Thomas J. Nichols


Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C.
111 East Kilbourn Avenue,
19th Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Tel: 414.273.1300


Thomas J. Nichols is a Shareholder and current President of Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Over the course of his 40-plus-year career, he has represented a great number of businesses in many different industries, as well as participated in the drafting and development of business and tax statutes and policy at both the state and federal levels.

Since joining Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols 1979, Thomas has focused his practice on the needs of closely held and other business owners and managers. This has unavoidably involved developing a depth of expertise and experience in the major areas of concern for business clients, including corporate structure, tax planning and contract drafting. It has also given Thomas the opportunity to work extensively in many specialized areas, including the following:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions (numerous multi-million dollar transactions on both the buy and sell side and involving many companies, including McGraw-Hill, GE Medical, Journal Communications, CNA Insurance Company and many privately held concerns)
  • Noncompete Agreements (successful litigation both enforcing agreements he drafted and defending clients he advised in starting up new businesses)
  • Joint Ventures (e.g., venture capital transactions, limited partnerships involving independent ongoing entities, real estate deals)
  • Corporate Structures (shareholder agreements, operating agreements, partnership agreements, articles of incorporation, bylaws; admitting new investors; successfully enforcing buyout obligations for both entities and departing owners)
  • Cross-Species Mergers and Conversions (changes in business form by business corporations, limited liability companies, nonstock and non-profit corporations, general partnerships, limited partnerships; election of S Corporation status by LLCs)
  • Business Succession (Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Defective Grantor Trusts, Private Annuities, Voting Trusts and Agreements)
  • Physician Groups (Hospital Contract negotiations, “satellite group” structures with individual physician service corporations, self-referral and anti-kickback rules, service corporation tax planning)
  • Wide Array of Industries (manufacturing, software, distributorships, publishing, sales, restaurants, medical billing, real estate, insurance companies and agents, physician groups, mutual fund advisory)
  • Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (1997 – 2022)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® (2009 – 2022)
  • Elijah Watts Sells Award Winner

At Meissner Tierney, our business and corporate attorneys represent a wide range of closely-held businesses, large and small, in a variety of industries.  We provide top-quality comprehensive legal advice to business owners and are able to anticipate future needs by becoming familiar with each client’s industry, with the goal of creating a long-lasting, strategic relationship with each of our clients.

Our business attorneys regularly advise business owners at every stage of the business lifecycle. For example, when a client comes to us with little more than an idea for a new business, we know how to take the idea and create the legal framework to make it a reality.  This may include helping clients choose an appropriate business entity to achieve the client’s business and tax goals. In addition to this, we also work to address our client’s unique needs and ensure the legal work provides certainty and stability in the business’s operations.

As our clients navigate owning and operating a business, we are there each step of the way.  We often work with clients to assess legal risks in everyday business issues.  As the business grows, our business attorneys are here to help expand through acquisitions and mergers.  And, when the time comes to sell or transition the business, our attorneys are well-equipped to appropriately structure and handle these transactions to maximize the value to the business owners.

We take pride in our ability to stay at the forefront of business, corporate law and tax issues.  Many of our attorneys regularly speak on these topics and have served on committees tasked with drafting legislation to update Wisconsin’s business entity statutes.

Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C. is a Milwaukee Business & Corporate law firm with an exceptional history, which spans more than 170 years. Throughout the decades, the firm has earned a reputation for unparalleled, effective client service and for high-quality legal representation.

This long-standing tradition of excellence, combined with the proven scholarship and business acumen of its lawyers, has enabled the firm to provide creative, aggressive, and efficient legal services to the broad spectrum of clients it serves.

Since our firm’s beginning, we have been in Downtown Milwaukee, the heart of the city’s major financial, business, and governmental district. Through the hard work and discipline of our predecessor attorneys, the firm has survived and thrived through a wide array of business, economic, and political conditions, allowing our firm to serve tens of thousands of clients throughout our history.

Though we have experienced many changes throughout the years, as Milwaukee lawyers one thing has always remained constant, and that is our devotion to our clients.