Cleveland's oldest law firm will halt operations - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Cleveland's oldest law firm will halt operations

CLEVELAND (AP) - The city's oldest law firm, burdened by high overhead from a coast-to-coast expansion over the past two decades, announced Thursday that it will go out of business July 15.

Arter & Hadden is Cleveland's oldest legal partnership and traces its roots to the Willey & Cary partnership founded in 1843, according to the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.

With various mergers, the firm grew to about 450 attorneys in 1999. It currently has about 240, having lost clients and some top revenue-producing attorneys in recent years.

"We have a number of strong practices and outstanding attorneys," said Dan Bailey, chairman of the firm. "Unfortunately, our overhead structure no longer reflects the size of our firm and we have been unable to obtain necessary relief from our landlords and others."

The announcement that partners had approved the firm's dissolution said most of its lawyers would continue practicing law with other firms or by starting their own.

The firm expanded to Washington, D.C., in 1986, Dallas in 1990 and Los Angeles in 1992. The firm also has offices in Columbus and Dayton in Ohio, in San Francisco, San Diego, Irvine and Woodland Hills, Calif., and an affiliate office in Geneva, Switzerland.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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