Joseph C. Branch

Retired Partner


Joseph C. Branch is a retired partner with Foley & Lardner LLP and is a former member of the firm's Management Committee. He was a member and former chair of the Insurance & Reinsurance Industry Practice and was also a member of the Transactional & Securities Practice. Mr. Branch has extensive experience in representation of insurance industry entities in regulatory and corporate transactional areas. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and chaired the State Bar of Wisconsin's Insurance Committee from 1980 to 1986 and later served as the first president of the Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. He also has served as a member of the State Bar's Board of Governors and Executive Committee and has been a member of the Business Corporation Law Committee.

A member of the American Bar Association and its Tort & Insurance Practice Section, Mr. Branch has served on the ABA's Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability. He is a member and past director of the Milwaukee Bar Association. He also is a member of The Defense Research Institute, Inc. and the International Association for Insurance Law. Mr. Branch served as a member of the board and as chair of the Federation of Regulatory Counsel and was a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Insurance Regulation from 1985 to 2007. He was Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system.

Mr. Branch co-authored "Insurers Operating Under Assumed or Fictitious Names: When, How and . . . What?!" and "The LLC Bandwagon: Insurers Beware," published in Federation of Regulatory Counsel's Quarterly Journal of Insurance Law and Regulation.

Mr. Branch is a graduate of Marquette University Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 1971), where he served as an editor of the Marquette Law Review, and Marquette University (B.A., 1967). He was admitted to the Wisconsin Bar in 1971.

Representative Matters

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Successfully represented a mid-size property & casualty insurance company before a state insurance department in connection with obtaining the department's approval of a management incentive compensation arrangement for an executive officer of the company. The state insurance department initially expressed strong concerns over the arrangement, but our negotiations with the department resulted in unconditional approval of the arrangement.
Acted as lead counsel for a mid-size Midwestern life insurance mutual holding company in its mutual holding company merger with another life insurance mutual holding company organization. Foley handled all aspects of the transaction, including drafting and negotiation of definitive and ancillary agreements, preparation of all state and federal regulatory filings, attaining all state and federal regulatory approvals, counseling the board on governance issues related to the transaction, and assisting the company in securing member approval of the transaction.
Represented Milwaukee Mutual Insurance Company in its successful conversion to a mutual insurance holding company structure. In connection with this restructuring, Milwaukee Mutual converted from a mutual to a stock insurer named Milwaukee Insurance Company and also became the wholly-owned subsidiary of Mutual Insurers Holding Company, a newly created mutual insurance holding company. The process required regulatory approval from the Wisconsin insurance department, re-licensing in many jurisdictions, and approval from the mutual insurer's policyholders. Following an exhaustive review process, Foley obtained regulatory approval from the Wisconsin insurance department, followed by a successful policyholder vote, and successful efforts to have the company re-licensed in many of the jurisdictions in which the company did business.


Foley Attorneys Named to Who’s Who Legal 2016
13 October 2016
Who's Who Legal