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John M. Van Lieshout is a shareholder in the firm’s Environmental/Real Estate and Litigation practices, where his years of experience, unique insights and practical solutions make him a valuable legal partner to his clients. He provides knowledgeable, effective counsel on a wide variety of environmental matters including brownfields financing, remediation, and merger/acquisition due diligence as well as litigation including Superfund/CERCLA cleanup cases and defense of environmental enforcement/forfeiture cases. 

He regularly represents municipalities and government agencies with eminent domain issues and litigates complex creditor/debtor matters including mortgage foreclosures and actions against guarantors. He serves as a trusted adviser and legal strategist who provides creative and cost-effective solutions to complex legal issues. Clients appreciate John’s passion, dedication and his warm sense of humor that help diffuse stressful situations. He strives to make this complex area of law accessible and less intimidating to clients, providing perspective and helping them work toward successful resolutions.

John is active with community organizations such as Sponsor-A-Scholar that help young people reach their full potential and develop into productive, caring and responsible citizens. He has written and published a book, Growing Up Little Chute, about his childhood in Little Chute, Wisconsin. John is also a blue-ribbon winner in the Wisconsin State Fair culinary competition, and a finisher of an Ironman Triathlon.


  • J.D., Marquette University Law School
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Marquette University

Bar Admissions



  • Representing buyers/sellers in merger/acquisition environmental due diligence
  • Representing developers in obtaining brownfields financing
  • Superfund/CERCLA representation, including the Fox River, Wisconsin PCB litigation
  • Defense of environmental forfeiture cases, including Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Stormwater and Asbestos

Honors & Affiliations


  • Best Lawyers in America (Environmental Law; Litigation - Environmental)
  • Selected for inclusion in Wisconsin Super Lawyers (2005 to present)
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2010 to present)
  • Wisconsin Top Rated Lawyer Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters (former)
  • Sponsor-A-Scholar
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Milwaukee Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin

News & Insights


  • "15 Minutes With John Van Lieshout," featured, MKE Lifestyle (August 2023)
  • "Superfund's Municipal Settlement Policy" - National Environmental Enforcement Journal (May 1991)
  • "Bankruptcy Code Offers Little Protection to Polluters" - Wisconsin Lawyer (May 1991)
  • "Bankers Beware: Liability of Lending Institutions Under Superfund" - Hofstra Property Law Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2 (1989)
  • "Superfund Environmental Cleanup" - Wisconsin Lawyer, Vol. 62, No. 6 (June 1989)"Superfund Statute of Limitations" - Toxics Law Reporter (BNA), Vol. 3, No. 33 (1988)
  • "Breaking the Bank: Liability Under Superfund" - Real Estate Review, Vol. 10, No. 2 (1986)