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Why Us

Photo of Why Us- Updated 2/2018

For nearly 200 years, Hodgson Russ has worked alongside innovators and leaders of businesses large and small whose ideas and fortitude have changed the world. As our clients have succeeded, our firm has flourished, and today Hodgson Russ is among the largest law firms in the country. Then and now, our mindset and our day-to-day professional philosophy have remained simple and steadfast: working respectfully and collaboratively with our clients is the key to our mutual success. As business people ourselves, we realize that our future vitality and longevity depend on it.

Hodgson Russ’s attorneys assist clients with virtually every legal issue a business or an individual may face. Every engagement receives our attorneys’ full focus and the benefit of decades of collective wisdom and experience. We look beyond the books to craft sophisticated solutions to our clients’ legal and business problems with creativity and flexibility that anticipate the marketplace, always mindful that efficiency and diligence are critical to the bottom line. Of paramount importance to us is to deliver workable, practical plans and strategies that make sense from all legal and business aspects.

Hodgson Russ is frequently recognized for excellence in the practice of law and outstanding commitment to the community. The firm, our practices, and our attorneys are honored by clients, other lawyers from around the country, national legal publications, and ranking organizations. A small selection of these honors includes 27 Metropolitan Tier 1 practice rankings from Best Lawyers' "Best Law Firms", inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and 70 attorneys listed in Thomson Reuters’s Super Lawyers.

We value your interest in Hodgson Russ and hope you will learn more about our clients, experience, and attorneys and other professionals by browsing this site.

1817

Hodgson Russ's earliest predecessor firm is established in Buffalo, New York, by Asa Rice

1825

In effort led by firm founder Asa Rice, western terminus of Erie Canal completed in Buffalo

1832

Buffalo incorporated as a city; firm partners Joseph Clary and Millard G. Fillmore draft first city charter

1834

Millard G. Fillmore joins with Nathan K. Hall and Solomon G. Haven to form Hodgson Russ predecessor firm Fillmore, Hall & Haven

1838

Partner Nathan K. Hall leads creation of Buffalo's public school system, the first tuition-free, tax-supported public school system in New York State

1845

Wells & Company's Western Express, a predecessor of Wells Fargo, is established with the firm’s legal assistance by Henry Wells, William Fargo, and Daniel Dunning.

1846

Partners Millard G. Fillmore and Nathan K. Hall obtain a charter for the University at Buffalo, then a private educational institution; Fillmore names the university's first chancellor

1850

After the unexpected death of U.S. President Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore is sworn in as the 13th President of the United States

1851

Former partner and Buffalo Mayor, Solomon G. Haven, elected to the U.S. House of Representatives

1852

Former partner Nathan K. Hall is appointed judge of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of New York

1855

Grover Cleveland accepts a clerkship at the firm

1856

Partner Dennis Bowen serves as general counsel to the predecessor of M&T Bank

1859

Grover Cleveland, still at the firm, is admitted to the bar

1868

Partner Franklin D. Locke joins the firm, and its name is changed to Bowen, Rogers & Locke

1879

Partners Franklin D. Locke and Louis L. Babcock begin firm's successful representation of Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in 37-year litigation against the federal government concerning rights to Buffalo Harbor's North Pier

1879

The firm represents many of the railroads that made Buffalo a national transportation center, including the Lackawanna, Western New York Central, Pennsylvania, and Canadian Pacific Railroads

1879

William Fargo, a national pioneer in the transportation business, is represented by the firm to establish and expand enterprises that included Wells Fargo and American Express Company

1879

The firm represents major manufacturers, including Washburn Crosby Company (which later became part of General Mills), Birge Wallpaper Company, Lang Brewery, and James Dold Meatpackers

1885

Former partner Grover Cleveland is elected the 22nd President of the United States

1886

John G. Milburn and Franklin D. Locke represent the editor of the New York Evening Post in five-year libel case brought by the Reverend George Harvey Ball following election campaign of President Grover Cleveland

1893

Former partner Grover Cleveland elected 24th President of the United States

1895-96

Louis Sullivan designs and builds the Guaranty Building, which goes on to become a National Historic Landmark and the current home of Hodgson Russ's Buffalo office and headquarters

Learn more about the Guaranty Building

1901

Partner John G. Milburn's efforts bring the Pan-American Exposition (World's Fair) to Buffalo; President William McKinley is assassinated during the fair and dies eight days later at Milburn's house

1903

Flour company Washburn Crosby, whose later merger formed General Mills, opens new flour mill in Buffalo; transaction handled by partner Louis L. Babcock

1911

Representing John D. Rockefeller, partner John G. Milburn argues before the U.S. Supreme Court in seminal anti-trust case, United States v. Standard Oil Company

1916

Partner Charles B. Sears appointed to bench, serving successively as justice of the New York State Supreme Court, presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, and later judge of the Court of Appeals

1916

Partner Wesley C. Dudley becomes a justice of the New York Supreme Court

1917

Hoyt & Spratt merges with Rogers, Locke & Babcock; firm name changes to Locke, Babcock, Spratt & Hollister

1937

Partner Raymond C. Vaughan becomes a New York Supreme Court justice

1945

Hodgson, Russ, Andrews, Woods & Goodyear is formed

1945

Former partner Charles B. Sears serves as presiding judge during one of the Nuremberg trials of German war criminals following the end of World War II

1949

Partner Paul D. Graves is elected New York State senator, then goes on to become a justice of the New York State Supreme Court

1959

Hodgson Russ helps form Western New York Public Broadcasting, one of the first public television stations in New York State

1962

Hodgson Russ represents the University at Buffalo as it becomes part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system; firm also helps the University at Buffalo Foundation receive its charter

1964-68

Partners Hugh M. Russ II and H. Kenneth Schroeder successfully defend major insurance companies against suits by homeowners seeking to recover damages they claimed resulted from blasting by New York Power Authority due to development of hydroelectric power at Niagara Falls

1974

The firm opens its first Florida office in Fort Lauderdale 

1978

President Carter appoints partner Donald C. Lubick deputy assistant secretary for tax policy, U.S. Treasury

1986

Former partner Barber Conable appointed 7th president of the World Bank

1989

Firm merges with Crystal, Bean, and Lenihan, an intellectual property boutique

1989

Firm opens its first Canadian office in Mississauga, Ontario

1990

Albany, New York, office opens

1998

Partner Dianne Bennett becomes first woman to chair an AmLaw250 firm

1998

Former partner Donald C. Lubick confirmed as assistant secretary for tax policy, U.S. Treasury

1999

Firm's Canada office moves to its current location at 150 King Street West, Toronto

2001

Firm's name is shortened to Hodgson Russ LLP

2002

Hodgson Russ purchases the Guaranty Building, a National Historic Landmark designed by Louis Sullivan, saving this architectural treasure from an uncertain future

Learn more about the Guaranty Building

2005

Twenty-one attorneys from the Manhattan-based firm Bondy & Schloss join Hodgson Russ's New York City office, adding depth in the areas of corporate and securities, litigation, real estate, trusts and estates, and immigration

2006

Firm begins extensive renovations to its National Historic Landmark Guaranty Building headquarters with a goal of fully occupying the building by 2007

2007

Palm Beach, Florida, office opens

2010

Hodgson Russ receives Excellence in Preservation Award from the Preservation League of New York State for renovation of the Guaranty Building

Learn more about the Guaranty Building

2013

Saratoga Springs, New York, office opens

2017

Firm celebrates 200 years of service to clients and community. View A Future Inspired by our Legacy

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