John Finerty Photo

John D. Finerty, Jr.

Industry Group Chair, Banking & Financial Services


Colleagues and clients alike describe John as a creative and pragmatic litigator. As an advisor to corporate boards, CEOs, and presidents of publicly traded and privately held companies, John puts his law degree and Masters in Economics to work serving banks and insurance industry clients in a broad range of complex disputes including:

  • Federal and state court litigation of insolvancy matters including receiverships and adversarial proceedings
  • Corporate governance and directors and officers liability issues
  • Insurance company insolvencies and rehabilitations
  • Minority shareholder disputes
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) claims
  • Restrictive covenant litigation, including injunctions and temporary restraining orders
  • Theft of trade secrets
  • Commercial and residential foreclosure litigation and workouts
  • Litigation consulting on mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies


John’s clients achieve business objectives in litigation. When the situation calls for it, he takes cases to a decision or trial and wins. In that capacity, he has been lead counsel or co-counsel on a number of groundbreaking cases, many of which resulted in published decisions:

  • In Re the Rehabilitation of the Segregated Account of Ambac Assurance Corp., Case No. 10-cv-1576 (Dane Co. Cir. Ct.)(Jan. 22, 2018). Won court approval of a $5 Billion debt exchange transaction to facilitate a successful exit of the Segregated Account of Ambac Assurance Corp. from an insurance rehabilitation, the largest in Wisconsin history.*
  • Marks v. Houston Casualty Co., 2015 WI App. 44. Successfully represented a non-admitted insurance carrier in a duty to defend case that was the first to interpret a surplus-lines policy.
  • Principle Solutions, LLC v. Feed.Ing BV, No. 13-C-223, 2014 WL 4954465 (E.D. Wis. Sept. 30, 2014). Summary judgment granted in a U.C.C. sale of goods case on a counter-claim for more than $12 million.
  • Joy Global, Inc. v. Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, 739 F. Supp. 2d 711 (D. Del. 2010). Co-chair of the trial team that successfully defended a $20 million employee benefit claim by the State of Wisconsin that arose out of the Chapter 11 reorganization of Harnischfeger Industries.
  • H.A. Friends v. Friends Professional Stationary, 2006 WI App.141 (Ct. App. 2006). Prosecuted the former president of a franchise under Wisconsin’s civil theft statute for converting corporate funds to personal use.
  • Tesmer v. Charter Films, 396 F. Supp.2d 969 (W.D. Wis. 2005). Successfully compelled performance of a minority shareholder’s buy-sell agreement.
  • C.L. v. Menomonee Falls, et al. 221 Wis. 2d 692 (Ct. App. 1998). The first Wisconsin appellate case to analyze the scope of an employment practices liability policy and then exclude coverage for intentional, criminal acts.

In addition, John has litigated more than 50 private arbitration hearings and administrative cases before state, federal and local governmental agencies. 

*Disclaimer: OCI retained Michael Best in this case pursuant to its procurement protocols after issuance of a Request for Qualifications; selection of the firm as counsel is not an endorsement by the state of Wisconsin or any state agency.

Honors & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation, 2009-present 
  • Leader in the Law, Wisconsin Law Journal, 2019
  • "Leading Lawyers" list, Milwaukee's M Magazine, 2015
  • “Forty Under 40” leader in the business community, “an outstanding employment litigation attorney" Business Journal, 1996
  • “Wisconsin Super Lawyers" list in the area of general litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine, 2005-present

Professional Activities

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors, Managed Health Services Insurance Corp., a subsidiary of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC), 2010 to present; Board member, 2009-2010
  • Past Chairman, Civil Litigation Section, Milwaukee Bar Association, 2004-2006
  • Frequent Contributor, on business and litigation topics to Marquette Law Review, Wisconsin Law Journal, American Juris Prudence, The Practical Litigator and the Labor Lawyer



Community Involvement

  • Volunteer General Counsel, Whitefish Bay Lady Dukes Softball Club, Inc., 2010-2012
  • Board Member, Whitefish Bay Little League Board of Directors, 2008-2011
  • Board Member, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 1999-2002
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