranking as the #1 Family-Friendly Law Firm by Yale Law Women. Quarles & Brady was also awarded the 2007 Pathfinder Award by Professional Dimensions for our “Women in Leadership” initiatives which support and advance professional women in the firm, and the 2005 Corporate Diversity Award by the Chicago Council for Urban Affairs.

Education and Honors
  • University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 1983)
    Phi Kappa Phi, Order of the Coif, Wisconsin Law Review (Articles Editor, 1982-1983), Law Clerk to the Hon. Luther M. Swygert, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit (1983-1984).
  • University of Wisconsin (B.A., 1977)
Bar Admissions
Wisconsin, 1983

Court Admissions
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1984
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1984
U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1983

Professional Recognition
  • Honored as one of 2009’s Women in the Law by the Wisconsin Law Journal.

  • Named a Woman of Influence by the Milwaukee Business Journal (2008).

  • Listed in The International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers (2005-present).

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (1999-present: Environmental Law / Litigation - Environmental / Natural Resources Law).

  • Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2014 Milwaukee Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year.”

  • Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2013 Milwaukee Natural Resources Law “Lawyer of the Year.”

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated.

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2005-2013 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists (Environmental).

  • Listed in Chambers USA® (2010-present: Natural Resources & Environment).

Professional and Civic Activities
  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Member).

  • American Bar Association (Member).

  • Milwaukee Bar Associations (Member).

  • U.S. Law Firm Group Women Lawyers Committee (Member).

  • Milwaukee High School of the Arts (Chair, School Governance Council).

  • (Board Member).

  • Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee (Board Member and Chair of Grants Advisory Committee).
Selected Presentations/Publications
  • Quoted, “Liable Parties: Rio Tinto Decree Can Serve as Template For PRPs Mulling State Lead, Panelist Says,” Bloomberg BNA, October 17, 2013.

  • Speaker, “A CERCLA Case Study: The Lower Fox River and Green Bay Site,” American Bar Association
    Section of Environment, Energy and Resources 21st Fall Conference Baltimore, MD, October 11, 2013.

  • Quoted, “Firms look to nontraditional incentives to attract, retain talent,” Wisconsin Law Journal, September 19, 2013.

  • Featured, “In Session: I Wish I’d Known,” Student Lawyer, American Bar Association, April 2013.

  • Co-author of Wisconsin Chapter, Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites, ABA, 2012.

  • Author, Chapter on U.S. Environmental Law, Croner’s Environmental Case Law, Croner Publications Ltd.

  • Co-chair, Lexis-Nexis® Women in the Legal Profession Summit, Chicago, Illinois, 2008.

  • Moderator, Quarles & Brady’s Women’s Retreat, May 2007.

  • Presentation to Trustees of U.S. Law Firm Group on: “Retention of Women Attorneys and Attorneys of Color,” January 2007.