John Daniels became chairman emeritus in October 2013, having completed an extraordinarily successful six-year term as chairman of the firm. As chairman, he led the firm through a fundamental transformation, shifting from the traditional operational model upon which most major law firms are built to a client-centric, business-minded organization. Mr. Daniels drove that cultural shift in the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression, leading the firm to significant growth while much of the legal industry declined.
Mr. Daniels is well recognized in the legal community as well as the business community. He was named by the National Law Journal as one of the nation’s fifty (50) most influential diverse attorneys in America. He is listed in The Business Journal of Milwaukee “Power Book” (2009 & 2010), was named 2009 “Lawyer of the Year” by the Milwaukee Bar Association, received the 2008 “Leadership Award” from the National Bar Association, and was identified as one of the “100 Managing Partners You Need to Know” by Lawdragon in 2008. In 2013, Mr. Daniels was named 2013 "Partner of the Year" by a group of managing partners affiliated with the National Bar Association. Finally, Mr. Daniels is fully credentialed in legal literature, having been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (1993-present: Real Estate Law), Chambers USA®(2003-present: Real Estate) and the 2005-2013 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists (Real Estate). He is also Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated.
Mr. Daniels, formerly the national president of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, has established an impressive career in the practice of real estate law, representing national, regional, local and governmental owners, and investors. He has played a significant role in some of the most complex real estate redevelopment projects in the United States, including representing the largest property owner in connection with the redevelopment of the Midwest Airlines Center and representing the largest property owner in connection with the redevelopment of the Bradley Sports Center. He has also served as lead counsel for major institutions both in the financing and the disposition of commercial office space. He serves as national real estate counsel for Philip Morris Capital Corporation and has represented a number of major corporations on their real estate developments throughout the U.S., including General Electric Capital Corporation, Xerox Corporation and Kraft Foods.
Mr. Daniels has further led Quarles to a position of industry prominence as a firm that values diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The Firm ranks impressively in surveys conducted by women’s and minority groups, and both clients and independent organizations have recognized and honored Quarles for its achievements in this area. As the only African-American chairman in the AmLaw 200, Mr. Daniels was named one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal
in 2008, and he has received the 2008 James Howard Baker Award for his efforts to improve the quality of life for African-Americans in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He also received the “Human Relations Award” from The National Conference for Community and Justice, the “Outstanding Community Leader Award” by the Thurgood J. Marshall College Fund, and he was named to the national Hall of Fame by the National Black Law Students Association in 2009. Most recently, Mr. Daniels received the 2012 Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Legal Profession.