1912 1914 1917

1910s

Robert
Goodwin

Joseph
Procter

1912

A CHANCE ENCOUNTER

College classmates
Robert Eliot Goodwin
and Joseph Osborne
Procter, Jr. run into
each other on a Boston
sidewalk and decide to
start their own law
practice. They each
contribute $500 for
start-up costs.

1912

Goodwin & Procter opens on July 1, 1912 in a small suite on the 5th floor of the India Building at 84 State Street.

1914

ESTABLISHING AN
ETHICAL STANDARD

The founders help a sardine packing company issue preferred stock but later discover the company financials were fabricated. They take out a $30,000 loan to buy back all outstanding shares at face value. "It was the best thing Joe Procter and I ever did in our 20 year association," Robert Goodwin said later. "We forged a definite standard of professional integrity, and nailed it to the mast of our little ship."

     Colonel
     Goodwin

1917

WORLD WAR I

Robert Goodwin joins the Massachusetts National Guard and is soon deployed to France under General John "Black Jack" Pershing. He rises to the rank of colonel and commands the 101st Field Artillery, ultimately earning the Distinguished Service Medal. He is forever after affectionately and respectfully known as "Colonel Goodwin."

1920 1921 1924 1926 1928

1920s

Frederick
Field

1920

GOODWIN, PROCTER,
FIELD & HOAR

The booming post-war economy offers Goodwin, Procter and their colleagues plenty of work. Two new partners join the firm: Frederick Field (who later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts) and Sam Hoar, who would, along with his son Sam Jr., play a prominent role at the firm.

Charles
Ponzi

1921–1927

PONZI SCHEME AFTERMATH

Charles Ponzi operated his infamous scheme in Boston until he was exposed in August 1920. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that those who collected on their investments could be forced to refund the money, thousands sought recovery in the bankruptcy courts. As bankruptcy referee for Middlesex County, Colonel Goodwin helps sort out the Ponzi mess with accuracy and fairness.

1924

MOVING UP

An 11th floor is added to the India Building and the firm moves up to sunny, spacious quarters on the 9th floor. With more room and plentiful work, 11 new attorneys are hired over the next five years.

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1926

BILLBOARD BLIGHT

In one of Massachusetts' longest and most prominent trials of the era, Sam Hoar, who believed billboards to be a blight on the landscape, defends the right of
the Commonwealth and local governments to regulate them, successfully arguing that billboards jeopardize public safety since they coax drivers to take their eyes off the road.

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1928

BRUINS AND BRAVES

The firm helps grocery magnate and entrepreneur Charles Francis "C.F." Adams, the first owner of the Boston Bruins, build the Boston Garden in 1928, and later purchase a share of the Boston Braves, as well as an ownership stake in Suffolk Downs, a horseracing track.

1930 1932 1934 1938

1930s

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1930

COPING WITH CATASTROPHE

Following the stock market crash of 1929, the firm fares better than most thanks to a surge of liquidation cases.

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Joseph
Procter

1932

LOSS OF JOE PROCTER

Joe Procter dies suddenly at age 52. Cushing Goodhue takes over managing the office, running a tight ship.

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1934

NEW DEAL AND
NEW INDUSTRY

A surge of federal regulation brought on by the New Deal brings new work to the firm. Greater Boston's manufacturing and maritime industries fade, and the financial management industry expands, presenting new opportunities for work on highly complex financial transactions.

1938

THE GREAT HURRICANE OF 1938

Nearly 800 people are killed and 57,000 homes destroyed when the hurricane strikes New England on September 21. In the wake of the devastation, Massachusetts issues emergency funding, some of which is misappropriated by corrupt officials. Colonel Goodwin and Frank Wallis lead an investigation that exposes the corruption and saves the state nearly $20 million.

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Raymond
Patriarca

1938

PARDON AND
PUBLIC OUTRAGE

The Massachusetts governor pardons New England Mafia boss Raymond Patriarca, causing public outrage. The resulting furor leads to an investigation, headed by Sam Hoar, that brings about reformation of the pardon laws and impeachment of a member of the Governor's Council.

1940 1941 1945 1946

1940s

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1940

INVESTMENT COMPANY
ACT OF 1940

Pioneering mutual fund management company Keystone Custodian Funds faces serious structural issues as the Investment Company Act of 1940 goes into effect. Goodwin Procter helps the company navigate the new hurdles with resourceful financial and legal structuring.

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1941–1945

WORLD WAR II

Young partners and associates take leaves to serve in World War II, reducing the firm from 15 to 7 lawyers.

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1945–1946

NUREMBERG TRIALS

Partners Leonard Wheeler (alone, at lectern) and Frank Wallis play instrumental roles in the historic Nuremberg Trials, presenting much of the Americans' case against the Nazis. "It was a most amazing and thrilling experience," recalled Wallis. "I was speaking to the world - not only the world of today but the world of future generations."

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Al
Capp

1946

PROTECTING
LI’L ABNER

Al Capp, creator of the syndicated cartoon Li’l Abner, becomes a client, relying on the firm for help with contracts, licensing and IP concerns.

1952 1955 1957

1950s

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Sam
Hoar

1952

END OF AN ERA

After WWII, the firm witnesses the end of an era. Firm leaders Colonel Goodwin and Cushing Goodhue have both entered semi-retirement and Sam Hoar dies unexpectedly, paving the way for new leadership amidst new post-war opportunity.

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Dr. An
Wang

1955

A MAN NAMED WANG

Fish, Richardson & Neave, the patent attorneys upstairs from Goodwin & Procter, refer a young engineer for help with incorporation. Dr. An Wang's lab, specializing in magnetic storage technologies, ultimately becomes one of the most successful computer companies of the 20th Century, and one of the firm's most prominent clients.

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Dick
Nichols

1957

DICK NICHOLS BUILDS CORPORATE PRACTICE

Nichols, a prominent corporate attorney, develops an impressive roster of clients, helping them through corporate, tax, regulatory and strategic challenges and opportunities. He ultimately serves on nearly 50 boards. "In almost every case I was quickly put on the executive committee,” said Nichols later. “I liked to feel that I had an impact."

1960 1961 1962 1963 1969

1960s

1960

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST ACT

Tax partners Allan Higgins and Charlie Post spend seven years helping draft and secure passage of the Real Estate Investment Trust Act, which is signed into law in September 1960. The Act is hailed as a significant catalyst for real estate development across the country.

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1962

GOODWIN
PROCTER
TURNS 50

The firm grows to approximately 100 people. Copy machines are new technology, time is entered on ledger cards and Saturday work days are reduced to every other week.

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1969

MOVE TO 28 STATE STREET

After more than a half-century in the India Building at 84 State Street, the firm moves to a sleek new office tower up the street at 28 State.

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Trudi
Haseotes

1961

DIVERSITY TAKES ROOT

The firm hires its first Jewish lawyer, Josh Berman, and its first female lawyer, Erato "Trudi" Haseotes. At the end of the decade, the firm’s first African-American lawyer, Harrison Fitch, joins.

1963

SINGLE BANK HOLDING COMPANY EXEMPTION

Partner Don Hurley plays an instrumental role in conceiving, drafting and securing passage of an exemption for parent companies holding single banks and non-banking subsidiaries, thus providing relief from rigorous federal restrictions on commercial banks for many of his clients.

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Colonel
Goodwin

1963

COLONEL GOODWIN RETIRES

Founder Robert Goodwin formally retires, ending a remarkable 60-year legal career.

1975 1977

1970s

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1975

BREAKING NEW GROUND

The firm's real estate practice grows significantly in the 1970s and has a hand in many of the biggest developments around Boston, including the Charlestown Navy Yard, Copley Place and many projects in Cambridge and across the 128 and 495 high-tech corridors.

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Fred
Robbins

1977

NEW LEADERSHIP

Fred Robbins becomes Chair of the firm's Executive Committee and gives a broader voice to all firm partners.

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1977

CALMING THE BUSING CRISIS

Court-mandated busing to desegregate city schools creates a furor in Boston. The Boston School Committee disobeys the court's order and vigorously fights it. In a highly public and largely pro bono engagement, the firm agrees to represent a newly elected Boston School Committee, but only if it adopts a less confrontational stance. This change is instrumental in calming the hysteria, anger and distrust gripping Boston.

1982 1984 1985 1987

1980s

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1982

CAPITAL CASES

The firm takes on a pro bono death penalty case in Florida at the behest of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. After nearly six years, 7,500 hours of work, two trials in Florida and a federal habeas corpus proceeding, Goodwin lawyers succeed in having the defendant’s death sentence vacated.

Two years later, Massachusetts’ death penalty statute is successfully challenged when the firm prepares and files a friend of the court brief on behalf of the Boston Bar Association. The Commonwealth’s high court adopts the position argued in the brief and holds the state’s death penalty statute unconstitutional.

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1985

NEW HOME AT EXCHANGE PLACE

The firm moves down the street from 28 State Street to Exchange Place at 53 State Street.

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Bob
Fraser

1984

NEW LEADERSHIP

Bob Fraser assumes the role of Managing Partner after Fred Robbins' self-imposed eight-year term expires. Goodwin Procter is now a large firm with 145 lawyers. Fraser becomes the firm's first full-time Managing Partner, organizes the firm into departments, implements a two-tier partnership structure, and institutes a commitment to civic support commensurate with the firm's expanding stature.

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1987

PLANTING SEED

In honor of the firm's 75th Anniversary, partners, associates and employees contribute $1 million to the City of Boston for Goodwin Procter SEED (Support for Early Educational Development) grants.

1990 1993 1994 1997 1998 1999

1990s

1990

ONE-ROOF RECORD

With 280 attorneys, Goodwin Procter enters the decade as the largest law firm under one roof in the country, according to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

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1994

WASHINGTON, D.C.

The firm makes its first foray outside Boston, establishing an office in the nation’s capital with an initial focus on mortgage finance work.

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Regina
Pisa

1998

CRACKING
THE CEILING

Regina Pisa, a 42-year-old financial services and M&A lawyer, is named Chairman and Managing Partner. She is the nation’s first woman to hold these titles at a major law firm.

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Jeff
Dando

1993

NEW LEADERSHIP

Real estate lawyer and former Hiring Partner Jeff Dando succeeds Bob Fraser as Managing Partner.

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1997

NEW YORK CITY

Goodwin Procter expands its platform in the Northeast, establishing a New York office initially staffed to service its real estate capital markets clients.

1999

GIVING BACK

The firm further expands its pro bono efforts, instituting a pro bono committee of partners with a full-time administrative manager. The committee substantially increases and diversifies the pro bono work performed by the firm.

2000 2001 2004 2005 2006 2008

2000s

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2000–2001

RAMPING UP
NEW YORK

The acquisition of 27 lawyers from a northern New Jersey firm and 13 litigators from a New York products liability shop builds critical mass and bolsters the firm’s IP and litigation practices.

2004

MERGER IN D.C.

The Washington office expands dramatically when the firm merges with Shea & Gardner, a highly regarded 75-lawyer litigation firm founded in the nation’s capital.

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2006–2007

GOING WEST

In a 14-month period from April 2006 to June 2007, the firm opens multiple offices in California – locations include San Francisco, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.

2001

EXPANSION

The partnership develops an expansion plan, determining which practices and, then, which markets will deliver on the goal to become a fully national firm. Strategic focuses include financial institutions, private equity, complex litigation, real estate capital markets, IP and technology/life sciences.

2005

THE TESTA INFLUX

In a strategic move The Boston Globe called possibly “the biggest coup in Boston legal history,” the firm announces the arrival of nearly 90 attorneys from the dissolving law firm of Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault.

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2008

EUROPE AND ASIA

The firm opens its first international offices in London and Hong Kong. London attorneys initially focus on hospitality transactions and real estate fund work and Hong Kong lawyers concentrate on private equity, venture capital and fund work.

2012 2014 2015 2016

2010s

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2012

GOODWIN TURNS 100!

At its century mark, Goodwin Procter has 850 lawyers and another 720 professional staff serving clients from offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.

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Rob
Insolia

2012

NEW LEADERSHIP

Partner Rob Insolia, who served as the New York office chair from 1997–2004, is named the firm’s fifth Managing Partner and its first to be based in New York City.

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David
Hashmall

2014

NEW LEADERSHIP

Partner David Hashmall succeeds Regina Pisa and becomes the firm’s sixth Chairman.

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2015

EUROPEAN EXPANSION

Goodwin plants flag in mainland Europe, opening Frankfurt office. Six months later, Paris office is established. Initial focus is on real estate, private equity and M&A work.

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2016

NEW HOME AT FAN PIER

After more than 100 years at the corner of State and Congress, Goodwin takes up residence at 100 Northern Avenue in Boston's Seaport District.

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2016

UNPRECEDENTED

Goodwin launches new brand and updates logo.