William J. Abraham Jr

Retired Partner

Overview

A retired partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, William J. Abraham Jr. handled a broad range of business and real estate law matters, with an emphasis in securities, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and finance. He participated in more than 100 acquisition transactions and regularly represented aggressively growing companies that finance growth through creative use of private and public markets. Mr Abraham is a former chair of the Business Law Department and its Securities Law Practice and is also a former member of the firm's Management Committee. Mr. Abraham was a member of the Transactional & Securities Practice.

Representative Transactions

  • Represented Windway Capital in divesting a controlling interest in North Technology Group
  • Represented Quad/Graphics in the acquisition of World Color

Recognition

Mr. Abraham has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. He is included in Who's Who in American Law, The Best Lawyers in America© (since 1987), Who's Who in America, and Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers (2008-2015) for his work in corporate/M&A. In 2012, he was recognized by The Legal 500 for his work in the area of mergers and acquisitions. He was also selected for inclusion in recent Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists and has been named the 2013 Milwaukee Securities/Capital Markets Law, and 2014 Milwaukee Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America.

Affiliations

Mr. Abraham has served on numerous corporate boards, including The Vollrath Company, LLC; L'eft Bank Wine Company; Montgomery Elevator Corporation; Park Bank; Quad/Graphics, Inc.; Lakeview Equity Partners, LLC; and Windway Capital Corp. He has served on the boards of directors of numerous community service organizations, including Family Service of Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute advisory board, United Way of Greater Milwaukee, Children's Hospital Foundation (former chairman of the board), Children's Hospital and Health System of Wisconsin, Marquette University Business School Advisory Council, the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County, and the Greater Milwaukee Open. He was appointed by the mayor to the Milwaukee Downtown Master Plan Task Force. He is a member and past president of Tripoli Country Club and a member of the Milwaukee Club (board of directors), Milwaukee Athletic Club, Desert Mountain Country Club and Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.

Professional Memberships

Mr. Abraham's professional affiliations include membership in the State Bar of Wisconsin and the American, Seventh Circuit (federal) and United States Supreme Court Bar Associations. He has been a member of the State Bar Business Law Section Legislative Committee and served on a special committee that rewrote the Business Corporation Law while co-chairing a select subcommittee that introduced legislation clarifying the role of corporate directors and reducing their liability exposure. Mr. Abraham has spoken to bar, business and accounting groups on finance and acquisition matters, and he was a regular lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Executive MBA Program.

Education

Prior to joining Foley & Lardner in 1973, Mr. Abraham held a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Edward A. Tamm, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Washington, D.C. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1972, where he served as an editor of the Michigan Law Review and was awarded the Order of the Coif. Mr. Abraham received his B.A. degree with honors from the University of Illinois, where he studied economics, finance and real estate while achieving all-American honors as the Big Ten sabre fencing champion.

Representative Matters

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Represented a large privately owned company and its shareholders in a complex business succession planning transaction that included restructuring a holding company, implementation of a shareholders agreement and voting trust agreement, and implementation of generation-skipping planning for ownership transfers.