As a corporate services attorney, Fred Lautz was obviously a business lawyer, but it might be more accurate to call him a “legally licensed businessman.” He continued to practice corporate law, but he was fully ensconced at Quarles & Brady’s helm, supervised the partnership, guided the firm’s strategic and operational growth, and worked hand-in-hand with the firm chairperson to chart Quarles’ long-term course. Fred maintained a singular focus on business objectives, searched out systems that worked and didn't work, continuously conferred with the partners to maintain a strong sense of developing trends and themes, paid close attention to the numbers, and even more importantly, paid attention to what they meant. First and foremost, Fred viewed Quarles & Brady as a business concern and guided it accordingly, leveraged his position as the former managing partner and past member of the governing Executive Committee to grow the firm as a model of 21st-century legal services.
Fred practiced law in the areas of mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance & securities, worked with clients of all types and sizes, including financial institutions, mutual funds, and manufacturing, retail, distribution, and professional services companies. He advised businesses on corporate governance matters, buy/sell agreements, executive and equity compensation programs, general operational matters, and securities offerings (including public and private offerings of equity and debt securities). His experience represented mutual funds and investment advisors includes organization and initial registration, board composition and corporate governance matters, regulatory compliance, share distribution structures and relationships, and acquisitions and reorganizations.
Fred was a central driver in the firm’s culture of commitment to helping its clients; in fact, he considered it essential for Quarles lawyers and staff to help one another, and for the firm to be helpful to the community, as well as helping the firm’s clients sleep better at night. He was zealous for continuous improvement, patient only as long as the needle was moving in the right direction, and fearless of change where change was necessary, regardless of the institutional depth of the status quo.
Education and Honors
- University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 1985)
- Order of the Coif
- Wisconsin Law Review (Senior Note and Comment Editor)
- University of Wisconsin–La Crosse (M.E.P.D., 1980)
- Master of Education, Emphasis in Mathematics
- University of Wisconsin–La Crosse (B.S., 1975)
- Majors: Math and Physics
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1985
Professional and Civic Activities
- State Bar of Wisconsin (Member: Securities Law Committee; Subcommittee on 1933 and 1934 Act Disclosures; Subcommittee on Investment Companies)
- American Bar Association (Member, Business Law Section)
- Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2018 Milwaukee Securities / Capital Markets Law "Lawyer of the Year"
- Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2012 Milwaukee Mergers & Acquisitions Law "Lawyer of the Year"
- Listed in Best Lawyers® (2006–2019: Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Securities/Capital Markets Law)
- Selected for inclusion in the 2005–2019 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists (Mergers & Acquisitions)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated