Goodwin Procter

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Goodwin Procter LLP
Headquarters Exchange Place
No. of offices 8
No. of attorneys ~900
Major practice areas General practice
Key people David Hashmall, Chairman and Robert S. Insolia, Managing Partner
Revenue Increase$752.5 million USD (2013)
Date founded 1912
Founder Robert Goodwin and Joseph Procter
Company type Limited liability partnership

Goodwin Procter LLP is the 38th wealthiest American law firm, consisting of about 900 attorneys with offices in Boston, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.. The firm's core areas of practice are corporate, litigation and real estate, with specialized areas of focus that include financial services, private equity, leveraged finance, technology, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and real estate capital markets, intellectual property and products liability.


In 1912, lawyers and former Harvard classmates Robert Goodwin and Joseph Procter ran into each other on the street and – as the story goes – decided to start their own law firm. On July 1, 1912, Goodwin & Procter opened its offices at 84 State Street in Boston, with the partners undertaking a general practice of law.

In the winter of 1912, Robert Goodwin and Amos Taylor represented Marjorie Newell Robb against Oceanic Steam Navigation Company for the sum of $110,400 together with costs from April 15, 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. The loss of the life of her husband for the sum of $110,000, and the loss of the luggage and personal effect in the sum of $400.[1]

In 1913, with business booming, the first associate was hired by the firm: Harris H. Gilman – a Harvard Law School graduate – who signed on at $15 a week.

A year later, Joe Procter was approached by his friend and former classmate Arthur Ballantine, who inquired whether Joe’s previous offer to join the firm still stood. It did, and two years after the firm’s founding, the to-be name partner of New York-based Dewey Ballantine joined the firm. For four years it operated as Goodwin, Procter & Ballantine.

World War I began unfolding, and by 1916 the war was directly affecting the firm. Goodwin accepted a commission into the Massachusetts National Guard, and Arthur Ballantine was called up and asked to serve in the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s Legal Department in Washington, D.C.

By 1917, only Procter and two associates remained to handle business. Samuel Hoar V was one of two litigators hired to help out. Six months later he too was called up for service. It wouldn’t be until 1919 that everyone would rejoin the firm. Soon after, Ballantine departed and Fred Field, a well-respected tax lawyer who was a friend of Procter’s and a colleague of Ballantine’s at the Revenue Bureau, signed on, and the firm was then known as Goodwin, Procter, Field & Hoar.

In early 1929, Fred Tarbell Field was appointed a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (and would later become its Chief Justice), and the firm was renamed Goodwin, Procter & Hoar – a name it would retain for the next 72 years.

In 1998, Regina Pisa became the first woman to be named Chairman and Managing Partner of an AmLaw firm. Under Pisa’s leadership, Goodwin Procter has grown from 300 lawyers primarily in Boston to more than 900 lawyers serving clients from eight locations in the United States, Europe and Asia.

In 2004, the firm merged with the Washington, D.C.-based litigation and regulatory mid-sized firm Shea & Gardner. The following year over 60 attorneys from Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault joined Goodwin Procter as Testa Hurwitz dissolved.[2] More recently, Goodwin Procter added a number of lawyers from Heller Ehrman.

Goodwin Procter first established its West Coast presence in 2006, opening offices in Los Angeles (Century City) and San Francisco. It expanded in 2007 with a second office in Downtown L.A. and San Diego, and launched its Silicon Valley presence later that year. By 2009, the firm had 100 attorneys in its California offices.

2013 California Office Closure[edit]

Fourth-quarter 2013, Goodwin Procter announced the closure of their recently opened San Diego branch. Four of the six partners located in San Diego were laid off. The firm claims to be refocusing their West Coast offices towards life sciences and biotechnology practice, through its offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley.[3]

Founders Workbench[edit]

In 2010, Goodwin Procter launched Founders Workbench, a first-of-its-kind open source legal advisory resource[4] designed to help entrepreneurs navigate the legal and organizational challenges faced by startups and emerging businesses, with free start-up document creation capability.[5] In March 2013, Goodwin Procter launched an updated version of Founders Workbench, which now included legal documents for establishing Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and introduced new web mobile apps for managing finances and understanding relevant legal and business terms.[6] The site has been recognized by the Legal Marketing Association,[7] Web Marketing Association,[8] InformationWeek[9] and CIO.[10]

External links[edit]