The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that its chairman, John W. Daniels Jr. received the prestigious Presidential Legacy Award from the National Bar Association at its inaugural gala on Sat., Jan. 19 at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
The Presidential Legacy Award is bestowed upon individuals who have been or are engaged in civic, entrepreneurial and professional endeavors that advance and preserve the heritage of African Americans. Daniels joins previous recipients, the former chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers and Rep. John Lewis and the legendary Tuskegee Airmen in receiving the honor. Daniels received the award for his impact on the profession and the achievements of Quarles & Brady as a law firm.
“John W. Daniels Jr. epitomizes what legacy is all about,” said John Page. “He has been a business, civic and entrepreneurial leader. His life’s work, which continues, provides both a blueprint for success and accomplishment but also a legacy that we as Americans and African Americans should aspire.”
“To be so recognized by the National Bar Association is the tribute of a career,” said Daniels. “There’s nothing more satisfying than leaving behind a lasting legacy, and nothing more gratifying than to be honored for having done so.”
Daniels, formerly the national president of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, has established an impressive career in the practice of real estate law, representing national, regional, local and governmental owners, and investors. He has played a significant role in some of the most complex real estate redevelopment projects in the United States, including representing the largest property owner in connection with the redevelopment of the then-Midwest Airlines Center and representing the largest property owner in connection with the redevelopment of the Bradley Sports Center.
Daniels has also served as lead counsel for major institutions both in the financing and the disposition of commercial office space. He serves as national real estate counsel for Philip Morris Capital Corporation and has represented a number of major corporations on their real estate developments throughout the U.S., including General Electric Capital Corporation, Xerox Corporation and Kraft Foods.
In addition to being well-recognized in the legal community, Daniels is also recognized in the business community. He was named one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal in 2008. In 2012 he received a Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Legal Profession, and recently received an Excellence in Education Award from the Milwaukee Public School Board of School Directors as well as a “Friend of the University Award” from the Marquette University Alumni Association.
As chairman of Quarles & Brady since 2007, Daniels has led the firm through a fundamental transformation, shifting from the traditional operational model upon which most major law firms are built to a client-centric, business-minded organization. He has driven this fundamental cultural shift in the midst of the worst economy in decades, leading to significant growth while much of the legal industry declined.