CHICAGO — Milwaukee-based Quarles & Brady LLP has hired veteran bond attorney Scott Bremer as a partner in its Chicago office to help the firm as it seeks to expand its public finance practice to cover the state of Illinois and local government issuers here.

Bremer, a tax specialist, left Chicago-based Pugh, Jones, Johnson & Quandt PC — where he was a partner — to join Quarles, which is seeking to carve out a chunk of legal business on Illinois deals. "I was happy at Pugh Jones but this was too good of an opportunity for me to pass up at this point in my career," Bremer, 61, said Wednesday.

Bremer started Friday, joining the firm's 22-member group of public finance attorneys located in its various offices. The firm employs a total of 425 lawyers located in offices in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Wisconsin and China. Bremer will also work with attorneys in other offices to help build the firm's underwriters' counsel role.

"We are excited to welcome Scott to the firm as we continue to strategically expand our capabilities in Chicago and throughout Illinois," Ted Yi, co-managing partner of the Chicago office, said in a statement. "Scott's considerable experience serving as bond counsel and working across the spectrum of public finance matters is a significant asset to our strategic growth."

Bremer's experience working for Chicago, Illinois and other area issuer clients crosses most public finance sectors including general government, utility debt, special assessment, refundings, housing, industrial revenue bonds, and health and higher education.

He has worked in the role of bond counsel, underwriters counsel, special tax counsel, issuer's counsel and as counsel to credit-enhancement providers. Bremer joined minority-owned Pugh Jones in 2001 after 10 years at the former Altheimer & Gray, where he was a partner. He previously had spent 15 years at Chicago-based Chapman and Cutler.

Quarles & Brady has not served as bond counsel on any deals for Illinois issuers in recent years, according to Thomson Reuters. It ranks 10th so far this year among bond counsel in the Midwest after also finishing 10th last year.

Pugh Jones ranks seventh to date in 2011 among bond counsel firms on Illinois issuer deals and was ranked eighth in 2010. It ranks 33rd among bond counsel so far this year in the Midwest and finished 21st last year. Quarles ranks 37th in 2011 nationally and finished 33rd in 2010, while Pugh ranks 142nd so far this year and was 68th last year.

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