Baker & Daniels LLP
Baker & Daniels LLP
Founded: 1863 as Hendricks and Hord
Sales: $241.6 million (2005 est.)
NAIC: 541110 Offices of Lawyers
With about 370 attorneys, Baker & Daniels LLP is the second largest law firm in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the oldest in the state. In addition to five in-state offices, the firm maintains outposts in Washington, D.C., and Beijing and Qingdao, China. Baker & Daniels serves a wide range of clients, from Fortune 500 corporations to local businesses and government entities as well as individuals.
Practices include antitrust, banking and commercial finance, bankruptcy and business restructuring, benefits and executive compensation, constitutional law, corporate finance, government affairs, healthcare, insurance and financial services, intellectual property, media law, mergers and acquisitions, product liability, real estate, securities and shareholders litigation, tax, trusts and estates, and white-collar criminal defense.
Based in Washington, D.C., Baker & Daniels’ affiliate B&D Consulting specializes in federal government relations, health, and life sciences. Historically, Baker & Daniels has been a politically connected firm, hiring a number of state and local politicians, mostly Democrats but Republicans as well, including one of its earliest partners.
CIVIL WAR–ERA ORIGINS
Baker & Daniels’ primary founder, Thomas Andrew Hendricks, established the political tone of the firm when he began practicing law in Indianapolis in 1860. Born in Ohio in 1819, Hendricks moved to Indiana early in life and his family became prominent in the state. An uncle became Indiana’s third governor. After Hendricks graduated from Hanover College in 1841 he was admitted to the bar two years later and began practicing law, but was quickly sidetracked by Democratic politics. He held state office, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and served under President James Buchanan as commissioner of the General Land Office. Opposed to the Civil War, Hendricks sided with the Union and was elected U.S. senator in 1863. In that same year he took on a partner, Oscar B. Hord, to help him handle the workload.
Thus, Baker & Daniels traces it beginnings to 1863 when the firm of Hendricks & Hord was formed. Hord was Indiana’s attorney general and a distinguished lawyer. In 1865 he brought his father-in-law, Samuel Perkins, into the firm. Perkins also came with a fine legal pedigree, as a law professor and a judge on the Indiana Supreme Court, but he remained for only a year.
One of Hendricks’ cousins, Abram W. Hendricks, joined the firm in 1867 and had a much longer tenure. A Pennsylvanian by birth, Abram studied law in Indiana with an uncle as well as in the law department at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. The firm took the name Hendricks, Hord & Hendricks. Soon Thomas Hendricks was able to devote more time to the business when his term in the Senate came to an end in 1869. His time out of office was short lived, however. In 1872 he was elected as governor of Indiana, becoming the first Democratic governor of a Northern state after the Civil War, serving 1873 to 1877. He would go on to run unsuccessfully for the vice presidency of the United States in 1876. Eight years later he tried again, this time winning office with Grover Cleveland at the top of the ticket, but Hendricks served only several months before dying in November 1885.
While a highly political man, Hendricks apparently held no grudges against his opponents. In 1872 his main political rival, Conrad Baker, entered into the legal partnership. Baker had studied law with Thaddeus Stevens, the most radical of Republicans during the Civil War and Reconstruction. He moved from Pennsylvania to Evansville, Indiana, in 1841 and began to establish a legal as well as a political career. He became lieutenant governor in 1864 and after Governor Oliver P. Morton entered the Senate in 1867 he inherited the governorship. He ran for reelection the following year and narrowly defeated the highly popular Hendricks, who did not challenge the results of the contest despite allegations of electoral fraud. Four years later the two men switched places, as Hendricks succeeded Baker as governor, and Baker replaced Hendricks at the law firm, which became known as Baker, Hord & Hendricks.
Even after Thomas Hendricks returned in 1876, the firm remained Baker, Hord & Hendricks. It was at this time that younger blood became involved. Baker’s son, Albert, joined the firm after gaining admittance to the bar in 1876. The following year a fraternity brother from Wabash College, Edward Daniels, became a clerk after studying law at Columbia University. He became an attorney at the firm in 1879 after passing the bar.
BAKER & DANIELS NAME TAKEN: 1889
The young lawyers struck out on their own in 1881, forming an independent partnership and taking offices in an adjoining building. Just two years later they returned as junior partners, ready to assume the practice of their elders. In 1885 Conrad Baker and Thomas Hendricks both died. Abram Hendricks passed away in 1887, followed by Hord a year later. After inheriting the practice, Baker and Daniels brought in a third partner, an accomplished Indianapolis lawyer named Ferdinand Winters, and the firm took the name Winters, Baker & Daniels. He lasted until the end of 1889 and the firm reverted to the Baker & Daniels name.
The firm’s name remained unchanged for the next 50 years as both of the principal partners became prominent attorneys in the state of Indiana. Daniels’ son, Joseph J. Daniels, joined the firm in 1914 after earning a degree from Harvard Law School. Four years later the elder Daniels died. His partner Baker remain active in the firm until 1940, just two years before his death at the age of 91.
Between the deaths of Daniels and Baker, several important attorneys came to the firm, including William W. Seagle, Warrack Wallace, and William G. Davis. As a result in 1938, the firm became Baker, Daniels, Wallace & Seagle, a name that would last only until 1944 when the firm permanently reverted to Baker & Daniels.
As had become a tradition at the firm, Joseph Daniels became a prominent player in politics, in his case with the Republican Party, both on the state and national levels. He declined an opportunity to serve in the Department of Justice in the 1950s during the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, however. He retired from active service in the firm in 1966.
Baker & Daniels is committed to delivering the highest standard of business and legal services to our most important asset, our clients.
It was not until the 1970s that Baker & Daniels extended its purview beyond Indianapolis. The first step came in 1976 with the opening of an office in Washington, D.C. In-state expansion began in 1983 when a satellite office was opened in Fort Wayne. It was then enlarged three years later by merging the operation with Shoaf, Parker & Keegan. Also in the 1980s, Baker & Daniels diversified beyond the practice of law by acquiring a Washington, D.C., legislative consulting firm, Gogol and Associates, in 1989. It was subsequently renamed Sagamore Associates in November of that year. The firm was started by David U. Gogol, the former legislative director for Senator Richard Lugar, who had once been mayor of Indianapolis. Gogol founded the consulting firm in 1985 to represent the city in its successful bid to host the 1987 Pan American Games. With Gogol’s help Indianapolis was able to carve out a niche as the host for a number of amateur athletics competitions.
Baker & Daniels accelerated its growth in the 1990s, entering the decade with a staff of about 250, divided between 18 practice teams. In March 1990 it added a third office outside of Indianapolis, established in South Bend, Indiana, through a merger with Parker & Jaicomo that brought five new partners into the firm. South Bend was an attractive market not only because Baker & Daniels already had several clients in the area but because the city was enjoying a revitalization of the downtown area and there was a general increase in business activity in the vicinity. After the transaction, Baker & Daniels immediately beefed up the office, bringing in one of its Indianapolis attorneys and hiring others, while having several of its other attorneys also practice out of the new office. The office grew further in 1993 with the addition of Knoblock & Hall, a well-established patent, trademark, and copyright firm in South Bend.
The Fort Wayne office experienced another growth spurt in 1991 with the merger of specialist firm Jeffers Hoffman & Niewyk, a move that doubled Baker & Daniel’s seven-person patent-law unit, which focused on patent, trademark, copyright, and unfair competition law. The two firms were considered a good fit because the merger combined Baker & Daniels’ strength in litigation with Jeffers Hoffman’s patent expertise.
Also in 1991 Baker & Daniel bolstered its capabilities in the governmental relations field through a joint venture between Sagamore Associates and Phillip E. Bainbridge, the former speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives turned lobbyist. The new unit was created to serve Baker & Daniels’ clients on issues in which legislative solutions were more helpful than legal remedies. Sagamore-Bainbridge Inc. was set up to offer a variety of services, including legal work, research, and drafting of legislation. The primary clients were Indiana agencies.
CHINA OFFICES OPEN: 1998
During the 1990s Baker & Daniels launched an effort to expand overseas and open an office in fast-growing China. After a few years of exploration, the firm, in the mid-1990s, sought a license to practice in China. To foster goodwill, the firm helped the Chinese provinces of Hebei and Qingdao to open trade offices in Indianapolis, sponsored an internship program for Chinese lawyers, and played host to a number of Chinese trade, legal, and medical delegations. The firm also hired three attorneys fluent in both English and Chinese, holding law degrees from U.S. and Chinese schools. In 1998 Baker & Daniels efforts were rewarded when it became just one of about a dozen U.S. law firms permitted to practice there. In February 1998 a small office was opened in Qingdao, a city of seven million people, one of China’s largest manufacturing centers as well as a major deepwater port. Another office was then opened in the capital city of Beijing. Not only did the Chinese offices allow Baker & Daniels to serve clients who wanted to do business in the country, they helped the firm to secure new clients because of this capability. Given the fast growth of the Chinese economy, Baker & Daniels was well positioned to take advantage of even further opportunities in the future.
Baker & Daniels made advances on other fronts in the late 1990s. The main office built up its intellectual property practice with the 1999 merger with Michael & Beck, an Indianapolis boutique firm. The practice grew to 24 attorneys, making Baker & Daniels more competitive in the field in central Indiana. Also during this period, the firm grew its consulting business by forming a new subsidiary, Capitol Direct, providing public affairs services.
- Firm founded by Thomas Hendricks and Oscar Hord.
- Firm takes the name Baker & Daniels.
- Baker & Daniels name becomes permanent.
- Washington, D.C., office opens.
- Sagamore Associates consulting firm formed through acquisition.
- South Bend, Indiana, office added.
- First China office opens.
- Second Indianapolis office opens.
- Consulting units form B&D Consulting.
Expansion continued for Baker & Daniels in the new century. Insurance law attorneys were added to the Washington office in 2000 to take advantage of new federal legislation, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which eliminated walls separating the activities of banks, investment firms, and insurance companies, in place since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Also in 2000 Baker & Daniels opened a satellite office in the Carmel section of Indianapolis, close to some of the area’s fastest-growing companies. About 30 of the firm’s attorneys practicing corporate finance, intellectual property, and real estate law, along with their supporting staff, were relocated here. At the same time, the Elkhart office was beefed up through a merger with Pfaff, Brotherson & Killoren, and the consulting business was expanded with the formation of a new, global joint venture, a medical technology consulting firm called Aventor.
In the middle of the first decade of the 2000s Baker & Daniels continued to emphasize its intellectual property and medical technology practices, aimed primarily at high technology companies, but the attorneys added through the merger with Michael & Beck left the firm. To make up for their loss, in 2004 Baker & Daniels hired three attorneys specializing in intellectual property from a rival firm, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP. In 2006 Baker & Daniels catered further to high tech firms by bringing in a new partner to the emerging companies and private capital group, Nicholas E. Mathioudakis, the cofounder and managing director of JMM Ventures LLC and a well-respected legal and business adviser to many high-tech businesses. Later in the year a pair of attorneys experienced in intellectual property issues with biotechnology firms were added to the Washington office. Also in 2006, the consulting units were consolidated, as Aventor, B&D Quorum, and B&D Sagamore took the name B&D Consulting.
Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Hogan & Hartson LLP; Ice Miller LLP.
“Baker & Daniels,” Indianapolis Business Journal, December 1999, p. 14B.
Beck, Bill, “Baker & Daniels: Providing Counsel to Six Generation,” Indiana Business Magazine, January 2002, p. 56.
Jefferson, Greg, “B&D Expands to D.C.,” Indianapolis Business Journal, February 21, 2000, p. 3.
Pletz, John, “Baker & Daniels Gets OK in China,” Indianapolis Business Journal, February 16, 1998, p. 1.
_____, “Baker & Daniel Grabs Firm,” Indianapolis Business Journal, June 28, 1999, p. 3A.
Wampler, Susan L., “Baker & Daniels Forms Joint Venture with Former Legislator,” Indianapolis Business Journal, November 18, 1991, p. 3A.