Anne Ross’ calm, elbows-in approach
keeps clients coming back for decades
BY KAREN RIVEDAL
PHOTOGRAPHY BY COREY HENGEN
ANNE ROSS HAS SPENT THE PAST
31 years with Foley & Lardner in Madison
handling mergers and acquisitions,
securities, equity financing, corporate
insurance and venture capital. The
days are long, and the pace of the work
is accelerating, as clients, pinched by
tight finances, set higher expectations
on turnaround time for documents and
communications. Then there are her
added duties. Starting five years ago,
Ross became the first woman in the
36-year history of the Madison office
to become managing partner, making
her responsible, along with her legal
work, for the administration, morale and
performance of the 60-lawyer office.
So the binoculars come as a surprise.
Ross keeps a pair of binoculars on her
desk on the top floor of a five-story, glass-walled building pressed close to the Lake
Mendota shore. From the water below to
the sky above, Ross can spy a huge outdoor
expanse at a glance.
“I pick these up several times a day,” she
says, raising the binoculars to her eyes as
she stands and turns toward the window.
Ross calls the binoculars one of the most
important “toys” in her office that give her
a short break during the day.