Nancy K. Peterson, Partner


When it comes to managing matters with dozens of moving parts, involving multiple parties on each side of the issue, Executive Committee member Nancy Peterson is a veteran attorney who clients count on. As an environmental lawyer, she has led teams on cases requiring the coordination of myriad players and strategy involving manufacturers, family businesses and municipalities—juggling PR issues, settlement negotiations, contract negotiations with consultants and cleanup contractors and, when settlements cannot be reached, leading the litigation effort, all within client budgets. While never neglecting the details, she focuses on “the big picture,” and pursues her clients' objectives to successful conclusion.

She is currently representing a former owner of a paper mill at the Fox River site, one of the world’s largest river and sediment environmental projects. At that site and others across the country, she has overseen multidisciplinary technical evaluations to affect remedy selection, negotiated Consent Decrees with environmental agencies, and directed contractors to perform work cost effectively. She has served as group counsel or chaired steering committees at multiples sites and has devised several accepted allocation methodologies. She has represented clients on remediation and environmental compliance matters in 14 states. Ms. Peterson has also successfully negotiated and mediated multimillion-dollar settlements with insurance carriers to fund defense and indemnity costs.

Over the past few years Ms. Peterson has tried two highly complex environmental cases asserting response cost and natural resource damage claims involving the Fox River Site. She is also handling appeals of an injunction and a contribution judgment at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

In addition to litigation, Nancy has managed many environmental matters across the country for 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 she has consulted with the Institute for European Environmental Policy in London.

Fixing problems is what brings Nancy to the office each day. There’s nothing she loves more than to learn a client's business objectives, bring judgment to bear on a matter and have it go well.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 1983)
    • Order of the Coif
    • Wisconsin Law Review (Articles Editor, 1982–1983)
    • Law Clerk to the Hon. Luther M. Swygert, U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit (1983–1984)
  • University of Wisconsin (B.A., 1977)

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin

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 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)
  • Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee (Board Chair)
  • Early Music Now (Board Member)
  • Ice Age Trail Alliance (Board Member)
  • Milwaukee High School of the Arts (Past Chair, School Governance Council)
  • [email protected] (Past Board Member)

Professional Recognition

  • Honored as one of 2019's Leaders in the Law by the Wisconsin Law Journal
  • Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2015, 2018 Milwaukee Litigation - Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2014, 2017, 2020 Milwaukee Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2013 Milwaukee Natural Resources Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Listed in Chambers USA® (2010–present: Natural Resources & Environment)
  • 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 Environmental Lawyers (2005–present)
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2005–present Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists (Environmental)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (1999–present: Environmental Law; Litigation – Environmental; Natural Resources Law)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated