Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Deirdre Daly interviewed with more than 40 prospects in Connecticut and New York in her bid to work again in private practice following a four-year stint in government.
In an interview Thursday, Daly said she decided to become a partner with Stamford’s Finn Dixon & Herling to gain exposure to many opportunities offered at the mid-sized firm of 65 attorneys.
Having her husband, partner Alfred Pavlis, also working at the firm factored in her decision, the 59-year-old Daly said, but it wasn’t the sole determinant.
“My husband and I worked previously together. He has worked with Finn Dixon & Herling for eight years and said it was a tremendously positive experience,” Daly said. “Another reason I decided to join was because of the quality of the firm, its people and its culture.”
Daly, who officially began with the firm June 18, joins two of its practices: commercial litigation and government and internal investigations. Both areas will allow Daly to draw on her experience working with varied clientele.
“I have worked in the private sector and in the public sector working for government on investigations for a long time,” Daly said. “This work enables you to identify problems and help an entity, whether that is a public entity or a private company, to solve problems.”
Daly said her new responsibilities in the firm’s government and internal investigations practice may entail investigating corporate issues including finances, corruption and sexual harassment, in which she can ”come in and provide guidance and give recommendations,” she said. She will also focus on compliance counseling, white-collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation.
Daly’s work in private practice has included monitoring work for New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc. and others. “I reported to Con Edison’s board of directors and CEO,” she said, noting the work included safety and environmental monitoring. “They had a criminal problem related to the release of asbestos, and I was that monitor for part of the time. The goal was to create a culture in the company that was more compliant with environmental health and safety regulations and laws.”
Finn Dixon founding partner Michael Herling said in a written statement that Daly’s ”sound judgment and broad experience as a leader and attorney, in both the public and private sectors, will be a tremendous asset to our firm and our clients.”
Daly was U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut from 2013 to October 2017. She said she’s spent the past six months “talking to a lot of attorneys to see what would be next for me.” She also recently drove cross-country with her son, Nicholas.
“I also took a lot of long walks with my dog, read a lot of books and went to the gym,” she said. “The U.S. attorney’s position was a tremendous experience, and I needed to create some space between that experience and what I’d be doing next.”
Daly is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Georgetown University Law Center. After law school, she served as a law clerk for Judge Lloyd MacMahon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.