Hitchcock and Dupee founded the firm in Chicago in 1866 – five years before the Great Fire turned a growing city to ash and one after Illinois’ Lincoln united a broken nation. Since those early years, our focus has been on growing with our clients; we began counseling some of our current banking and industrial clients in the 1870s and 1880s.
Although their practice was small, the founders formed several client partnerships that the firm still serves today, including Northern Trust and Amsted Industries. Hitchcock and Dupee were also instrumental in defending the Chicago Board of Trade after the great Chicago fire of 1871, implementing Chicago’s first rapid transit by way of steam-powered cable car, and signing the Chicago Bar Association’s original charter in 1874.
In 1974, Schiff Hardin had helped to obtain regulatory approval for the Chicago Board Options Exchange (known now as Cboe) when our Chicago office moved into the newly completed Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower). We began establishing a national footprint in 1977 with the opening of our second office in Washington, D.C. In the early 1990s, we opened a New York office to build key practices and serve overseas clients.
Our Lake Forest office opened in 2002. The turn of the 21st century saw Schiff Hardin execute several strategic combinations with our first West coast office in 2007. We opened our Ann Arbor office in 2012, reflecting our increasingly sophisticated complex commercial litigation capabilities.
As we have expanded across the country, our firm’s inclusive culture remains the cornerstone of our identity. In 2015, we elected our first female managing partner, rare among big U.S. law firms, and our commitment to cultivating diverse talent continues.