Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Wynn turns complex transactions into practical business deals

By: Jane Pribek//June 23, 2011//

Wynn turns complex transactions into practical business deals

By: Jane Pribek//June 23, 2011//

Listen to this article
(Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)
(Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

As a young lawyer doing corporate transactions in the mid-1980s, Kim Wynn frequently was the only woman at the negotiation table.

“We dressed very much in little man suits,” she said. “We wore black and gray suits, and I’d shop and shop and shop to find a skirt without a slit. In my own mind, I couldn’t have that.

“We dress like women now, but in those days, we didn’t.”

Before long, though, Wynn’s gender took a backseat to her legal prowess.

She quickly rose through the ranks to make partner at Milwaukee firm Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek SC at a  time when few women earned that distinction. Wynn took leadership roles in transactions transferring $100 million or more, or when collateral was scattered throughout the country. She also took the lead in transactions involving complicated issues of international law.

Since 2005, she has led the firm’s finance team.

Her accomplishments do not surprise Daryl Diesing, who hired Wynn and is now one of her partners.

“Kim is one of the few lawyers,” he said, “who can quickly turn any type of complex transaction, with highly sophisticated documentation, into a practical business deal.”

Wynn said she was drawn to the firm because it presented an opportunity to immerse herself in a complicated area of law.

“I enjoy the sort of drama and intrigue of deal work,” she said. “They’ll never make a sitcom about deal work because it would be boring to watch. But there’s a lot of negotiating, and every deal has its own reasons why it works — that it becomes ‘the deal’ — and its own challenges.”

She said she enjoys working with her clients, many of whom have worked with the firm for a long time.

And despite the adversity that’s present as the lawyers strategize for their individual clients, Wynn said, there is an overarching feeling of teamwork.

In hindsight, the “man suits” of the mid-1980s were a small concern, Wynn said. The women who joined the profession in the late 1970s and early 1980s were the people who cleared the biggest hurdles, she said.

“They set the stage for us as they, in increasing numbers, demonstrated the competence and talent that women brought to the profession,” Wynn said. “They were also there for us as role models and mentors.”


What kind of stories do you want to read more of?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Legal News

See All Legal News

WLJ People

Sea all WLJ People

Opinion Digests