Arter & Hadden

Arter & Hadden LLP was a Cleveland, Ohio-based law firm that traced its founding to 1843 and ceased operations on July 15, 2003.[4][5] When the firm closed, it was one of the oldest continuing operating law firms in the country.[6] The firm had engaged in an ambitious expansion throughout the 1990s, peaking in 1999 with a total of 425 attorneys employed by the firm. Additionally, Arter and Hadden had opened offices in Columbus, Ohio, Dayton, Ohio, Washington, DC, Dallas, Texas, Los Angeles, California, Irvine, California and through acquisitions and mergers opened offices in San Francisco and San Diego, California.[4]

Arter & Hadden
Arter and Hadden's last logo, circa 2003
HeadquartersCleveland, Ohio
Major practice areasGeneral Practice
Date founded1843[1]
Company typeLimited liability partnership
DissolvedJuly 15, 2003

Financial woesEdit

By the year 2000, the firm had begun to lose senior partners. In Arter & Hadden's DC office, for instance, the number of attorneys on staff had steadily declined from 87 in 1998 down to only 15 attorneys in 2003.[7] And with the sharp declines in staff, Arter and Hadden was still locked into leasing enough office space to accommodate the 425 attorneys the firm once had in 1999.[5] Overhead costs began to soak up the firm's liquidity, and by the beginning of July 2003, it was revealed to the press that Arter and Hadden only had enough capital left to continue operations until July 15, 2003.[5]


In a statement to all employees of Arter & Hadden just weeks before its ultimate demise, the firm announced all employment would be terminated July 15, 2003, and the firm would cease all operations. Senior partners and the firm's executive committee attempted to find ways to keep the firm afloat but all ideas eventually failed.[5]

Private investment company Oak Point Partners acquired the remnant assets, consisting of any known and unknown assets that weren't previously administered, from the Arter & Hadden, LLP Bankruptcy Estate on November 20, 2017.[8]

Bankruptcy settlementEdit

After the firm closed its doors in July 2003, the estate of the firm appointed Marc Gertz as its trustee. Gertz conducted an independent investigation into the closing of the firm. Gertz found in the final years of Arter and Hadden, partners had acted inappropriately by conspiring together to form a new legal partnership while still being employed by Arter & Hadden, and deciding to give themselves year-end bonuses (despite knowing the firm's uncertain financial standing).[9] The firm's estate reached a settlement with more than 80 former partners of Arter and Hadden, who agreed to pay the estate nearly $11 million. The firm's estate also reached settlements with many of Arter and Hadden's creditors—including JP Morgan, Huntington Bank, and Compass Bank.[10]

Successor law firmsEdit

Many of the former Arter & Hadden partners went on to form their own law firms after Arter & Hadden's closure. The Cleveland-based Tucker Ellis LLP was formed by many former partners in Arter and Hadden's Cleveland office. Also, the Columbus-based Bailey Cavalieri LLC was formed by former Arter & Hadden partners.[10]

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "Cleveland's oldest law firm will halt operations". Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  2. ^ "Cleveland's oldest law firm will halt operations". Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  3. ^ "Cleveland's oldest law firm will halt operations". Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:ARTER & HADDEN
  5. ^ a b c d – Arter & Hadden Staff Told Closure Is Imminent
  6. ^ Bankruptcy judge approves Arter & Hadden settlement – Cleveland Business News – The Latest Breaking News, Earnings Reports and Stories from The Plain Dealer
  7. ^ Mazzucca, Tim (January 13, 2003). "Arter & Hadden suffers another blow to head count".
  8. ^ Order Approving the Sale of Certain Assets of the Debtors’ Estates to Oak Point Partners , Bankrupt Company News, November 20, 2017
  9. ^ Arter & Hadden LLP Law Firm Bankruptcy Settlement
  10. ^ a b Arter & Hadden settlement up to $10.5 million – The Cleveland Plain Dealer Early Edition – Read tomorrow's stories today

Further readingEdit

  • Ellis, Stephen C. (1993). Arter & Hadden, 1843–1993 : 150th anniversary. OCLC 29730084.

External linksEdit