Cole, William S.

William S. Cole

Hannah Massey


Attorney William S. Cole is a partner managing the firm’s municipal group, with over 30 years of experience in municipal law, real estate law and civil litigation.

Over the course of his career, Attorney Cole has worked in both the private and public sectors, handling all legal matters for various municipalities across Wisconsin. Currently, he represents over 30 municipal entities; serving as corporation counsel for Iowa County; city attorney for the cities of Monona, Platteville and Waterloo; village attorney for the villages of Windsor, Black Earth, Maple Bluff, Mazomanie, Prairie du Sac, and Warrens; and legal counsel to numerous towns, fire districts, sewerage districts and redevelopment entities. Attorney Cole has particular expertise in the areas of tax incremental financing, condemnation, public bidding, and liquor licensing matters. Attorney Cole’s recent municipal work includes:

  • Successfully concluded numerous multi-million dollar municipal development projects through all stages; including land acquisition, condemnation, negotiation of development agreements, environmental remediation, relocation of displaced persons, financing, and construction.
  • Drafting and implementation of what has been reported to be the first agreement in Wisconsin for the purchase of solar energy by a municipality from a private non-utility.
  • Drafting and implementation of what has been reported to be one of the first anti-bullying ordinances in the nation.
  • Advising a community regarding the abatement of a nuisance industry and successfully defending same through the Court of Appeals.
  • Advising a community regarding the revocation of the liquor license of a nuisance entertainment venue and successfully defending same in court.
  • Successfully defending on behalf of a community through the Court of Appeals the tax assessment of an urban property owner contending their parcel qualified for assessment as an agricultural use.
  • Advising and litigating on behalf of a state-wide association regarding public bidding and prevailing wage requirements.

He also represents private clientele in matters concerning municipal law, condemnation, land use and civil litigation. He has litigated hundreds of cases and handled numerous multi-million dollar brownfield projects.

Attorney Cole frequently speaks at various professional seminars and teaches a Lawyering Skills Course in Local Government at the University of Wisconsin Law School. In addition, he has served as an ethics advisor and a Staff Judge Advocate for the US Army.


J.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School
B.A., cum laude, Ripon College