Joe Wilson, Partner


Joe Wilson is an energy and utility lawyer with extensive experience representing electric and gas utilities, as well as energy developers and customers of water and wastewater utilities. He counsels—and litigates on behalf of—clients on all aspects of utility business, including general and special purpose rate cases, construction projects, mergers and acquisitions, rate disputes, siting disputes, and more. Joe's focused concentration allows him to provide practical, results-oriented advice with cost-effective solutions.

He spends the majority of his time representing clients before state regulators, such as the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), among others.

Joe also has experience representing clients in complex commercial litigation in state and federal court in a variety of areas. These areas include contracts, construction disputes, False Claims Act/whistleblower complaints, unfair competition, ERISA, business breakups, and employment disputes.

In 2019, Joe was elected to serve on the firm's Executive Committee. He also currently serves as the co-chair of the firm's Associate Committee. Additionally, Joe leads Quarles & Brady's Milwaukee campaign for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. He also dedicates his time to his community and regularly represents victims of domestic violence in Milwaukee County's courts, assisting them with obtaining injunctions that bar contact by their abusers.

Joe's practice tenet is to "be passionate." It is no secret that there are many unhappy lawyers in this world, but Joe isn't one of them. Joe's professional happiness is the product of his great luck in having chosen an area of practice that is endlessly challenging and, therefore, interesting. Utility practice often involves "big questions" concerning fairness between classes of customers and difficult issues of engineering and economics. Joe brings a passion to his practice that is born of being absolutely invested in his clients' interests. He's always been fascinated by big machines, so working in and around power plants is a thrill for him. This "ground-up" view of his clients' businesses allows him to bring practical, results-oriented advice to bear on legal and business challenges.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, Certificate, Quarles & Brady Leadership Program (2016)
  • University of Iowa College of Law (J.D., 2004)
    • Iowa Law Review (Note and Comment Editor; Student Writer)
    • Baskerville Moot Court Competition (Finalist)
    • Phi Delta Phi
  • Marquette University (B.A., 2000)
    • St. Thomas Aquinas Scholar

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 2004

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Wisconsin Policy Forum, board of directors
  • American Bar Association, Energy, Utility and Litigation Sections, member
  • Wisconsin Bar Association, Energy, Utility and Litigation Sections, member
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Association, former board member

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America®, Energy Law, Energy Regulatory Law, 2023
  • State Bar of Wisconsin – Pro Bono Honor Society (2013-2014)
  • Selected for inclusion in Wisconsin Super Lawyers®–Rising Stars Edition 2010 (Utilities)
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