At Bakke Norman Law Office they believe it’s the people that make a place successful. From the firm’s humble founding by three lawyers operating out of a converted farmhouse to their current offices in four Northwest Wisconsin communities, the lawyers at Bakke Norman have reached top-tier status by following their guiding principles: “Genuine people. Accomplished attorneys. Exceptional advice.”
Bakke Norman has been setting the legal standard in Northwest Wisconsin since 1985. They are proud to be ranked “One of the Best Law Firms in America” by US News, and their lawyers have received the highest ratings by Wisconsin Super Lawyers’ Magazine, AVVO and Martindale-Hubbell. Their clients appreciate the exceptional service and results, and their employees enjoy a great place to work.
“Most people don’t want to come to a lawyer, but when they do they want their lawyer to take care of them,” said the firm’s Managing Partner Deanne Koll. “We actively seek out lawyers and staff who are not only proficient in the law but will listen to and understand what the client is going through. We also want people who care about the communities in which they live and work.”
Deanne Koll leads the firm by example. She is recognized throughout the state for her involvement with the State Bar of Wisconsin, where she has served as the Chair of the Board of Governors and is the organization’s current Treasurer, and is well-known locally for her work on community boards and coaching girls basketball. As a young lawyer, Koll was consistently recognized as a Wisconsin Rising Star for the quality of her legal work in representing financial institutions and businesses. The accolades have continued as she was named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer in her first year of eligibility in 2022, an honor shared by her law partners Tim O’Brien and Bill Wallo.
Eau Claire native Tim O’Brien has been a part of the Bakke Norman team since 1991. He focuses on what he calls “trouble law,” representing businesses and individuals in commercial litigation, personal injury claims, and serious criminal charges. He has received many accolades over the years, including recently being selected for the 15th time as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer. The National Board of Trial Advocacy has certified O’Brien as a “Trial Specialist” each year since 2000, he has earned an AVVO rating of 10 (“superb”), and he has received the highest “AV-Preeminent” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell.
“As a lawyer, what really brings me satisfaction is when I see that our firm has made a difference in somebody’s life,” O’Brien said. “I often see people at the most stressful time they’ve ever faced — they’ve been injured and can’t work, they’ve had a falling out with a business partner or major customer, or they’ve been accused of a serious crime. I take great pride in guiding them through the process and helping them achieve a brighter future.”
On top of his Wisconsin Super Lawyer’s recognition, Bill Wallo was named the Eau Claire area’s business bankruptcy and insolvency “Lawyer of the Year” in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. He is widely known in Wisconsin and throughout the country for his work in commercial transactions, debtor-creditor relations, and bankruptcy. He too has received the highest “AV-Preeminent” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell. In addition to his legal work, Attorney Wallo has been active locally as a volunteer with organizations such as the Pablo Center at the Confluence, the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, the Chippewa Valley Book Festival, L’Eau Claire Jazz Society, Inc., the Chamber of Commerce, and the Eau Claire Economic Development Corporation.
Attorneys Wallo, O’Brien and Koll are but three of the 12 talented lawyers on the Bakke Norman team. Each attorney focuses on unique areas of practice, which allows the firm to collectively offer a comprehensive range of legal expertise to meet the diverse needs of clients across the Chippewa Valley and beyond. So whether you are looking to start or transfer a business, sell a home or a farm, want to plan your estate, or are in need of an experienced courtroom lawyer, the determined and compassionate lawyers at Bakke Norman have the skill and expertise to help you.