Anne E. Ross

Partner

Overview

Anne E. Ross, a business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, has worked in the field of business law for more than 30 years. Her practice reflects the growing intellectual asset-based economy of the Upper Midwest, including extensive work with technology-driven companies and their investors, insurance companies, and tax-exempt organizations. Ms. Ross strives to work as her clients' partner in making the most of business opportunities, solving problems, and avoiding potential disputes through active listening, creative negotiation, and precise drafting of transactional documents. She acts as "outside general counsel" to many of her clients, serving as the focal point to bring the full resources of Foley to bear on the project at hand in an effective and efficient manner. Ms. Ross is a member of the firm’s Private Equity & Venture Capital and Transactional & Securities Practices, and the Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Insurance & Reinsurance Industry Teams. She is also a former managing partner of the firm’s Madison office.

Ms. Ross serves as counsel to public and private companies in a variety of technology-driven industries. She has had extensive experience handling mergers and acquisitions, distribution and licensing arrangements, private debt and equity financings, and strategic partnerships for medical device manufacturers, software developers, communications technology companies, content providers, new media companies, and manufacturers of a wide range of materials and products. Ms. Ross regularly works with university faculty members, research scientists, and engineers on company formation, start-up funding, and commercialization of emerging technology. She also represents venture capital, "angel," and institutional investors in fund formation and portfolio investment and divestment transactions.

Ms. Ross' insurance industry experience includes regulatory compliance work (including new company formation) for title, health, life, and property/casualty insurers; mergers and acquisitions of stock and mutual companies; demutualizations; bulk reinsurance transactions; insolvency workouts; formation of holding companies; and private financing and strategic partnership transactions.

Ms. Ross has served as legal counsel to scores of tax-exempt entities, including public charities, grant-making foundations, research institutions, and trade groups. She has worked with the state of Wisconsin to organize several public/private nonprofit ventures, and has extensive experience with nonprofit/for-profit partnerships, cooperative research and development agreements, and licensing arrangements.

Recognition

In 2006 - 2016, Ms. Ross was selected for inclusion in the Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists. She has been named the Best Lawyers® 2011 Madison Insurance Lawyer of the Year, 2013 Madison Mergers & Acquisitions Law Lawyer of the Year, and 2017 Corporate Law Lawyer of the Year, and has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2008 in the categories of corporate law, insurance law, and mergers & acquisitions law. In 2015, Ms. Ross was recognized in The Legal 500 for her work in insurance - non-contentious. She is named a "top lawyer" by Madison Magazine and has received the Wisconsin Law Journal "Leader in the Law" award. Ms. Ross has also been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system.

Affiliations

Ms. Ross is a founder and director of Accelerate Madison (a trade group for technology companies) and a director of and legal counsel to the Women in Manufacturing Association. She has served as a director of Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company since 1988 and SECURA Insurance, A Mutual Company, since 1993.

Education

Ms. Ross graduated with her J.D. from Stanford University Law School in 1981, where she was associate editor of the Stanford Law Review. She earned a B.A. in physical anthropology, with distinction, from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1977.

Community Engagement

Ms. Ross has served on the boards of directors of a number of nonprofit organizations and public commissions, including the Madison YWCA, the Urban League of Greater Madison, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, the Business Forum, the Benedictine Life Foundation, the United Way of Dane County, and the Henry Vilas Zoo Commission.

Selected Publications

  • Co-author, Venture Financing: Raising Capital in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Department of Commerce publication
  • Co-author, A Guide For Wisconsin Nonprofit Organizations, Wisconsin State Bar publication

Representative Matters

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Foley served as counsel for the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) in its role as domestic regulator of Ambac Assurance Corporation (AAC) and as rehabilitator of the Segregated Account of AAC. We have been closely involved with the overall restructuring of AAC, including the recently announced global settlement with the CDO of ABS counterparties.
Foley represented American Family Mutual Insurance Company in connection with American Family's creation of, and investment in, Seattle-based start-up AssureStart, a managing general agent providing a direct, on-line platform for the purchase and sale of small business property and casualty insurance.
Foley served as lead outside deal and regulatory counsel to American Family Mutual Insurance Company in its $660 million acquisition of Homesite Group Inc. and its various insurance subsidiaries. Foley assisted in due diligence, took the lead in negotiating and drafting all definitive and ancillary agreements for the transaction, prepared American Family's federal and state insurance regulatory filings and obtained all corresponding regulatory approvals, and handled the closing of the transaction. The deal required regulatory approvals/non-disapprovals from the state insurance departments in New York, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, North Dakota, Kansas, Texas and Wisconsin.