Passionate about utilities, results-driven legal counsel
Joe Wilson is an energy and utility lawyer who spends much of his time representing clients before state regulators. He has extensive experience representing electric and gas utilities, energy developers and customers of water and wastewater utilities in:
- General and special purpose rate cases
- Construction projects
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Siting disputes
- Enforcement actions
- Complaint cases
Utility practice involves big questions about fairness, about the future of technological innovation, and about burdens and benefits. Being a good utility lawyer requires understanding difficult issues of engineering and economics. Fascinated by these questions and by power plants and big machines, Joe brings a passion to his practice that is born of being absolutely invested in his clients' interests. Combined with Joe’s in-depth understanding of his clients' businesses, this passion allows him to bring practical, results-oriented advice to bear on their legal and business challenges.
Joe brings equal passion to introducing new and existing clients to his gifted colleagues at Quarles. Joe prides himself on knowing the firm’s lawyers and their unique talents, and connecting clients to the lawyer who can best address their complex legal problems.
Joe 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 is a member of the firm's executive committee and is co-chair of the firm's associate committee.
Experience in Action
- Representing utilities before state regulators such as the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and the Illinois Commerce Commission, among others.
- Counseling and litigating for clients on all aspects of the utility and energy business, including general and special purpose rate cases, construction projects, mergers and acquisitions, siting disputes, appeals and more.
- Representing non-utility clients before regulatory agencies in rate cases and other regulatory proceedings, including enforcement actions and complaint cases.
- Advising businesses in complex commercial litigation in state and federal court.
- On behalf of a utility client, successfully obtained regulatory approval for thousands of megawatts of renewable and conventional electric generation and natural gas distribution and storage projects.
- Prosecuted tens of special and general purpose rate cases, including through appeals.
- Advocated and won restructuring of distributed generation tariffs on behalf of utility client, resulting in more equitable payment of fixed costs by all customers of the utility.
- Represented public utility in arbitration against contractor concerning warranty defects in a newly-completed power plant, resulting in favorable multi-million-dollar settlement.
- 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)
Professional & Civic Activities
- Wisconsin Policy Forum, board of directors, former board member
- 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
- Quarles United Way Campaign, former leader, achieving the first $1 million campaign for a Milwaukee law firm
- Wisconsin Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, former board member
- Emerging Leaders of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, former board member
News & Insights
- News Release
- News Release
- News Release
- Pro Bono
- 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
- 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