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Finn Dixon & Herling Elects New Partners and Counsel

Finn Dixon & Herling LLP is pleased to announce that Skawenniio Barnes, Colin McKeon, Tony Miodonka, and Austin Pendleton were elected partners of the Firm. 

David Allen and Ryan Sexton were promoted to the position of counsel, effective January 1, 2022.

Christopher H. Craig, Managing Partner of the Firm said, “We are extremely proud to announce our new partners and counsel.  Ska, Colin, Tony, Austin, David and Ryan are excellent attorneys who are all focused on providing outstanding service to our clients.  We are deeply fortunate to have such a strong group of talented and dedicated attorneys.”

David Allen

David Allen represents corporate and individual clients in white-collar criminal, SEC enforcement, and complex civil litigation matters, and conducts internal investigations on behalf of corporate and nonprofit clients.

Mr. Allen has recently represented clients in criminal and enforcement matters involving allegations of wire fraud, commodities fraud, FCPA violations, and accounting fraud.  He has recently conducted sensitive internal investigations of potential fraud and other misconduct for clients in the health care, education, and finance industries.  Mr. Allen’s commercial litigation experience includes a wide variety of disputes in the areas of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent conveyance, securities fraud, civil RICO, and corporate control. 

Prior to joining Finn Dixon & Herling, Mr. Allen practiced at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler in New York City and served as a law clerk in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Deirdre Daly, Co-Chair of the Litigation Practice Group, said, “David is a great asset to the Litigation Group, the Firm and its clients.  He brings broad experience in internal investigations, governmental and regulatory matters, criminal prosecutions and complex civil cases in federal and state court.  We are thrilled to have him as a senior member of our litigation team.”

“It is an honor to work with a team of such talented and dedicated attorneys, and I look forward to continuing to serve our clients in my new role,” said David.

David earned his J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.  Mr. Allen resides in Westport, Connecticut with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three daughters.

Skawenniio Barnes

Ska Barnes represents private equity, growth equity and venture capital funds in a wide range of corporate transactions, including domestic and international investments, acquisitions, dispositions and recapitalizations.  Ska also advises private equity portfolio companies and other privately-held businesses in connection with their strategic activities, including equity financings and M&A transactions, as well as general corporate matters.

Ms. Barnes has broad industry experience and works on matters spanning diverse industries, including technology, financial services, healthcare, food service, retail and manufacturing.

Charles J. Downey III, Co-Chair of the Corporate Practice Group, said, “Ska is a terrific business lawyer.  In particular, Ska has led or co-led growth equity and venture capital investments by our clients into high-growth companies around the world.  Clients and others respect Ska’s breadth of experience and deep knowledge of the space.”

“I am honored to join the Finn Dixon & Herling partnership.  It is a privilege to work, together with an exceptional team of private equity, venture capital and M&A attorneys, on sophisticated and complex legal matters and I look forward to continuing to provide exemplary service to our clients in this new capacity.” said Ska.

Ska earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School, her M.P.P. from Harvard Kennedy School, and her B.A. from Yale University.  Ms. Barnes resides in Stamford, Connecticut with her husband, Ilya Byzov, and their two children.

Colin S. McKeon

Colin McKeon represents financial sponsors and operating companies in connection with mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, minority investments, restructurings and other complex corporate transactions.  He also advises clients with respect to general corporate governance, securities and related matters.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. McKeon was an associate in the mergers & acquisitions and private equity groups at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP and, prior to that, he was an associate in the business transactions group at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

Charles J. Downey III, Co-Chair of the Corporate Practice Group, said, “Clients love Colin’s can-do attitude and approach to client matters.  Colin has led numerous complex transactions around the country and internationally on behalf of some of our most sophisticated corporate clients, with very successful outcomes.  Moreover, his practical perspective results in clients relying on him for their ongoing legal needs.”

 “It is an honor to join the partnership at FDH, and I am excited to continue working with my colleagues to provide the best possible advice and counsel to our clients,” said Colin.

Colin earned his J.D. from Cornell Law School, and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Cornell University.  Mr. McKeon resides in Norwalk, Connecticut with his wife, Caitlin Cornell, and their son.

Tony Miodonka

Tony Miodonka focuses his practice on business and commercial litigation, commercial arbitration and mediation, internal investigations, corporate bankruptcy and reorganizations, regulatory investigations, enforcement proceeding and appeals.  Tony also assists corporate and individual clients with matters relating to the negotiation, interpretation and enforcement of employment contracts and the resolution of employment-related disputes.  He primarily practices in the federal and state courts in New York and Connecticut, and also has substantial experience handling cross-border litigation and international commercial disputes. 

Prior to joining Finn Dixon & Herling, Tony served as law clerk to The Honorable Justice Peter T. Zarella of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Tony is also a proud military veteran.  Prior to attending law school, Tony served in the United States Marine Corps, where he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant and successfully completed two tours of combat duty in the Middle East before receiving an honorable discharge in 2004 after more than eight years of service.

Evan Cohen, Co-Chair of the Litigation Practice Group, said, “Tony’s elevation to Partner from Counsel is well earned.  During his long tenure with the Firm, Tony has shown himself to be a tireless advocate for and trusted advisor to his clients.  His experience and skill will only add to the Litigation Group’s depth and talent.”

“It has been a great privilege to be associated with the talented and dedicated group of professionals at Finn Dixon & Herling throughout my career.  I am honored to join the Firm’s partnership and excited to continue collaborating with its sophisticated team of attorneys to provide the high level of client service and excellent results for which Finn Dixon & Herling is renowned.” said Tony.

Tony earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from Quinnipiac University School of Law, where he was valedictorian and Lead Articles Editor of the Quinnipiac Law Review, and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Park University.  Mr. Miodonka resides in Easton, Connecticut with his wife, Megan Miodonka, and their son.

Austin J. Pendleton

Austin Pendleton focuses his practice on M&A transactions involving privately-held companies.  Mr. Pendleton has extensive experience in both platform and add-on acquisitions, as well as sell-side transactions, in the middle market for private equity sponsors.  Mr. Pendleton also has experience in venture capital and growth equity deals as well as general corporate and business matters such as corporate governance, securities matters, and negotiation of customer, vendor and other complex business agreements.   

Mr. Pendleton’s experience extends across many different industries (including healthcare and biosciences, automotive, consulting and other business services, education, food services, manufacturing, transportation, consumer products, and artificial intelligence) and deal types (including mergers, asset transactions, equity transactions, and cross-border transactions).

Charles J. Downey III, Co-Chair of the Corporate Practice Group, said, “Austin has been an invaluable member of our team.  He has managed matters ranging from high-stakes acquisitions in a compressed timeframe to intricate multiple series of growth equity investments.  As a result of his excellent client service, he is the go-to person for many of our clients, who reach out to him when they are confronted with challenging business law issues.”

“I am extremely grateful and proud to be a partner at Finn Dixon & Herling LLP.  From my first day at the firm, I have seen how the firm values both its clients and its employees as it seeks to deliver the best business-oriented services to its clients while providing opportunities for growth and development to its employees.  In short, the firm cares about people; it cares about its employees; it cares about its clients.  That is the type of organization that I want to be a part of.” said Austin.

Austin earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law, and his B.A., cum laude, from Dartmouth College.  Mr. Pendleton resides in New Canaan, Connecticut with his wife, Georgia Grace Pendleton, and their two children.

Ryan Sexton

Ryan Sexton represents a wide variety of clients ranging from individuals to major institutions and lenders in sophisticated leasing, acquisition, disposition, development, finance and corporate transactions. 

Charles J. Downey III, Co-Chair of the Corporate Practice Group, said, “Ryan contributes significantly to almost every major client and transaction at our firm.  He is involved in matters as wide-ranging as complex acquisitions with significant real estate, sale-leasebacks and leases of all types.  Clients rely on, and appreciate, his commercial style and practical approach to identifying and resolving real estate issues.”

“I’m honored to be part of the team here at Finn Dixon & Herling and honored to be promoted to counsel.  Our clients want practical solutions to complex issues and that’s what we provide.  I look forward to continuing that work in my new role.” said Ryan.

Ryan earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from New York Law School, his M.B.A. from University of Connecticut School of Business, and his B.A. from Boston University.  Mr. Sexton resides in Weston, Connecticut with his two children.