Firm History

In 1962, new lawyer William Fitzhugh Fox opened a general practice business law firm in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. He was soon joined by the late Bruce C. O’Neill, a veteran of the Milwaukee District Attorney’s office, who became the head of the firm’s commercial litigation and family law practices. Thomas P. Shannon joined the firm in 1973, becoming the head of the firm’s corporate and real estate law divisions, and giving the firm a vital presence in the Illinois courts.

To buttress its extensive litigation and appellate practice, the firm recruited lawyers with appellate judicial clerking experience. William R. Soderstrom joined the firm in 1979, and Diane Slomowitz in 1981, after concluding year-long full-time clerkships with Wisconsin Court of Appeals judges in Milwaukee and Madison. Mr. Soderstrom’s practice now focuses on business affairs and real estate, and Ms. Slomowitz specializes in appeals, legal research and legal writing.

In 1986 and 1989, respectively, the firm solidified its tax and estate planning practices by hiring Allan T. Young and Gregory J. Ricci to head those practice areas. Both Mr. Young and Mr. Ricci are certified public accountants as well as attorneys, and both worked at former “Big 8” accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Co. for many years before joining the firm.

Francis J. Hughes joined the firm in 1988, specializing in real estate, business matters and employment relations.

Laurna A. Kinnel joined the firm in 2010, after being in private practice for two years. She specializes in family law, corporate law and litigation.

Matthew W. O’Neill joined the firm in 2011. Mr. O’Neill has over 20 years of experience in commercial litigation, sophisticated appeals and election law.

Kenneth P. Barczak became an “of counsel” member of the firm also in 2011. Mr. Barczak maintains a broad-based estate planning practice.

In 2012, Jacob A. Manian joined the firm. Formerly an Assistant District Attorney for 5 years with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Manian concentrates in the areas of commercial and criminal litigation.

Michael G. Koutnik joined the firm in August, 2013. Mr. Koutnik practices within the firm’s business group, primarily focusing on real estate and corporate transactions.

Lauren E. Maddente joined the firm in 2016. Ms. Maddente practices within the firm’s business and litigation groups.

Robert Ollman, Jr. joined the firm in 2018. Mr. Ollman practices within the firm’s business group.