Nancy K. Peterson, Partner


When it comes to managing matters with dozens of moving parts, involving multiple parties on each side of the issue, Nancy Peterson is a veteran attorney who clients have counted on. As an environmental lawyer, she has led teams on cases requiring the coordination of myriad players and strategies involving manufacturers, family businesses and municipalities—juggling PR issues, settlement negotiations, contract negotiations, and insurance recovery efforts. When settlements cannot be reached, she has led 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 has represented clients at single owner cleanup sites as well as Superfund mega-sites, including 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. Nancy has served as group counsel or chaired steering committees at multiples sites and has devised several accepted allocation methodologies. She has also successfully negotiated and mediated multimillion-dollar settlements with insurance carriers to fund defense and indemnity costs.

In addition to managing litigation, Nancy has managed environmental compliance matters across the country for corporate clients, including 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.

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.

Nancy is a former elected member of the firm's governing Executive Committee and former chair of the firm's Legal Personnel Committee.

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
  • Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee, former board chair
  • Early Music Now, board president
  • 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 Leaders in the Law by the Wisconsin Law Journal, 2019
  • Recognized as Best Lawyers®, Milwaukee Litigation - Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2015, 2018
  • Recognized as Best Lawyers®, Milwaukee Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2014, 2017, 2020
  • Recognized as Best Lawyers®, Milwaukee Natural Resources Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2013
  • Listed in Chambers USA®, Natural Resources & Environment, 2010–present
  • Honored as one of Women in the Law by the Wisconsin Law Journal, 2009
  • 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 Wisconsin Super Lawyers®, Environmental, 2005–present
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Environmental Law; Litigation – Environmental; Natural Resources Law, 1999–present
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated