This is the second in a series of articles celebrating FOS’s 60th anniversary. This article highlights the firm’s “middle” years, during which it expanded into the firm it is today. If you have any stories, pictures, or video regarding FOS’s history which you’d be willing to share, please send to email@example.com or call 414-273-3939.
When the predecessor to Fox, O’Neill & Shannon began providing legal services in 1962, few could anticipate the changes which would occur in the legal profession and practice areas during the ensuing 60 years. Environmental law, private placement law, cybersecurity law, cryptocurrency law – these are a few of the scores of new practice and sub-practice areas which have arisen as a result of the changes occurring in society at large.
To best serve its clients FOS, while retaining its nuts and bolts business law practice, expanded its practices and attorney roster to meet these new legal challenges. To ensure the firm’s adaptation to new legal areas, the firm recruited lawyers with appellate judicial clerking experience. Former managing shareholder William R. Soderstrom joined the firm in 1979, and shareholder Diane Slomowitz in 1981. To solidify its tax and estate planning practices, CPAs and “Big 8” accounting veterans and shareholders Allan T. Young and Gregory J. Ricci were hired in 1986 and 1989, respectively. Current managing shareholder Francis J. Hughes joined the firm in 1988, specializing in business and real estate matters.
Another significant wave of attorneys joined the firm beginning in 2010. That year, shareholder Laurna A. Kinnel joined the firm and, in addition to her commercial practice, developed a new firm expertise in trademarks. 2011 saw the addition of commercial litigation, appellate practice and election law expert shareholder Matthew W. O’Neill. Also in that year, Kenneth P. Barczak brought his wealth of estate planning expertise to the firm as “of counsel.”
The criminal defense practice area significantly expanded for FOS with its 2012 hire of former Milwaukee Assistant District Attorney shareholder Jacob A. Manian. Shareholder Michael G. Koutnik, who joined the firm in 2013, developed and expanded the firm’s real estate and commercial transaction practices.
FOS’s newest shareholder, Lauren E. Maddente, joined the firm in 2016 to buttress its business and litigation groups. 2021 saw the addition of CPA, tax practitioner and estate planner Jamie B. Barwin. And this summer, associate Kristina E. Frkovic will begin her FOS practice and continue the firm’s legacy well into the future.
All of these attorneys continue to enhance FOS’s legacy, today and in the future. Their expertise and experience are consistently recognized through honors and awards including Super Lawyers, Leaders in the Law, Rising Stars, Up and Coming Lawyers, Outstanding Young Lawyer, Women in the Law, Best Lawyers, Best Criminal Defense, Lawyers of Distinction, Best Of, and Best Places to Work.
Their legal services are unmatched. They adhere to FOS’s motto: “Our Clients Come First.”
As FOS rings through its 60th year, the firm remains committed and proud to provide high-quality, efficient, and cost-effective legal services for its Milwaukee, Wisconsin, national and international clients. Above all, FOS thanks you, our valued clients, for allowing us to serve you for the past 60 years. And hopefully far into the future.