History

1903

Virginian Robert M. Calfee, a graduate of the George Washington University Law School, comes to Cleveland and forms Bemis, Zizelman & Calfee with two partners. The firm is located in the Old Arcade.

1908

R.M. Calfee becomes a sole practitioner with offices in the nearby Williamson Building.

1909

Joseph G. Fogg, a University of Wisconsin football star who coached briefly at Case Tech, joins Calfee. The firm is renamed Calfee & Fogg.

1916

R.M. Calfee turns over firm management to Fogg. He returns temporarily to Washington D.C. to counsel the inventor of the Lewis Machine Gun, which is manufactured in Europe and used by the allies in World War I. Afterward, he helps to write a new constitution for Czechoslovakia.

1928

The firm moves to the new Central National Bank Building located on Public Square.

1929

Twenty-three-year-old Edwin G. Halter graduates magna cum laude from the Western Reserve School of Law and becomes a partner.

1938

R.M. Calfee’s son, Jack, joins the firm.

1946

The firm moves to the Union Commerce Building on East 9th Street and Euclid Avenue, later renamed the Huntington Building, home to many other prestigious law firms. Joseph Fogg dies. The firm is renamed Calfee, Fogg, McChord & Halter.

1950

Bruce Griswold, a U.S. Supreme Court clerk, joins the firm.

1951

Securities lawyer Al Sommer joins the firm.

1953

Calfee celebrates its 50th anniversary. The firm has 10 partners and two associates.

1966

The firms changes its name to Calfee, Halter, Griswold & Sommer.

1967

Jack Calfee, son of the founder, becomes Chairman of the Executive Committee.

1968

Robert Calfee dies at 92.

1970

Al Sommer succeeds Jack Calfee as Chairman of the Executive Committee. Calfee now has 25 lawyers. The firm moves to the new Central National Bank building at East Ninth Street and Superior Avenue.

1973

Al Sommer is appointed an SEC Commissioner. The firm changes its name to Calfee, Halter & Griswold.

1975

Ed Halter dies at 69.

1985

Rush McKnight succeeds Dan Ekelman as Chairman of the Executive Committee and, together with future Executive Committee Chairmen John Wheeler and Dale LaPorte, leads the firm to significant growth.

1987

Calfee opens a Columbus office to service government relations’ clients.

1989

The firm grows to 131 lawyers.

1993

Bruce Griswold dies at 77.

2003

Jack Calfee dies at 90.

The firm celebrates its Centennial with nearly 200 lawyers.

2004

Brent Ballard is elected Managing Partner. Tom McKee and Tom Wagner are named Co-Chairmen.

2008

Tom Wagner retires and Tom McKee becomes Chairman.

2009

Calfee begins looking for space to practice 21st century law and finds the East Ohio Building. The firm signs a long-term lease to have the building restored as Calfee’s new headquarters. The restoration of this historic building begins.

2011

Calfee opens an office in Cincinnati with former Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken and former Ohio Senate President Richard Finan. On December 27, the Cleveland office moves into the new Calfee building.

2012

The Cleveland Restoration Society honors the firm commitment with a Distinguished Restoration and Rehabilitation Award.

The firm forms Calfee Strategic Solutions to provide public affairs services.

2014

The Columbus office relocates to the Huntington Center.

2017

Washington, D.C. office opens as an extension of the firm’s Government Relations and Calfee Strategic Solutions practices.

Mitch Blair and Doug Neary named as Vice Chairmen.