Skip to main content
Francis J. Hughes

A Year Ending with Hope

By December 7, 2021No Comments

The titles of this article and my Winter, 2020 newsletter article, “A Challenging 2020, With High Hopes for 2021,” succinctly describe the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During 2020, the world was rocked by this new virus, which sickened many, caused the loss of family, friends, and colleagues, and brought many businesses to a standstill.

In the midst of and in many ways despite the pandemic’s havoc, Fox, O’Neill & Shannon remained open, serving our clients.

In 2021, great strides were made against the pandemic.

Private industry, working with governmental agencies, developed safe and effective vaccines in record time.

Loved ones and friends cautiously moved from Zoom to front yards and living rooms.

Closed businesses began to reopen.

At FOS, which never closed, in-person meetings replaced many Zoom ones.

Safety and security remained (and remain) our watchwords.

Then, the Delta variant threw us all for a loop.

During this difficult year, FOS responded to our clients’ legal issues.

After all, people’s lives go on, even with the pandemic.

Through 2021, FOS assisted our clients in buying and selling businesses, commercial properties and homes.

We helped clients create new businesses and succession plans for existing ones.

FOS represented litigants in civil and criminal investigations and proceedings. We worked to create and update clients’ estate plans.

We also continue to monitor and respond to COVID-related legal developments affecting our clients.

FOS issues Client Alerts regarding COVID-19 related legal issues via social media posts, emails and

For a complete  collection of Client Alerts, dating back to the pandemic’s beginning, go to

This News and Views webpage also contains many timely and informative articles regarding legal issues unrelated to the pandemic.

As 2021 ends, FOS is in the midst of multiple multimillion dollar acquisition and related transactions, several of which are targeted to close before or shortly after the New Year.

And, while many law firms downsized, in July, FOS welcomed experienced Attorney/CPA Jamie Barwin to its taxation, estate planning and business groups.

Jamie quickly and effectively jumped into her practice, preparing complex tax returns and estate plans for, and consulting on significant tax and business matters with, numerous FOS clients.

Jamie’s article, “Moving? Beware” above, provides a needed warning of the increasingly common moving company scams.

Jamie also wrote a timely article about cryptocurrency investments, “Including Cryptocurrency in Your Estate Plan,” for our fall estate planning newsletter,

Also this year, the firm’s high-quality work and those who accomplish it were again recognized.

Shareholders Matt O’Neill and Jacob Manian and Of-Counsel Ken Barczak were named to the list of 2021 Super Lawyers, and shareholders Mike Koutnik and Laurna Kinnel were named to the list of 2021 Super Lawyers Rising Stars.

O’Neill, Manian and Koutnik were also named “Best Lawyers in America.” FOS was named “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report.

Our Office Manager, Judy Janetski, received a 2021 “Unsung Hero” award from the Wisconsin Law Journal.  Judy plays a huge role in FOS’s success.

FOS was especially gratified to be named a Milwaukee Business Journal “Best Place to Work” for the third consecutive year, based on confidential employee surveys.

All during the pandemic.

As I write this, COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths are on the decline.

We end 2021 and enter our 60th year of service in 2022, hoping that the virus will soon be controlled, if not eradicated.  And that we can all experience a new “normal,” similar, but not identical, to the old one.

As always,  thank you for your trust in FOS, our attorneys and staff. We look forward to continuing our partnership with you in 2022.

Call, Zoom, email, or text us. We’re here for you.