Andrew C. Cook

Andrew C. Cook

Senior Counsel, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Andrew C. Cook rejoined Hamilton Consulting Group in 2018 as an owner where he represents clients with a variety of interests before the Wisconsin State Legislature and state agencies. Andy’s unique blend of regulatory, legislative, and legal experience helps clients achieve their objectives before government agencies. His practice focuses on administrative law, civil liability, environmental, and matters before state Attorneys General.

In 2014, Andy was appointed Deputy Attorney General of Wisconsin, the principal legal advisor to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad D. Schimel. As Deputy Attorney General, Andy oversaw the day-to-day operations of the nearly 700 employees at the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ); directed litigation strategy; negotiated, reviewed, and approved settlements; drafted and reviewed attorney general opinions; managed the agency’s budget; oversaw civil and criminal investigations handled by DOJ; and managed DOJ’s legislative agenda.

While in Attorney General Schimel’s office, Andy founded the Office of Solicitor General, an elite group of appellate attorneys. Under Andy’s direction, the Solicitor General’s office was instrumental in drafting briefs and declarations to the U.S. Supreme Court that resulted in a stay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. In addition, the Solicitor General’s office played a key role in drafting briefs in the case challenging EPA’s Waters of the United States rule.

Prior to his work at DOJ, Andy had a significant role at Hamilton Consulting Group in developing Wisconsin legislation during the 2011-12 legislative session in the area of civil liability. Andy helped lead a broad coalition of business groups in passing major civil liability reforms contained in 2011 Wis. Act 2, including: changes to Wisconsin’s product liability laws; adding Daubert standards for cases tried in Wisconsin involving expert opinion and evidence; eliminating the controversial “risk contribution” theory created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the 2005 Thomas v. Mallett decision; placing caps on punitive damages; and reducing frivolous lawsuits by holding parties liable for costs and fees for filing frivolous claims.

Other key legislation that Andy had a role in during the 2011-12 session include:

  • Reducing interest on judgments (2011 Wis. Act 69);
  • Trespasser liability protections (2011 Wis. Act 93);
  • Reasonable attorney fees (2011 Wis. Act 92); and
  • Eliminating punitive and compensatory damages from Wisconsin’s fair employment act (2011 Wis. Act 219).

Andy once again helped lead a coalition of business groups in passing more civil justice reforms during the 2013-14 Wisconsin legislative session. Andy was instrumental in helping enact important legislation providing transparency in lawsuits involving asbestos related claims and helping prevent double-dipping by plaintiffs and their lawyers (2013 Wis. Act 154). In addition, Andy led the effort in helping enact 2014 Wis. Act 105, which also provides transparency and oversight when the State of Wisconsin hires private plaintiffs’ attorneys on a contingency fee basis.

Andy is the Executive Director for the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council, a coalition of business, insurance, and medical groups concerned about civil liability issues. The Wisconsin Civil Justice Council in 2013 was the recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Institute Legal Reform’s “Outstanding Organization” award for its efforts in passing these significant civil justice reforms over the past few years.

Andy has represented a number of clients in the business sector in developing and drafting important regulatory reforms that were included in the 2011 Special Session on Jobs (2011 Wis. Act 21). He has also drafted a number of amicus curiae briefs before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Washington Supreme Court involving environmental and civil liability issues.

Andy received his law degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, cum laude, where he co-founded and served as president of the Habitat for Humanity Chapter. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, cum laude. Andy is the founder and past president of the Madison Federalist Society, Lawyers Chapter and is a former board member of the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin. In his free time, Andy enjoys running, golfing, reading, and most of all, spending time with his wife and two children.