Faegre Baker Daniels expanded its global reach on January 1, 2012, through a combination of two firms—Faegre & Benson and Baker & Daniels—with similar histories, cultures and shared values. Today, Faegre Baker Daniels builds upon the existing strengths and shared values to create a combined organization that can deliver more value to its clients than either could on its own.
Baker & Daniels
Baker & Daniels' roots date back to 1863 when Thomas Hendricks, a successful practicing lawyer in Indianapolis and later Vice President of the United States under Grover Cleveland, decided that he needed a partner when his workload became too large for one attorney to handle. Hendricks selected Oscar Hord, a former Indiana Attorney General, and the firm was named Hendricks & Hord.
Two years later, Samuel E. Perkins, previously a judge with the Indiana Supreme Court, joined the firm, which then became Hendricks, Perkins & Hord. Perkins withdrew from the firm in 1866, and Hendricks & Hord added Abram Hendricks, a cousin of Thomas Hendricks and son of Indiana's third Governor, William Hendricks. Subsequently, the firm was renamed Hendricks, Hord & Hendricks.
Thomas Hendricks was elected Indiana Governor in 1872. When he assumed the Statehouse chair in 1873, Conrad Baker took Hendricks' chair in the law office, and the firm became Baker, Hord & Hendricks. Albert Baker, the son of Conrad Baker, and Edward Daniels joined the firm in 1876 and 1879, respectively.
Between 1885 and 1888, Thomas Hendricks, Conrad Baker, Abram Hendricks and Oscar Hord passed away. With the deaths of the senior partners, Albert Baker and Edward Daniels assumed responsibility for the operation of the office known as Baker, Hord & Hendricks. By the end of 1888, the firm's name was changed to Baker & Daniels. Joseph Daniels, son of Edward Daniels, joined the firm after receiving his law degree in 1914, and the firm continued to grow with the addition of William Seagle, Warrack Wallace and William Davis. To reflect the changes, the firm's name underwent yet another change to Baker, Daniels, Wallace & Seagle. It remained so until 1944, when the name was restored to Baker & Daniels.
Through the years, Baker & Daniels expanded to better serve its clients. In 1976, the firm established an office in Washington, D.C. The Fort Wayne office opened in 1983. Two years later, Baker & Daniels created a subsidiary company in Washington, D.C.—Sagamore Associates, which later became B&D Sagamore, to assist clients with federal relations issues.
In the 1990s, Baker & Daniels continued to expand. The South Bend office opened in 1990, followed by the Elkhart office in 1993. In 1998, the future of Baker & Daniels took an exciting new direction when the firm's overseas office was opened in Beijing, China. Baker & Daniels created a second subsidiary company called Capitol Direct (which later became B&D Quorum). This D.C.-based company assisted clients through grassroots advocacy, direct marketing and public affairs efforts.
In 2000, Baker & Daniels opened its 96th Street office in Indianapolis. In addition, a new Baker & Daniels subsidiary was founded—Aventor, a global medical technology consulting firm. At the start of 2006, merging the people and practices of Aventor, B&D Quorum and B&D Sagamore into one company, B&D Consulting, assured an integrated, comprehensive approach to meeting clients' challenges and goals.
As part of a long-term growth strategy, Baker & Daniels consolidated its practices in North Central Indiana into a regional model in 2007 by transferring operations in Elkhart to the South Bend office. Also in 2007, B&D Consulting expanded its national services to the property tax industry with the addition of the B&D Equity Property Tax Group in Chicago. Baker & Daniels expanded its presence in Chicago with the opening of a new law office in 2008.
Faegre & Benson
In 1886, Faegre & Benson was founded in Minneapolis as Cobb & Wheelwright. Former classmates at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, Albert Cobb and John Wheelwright opened the law office after graduating from Bowdoin and completing a course of study in law. John Benson, a former clerk for Cobb & Wheelwright, joined the firm in 1914.
In 1923, George Hoke, Claude Krause and John Barthell Faegre joined the firm, which was renamed Cobb, Wheelwright Hoke & Benson. Following the accidental death of Wheelwright in 1927, the firm became Cobb, Hoke, Benson, Krause & Faegre. The firm established itself as a pre-eminent corporate player in the Upper Midwest.
Faegre and Benson, who first met in 1909 as opposing players in a college football game, became up-and-coming leaders of the firm. When Hoke and two associates departed in 1938, the firm was reorganized as Faegre, Benson & Krause. On the death of Krause the following year, it became Faegre & Benson in 1940.
Over the next 20 years, Faegre & Benson prospered but grew only modestly. Recognizing that a more competitive environment was emerging, firm lawyers pushed for change. In 1959, a five-member management committee was created with full power to oversee the firm. With the change, significant achievements included successful recruitment of new lawyers in their 30s and installation of a confidential compensation based on merit and individual contributions.
By the mid-1980s, the firm's clients were embracing technology, looking at international markets for their products and establishing in-house legal departments. Global mergers and acquisitions were resulting in client turnover as companies were folded into large multinational corporations. Venture capital was edging out investment banking as the growth industry.
Determined to keep pace with clients, the firm assessed its geographic reach and the relevance of its practices and business model—and adapted to the changing environment. Evolution came in the form of personal computers, new emphasis on diversity, addition of professional staff and the admittance of women into the partnership.
New practices emerged in areas such as health care, intellectual property and mass tort. Faegre & Benson opened Colorado offices in Boulder and Denver in 1985. In 1990, Faegre & Benson became the first national law firm to establish an office in Des Moines, Iowa. Then, the firm opened an office in London in 1995 and an office in Shanghai in 2001.