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John M. Van Lieshout is a shareholder in the firm's Environmental/Real Estate and Litigation practices where he has built a successful practice over the last three decades. Drawing from his extensive background, John successfully represents a range of clients with a practice primarily focused on environmental counseling including brownfields financing, remediation, and merger/acquisition due diligence as well as environmental litigation including Superfund/CERCLA cleanup cases and defense of environmental enforcement/forfeiture cases.

He also has substantial experience representing municipalities and government agencies with Eminent Domain issues and has litigated several complicated creditor/debtor matters including mortgage foreclosures and actions against guarantors and receiverships. John represents sophisticated clients with a diverse blend of legal issues. He serves as a trusted advisor and legal strategist who relies upon his vast knowledge and breadth of experience to provide creative, cost-effective solutions to complex legal issues, and clients appreciate his passion, dedication, and his sense of humor as he is able to lighten stressful and serious situations by injecting subtle humor into conversations.

Realizing the value of giving back to the community, John supplements his legal profession by being involved in numerous organizations. He enjoys the opportunity to be involved in organizations dedicated to the enhancement of the lives of young people so they can reach their full potential and develop into productive, caring, and responsible citizens.

John primarily serves clients in the following areas:

  • Environmental Litigation

  • Real Estate and Construction Litigation

  • Environmental Law

  • Creditor - Debtor Litigation, complicated mortgage foreclosures, actions against guarantor and receiverships


  • 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

  • Sponsor A Scholar

  • Boys and Girls Club

  • Milwaukee Bar Association

News & Insights


  • "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)