Slider boat- resized

Tom Wilhelm's Retirement Message

(Announced Nov. 2018)

“Thirty-five years ago, Tom Wilhelm founded this firm as the Wilhelm Patent Service. It has undergone many changes over those many years, some big, some small. The firm name changed to Wilhelm Law Service after Tom completed law school in 1994. Another big change was Tom’s sale of the firm to me in 2015, followed by the name change to Northwind IP Law in 2016.


The coming year 2019 will see one more big change. As of January 1st, 2019, Tom will transition to semi-retirement. At that time, responsibility for all of his pending matters will be transferred to me. To help with the transition, Tom will remain part of the firm through March 2019 in a backup capacity, but with very limited hours and availability. We will then plan to have a proper retirement celebration for him. Stay tuned for future announcements about this.


As for Tom’s plans for life after the firm, please see his message below. Tom’s transition to retirement will have no effect on attorney Tom Connelly. Tom C will remain with the firm and continue his work here as usual.


This information has already been communicated to a number of Tom W’s clients. Please forward this message to any of your coworkers or friends who may be interested.”

— Stephen C. Jensen

“As I began thinking about retiring some years ago, I was concerned about our reputation as a law firm, and whether I could find someone who I could trust to take my place, to take care of our clients, many of whom are good friends, and someone who would take care of our people, our employees.


First let me say that Steve and I have enjoyed a great personal and professional relationship, and a great friendship, which goes back more than 20 years. When Steve first expressed an interest in taking over the business when I was ready to let go, I was thrilled. I knew that Steve would take good care of my clients and my employees, and he has. And I know that I can trust Steve to carry on the work I started so long ago, and that I can trust him to uphold our reputation in the community.


I have now watched Steve run the business for the last three years, and am satisfied that he is doing a great job of carrying on the work I started so many years ago. It is now time for me to step aside and make the final transfer to Steve.


Those of you who have already transitioned over to Steve already know that he is very capable to doing the kinds of work that we do, and that he takes great care of you. For those of you who will be transitioning in the future, I have complete faith and trust in Steve, that he will take as good care of you as you have come to expect from me.


As for my plans for life after the firm, I’m still working out the details, but it’s safe to say they include airplanes and flying. All of my life, I’ve had a passion for flying. And I did fly for a couple years in the 1970’s, and loved it. I always wanted to fly for a living. And then life happened and I stopped flying. But I never stopped dreaming about flying.


Then, 3 years ago, I started flying again. I am currently finishing my Instrument Rating and, by next summer, I expect to also have my Commercial Pilot Rating. Meantime, I have purchased a newer model Cessna 172 G1000 (4 seats) with the latest computer-based instrumentation.


Now that my skills are back where they should be, and my professional flight credentials will soon be in place, and I have a well-equipped plane, I am now looking for flying assignments, to take you from wherever you are to wherever you want to be, on your schedule. Where would you like to be picked up? Where would you like to go?


Most places in the US are within 25 miles of an airport. But most of them don’t have scheduled commercial flights. Because my plane is small, I can pick you up at, or take you to, any of these smaller airports, including out of the way places, where the scheduled airlines can’t go. Or we can just go for “a plane ride” if you like.


Cross-country travel time is about 1/3 to ½ what it would take to drive, and cost is competitive with the all-in cost of driving. No security lines. No waiting around the airport. No big crowds. And the view from up there is awesome!


Me and my plane will be particularly advantageous to you if you start or end your trip quite a distance from an airport that has scheduled flights, or if the flights are not at convenient times, or if layovers are lengthy, or routes not convenient. And yes, we can, together, enjoy the relationships of small group flying.


My cell phone number is at the end of this message. If you’re interested in taking a flight, any time, any place, or know someone who is, or want to “just talk”, about anything, business or pleasure, give me a call and let’s see if I/we can be of service.


My new business card says:


Wisconsin’s Flying General Counsel – We come to you, and/or take you where you want to go.

Business General Counsel

Chemical Engineer

Farm & Forest

920-841-6644 (cell)


But for the most part, it is FLYING.”

— Thomas D. Wilhelm