The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP and its chairman John W. Daniels Jr. today announced that Kimberly Leach Johnson has been selected as the firm’s next chairperson. Her term begins on October 1, 2013. Fredrick G. Lautz has been re-appointed as the firm’s managing partner.

“There are many outstanding partners at Quarles who could lead us forward, but Kim is a perfect reflection of the firm’s tradition of practice excellence and its progressive vision,” said Daniels. “She is an exceptional attorney and a collaborative, client-centric, business-minded leader, whose commitment is unsurpassed. I look forward to supporting her leadership. She understands that the most important attribute a firm can have is to create value for its clients. She will make sure Quarles continues to focus on that above all else.”

Johnson was most recently chair of the firm’s Finance Committee and managing partner of Quarles & Brady’s Naples and Tampa, Florida offices, and she continues to serve as a member of the firm’s elected Executive Committee. She is the first woman to serve as Quarles & Brady’s firm chair, adding to the organization’s long history of women leaders.

John Daniels will serve as chairman emeritus of the firm, in which role he will continue to focus on strategic counseling to business clients, with particular emphasis on financial services, health care and mid-market growth entities. Daniels will also serve as chair of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, a position he was elected to in January 2013.

“It’s been a privilege to lead Quarles & Brady with John. His energy, optimism, strategic vision and business acumen are unmatched, as is his commitment to client service. Those were exactly the leadership attributes we needed to succeed over the last six years,” said Lautz. “I look forward to working with Kim, whose insights and collaborative approach will further strengthen our culture and commitment to creating value for our clients and developing long-lasting client relationships.”

Johnson will work closely with Lautz and the rest of the leadership team in each of Quarles & Brady’s eight U.S. offices to help achieve the firm’s business plans.

“John Daniels sustained and grew Quarles & Brady during one of the most challenging economies in recent history, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to build upon that success,” said Johnson.

In Phoenix, office managing partner Jon E. Pettibone said, “We appreciate John Daniels’ sterling contribution to the success of our firm and our Phoenix office and look forward to working more closely with Kim Johnson, who is an excellent attorney, administrator and leader.”