Sidley Austin Company History Timeline


In 1867 Williams was one of the incorporators of Pullman's Palace Car Company, the Chicago company that became famous for making railroad sleeping cars.


After Walter L. Newberry died in 1868, the law firm successfully represented Mrs.


After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the firm represented numerous insurance companies including Equitable Life Assurance Society.


When Jay Gould instituted his so-called 'telegraph wars,' Williams & Thompson served Western Union as it tried to resist but eventually was taken over by Gould in 1881.

In 1881 the law firm incorporated the Chicago Telephone Company, one of its major clients well into the 20th century.


The firm's utility practice included incorporating the Western Edison Light Company in 1882, shortly after Thomas Edison developed the first useful light bulb.


In 1887 the firm incorporated Chicago Edison Company, which acquired the franchise of the earlier company.


Shortly after the firm moved to the Tacoma Building in 1889, William P. Sidley joined the firm.


With the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act and other antitrust laws being enforced, the Chicago law firm defended its corporate clients against charges filed by the federal government.


In 1892, William Pratt Sidley joined the firm after having earned an LLB from Union College of Law and a M.A. from Harvard Law School.


Following the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the law firm helped found the Columbian Museum of Chicago as a permanent home for the exposition's numerous mineral, plant, animal, and anthropological items.


Morgan in 1901 combined Federal Steel along with Andrew Carnegie's steel company to create United States Steel, the nation's first billion-dollar corporation.


In addition to helping companies become incorporated, buy and sell land, and deal with litigation, it also became involved in large scale financings. For example, in 1908 it represented the Chicago Telephone Company when it increased its capital stock from $20 million to $30 million, mortgaged its property to the First Trust and Savings Bank, and gained approval for $50 million in bonds.


In 1910 the law firm represented Western Electric when it issued $15 million in bonds.


Edwin C. Austin joined the firm in 1914.


In 1915 the firm gained a new full-time clerk or associate named Edwin C. Austin.


In 1916, the firm consisted of nine lawyers and their office staff.

When the firm then known as Holt, Cutting & Sidley celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1916, it had four partners, four clerks or associates, and ten staff employees.


1919: Partnership name becomes Cutting, Moore & Sidley.


In 1920, the firm's offices moved from the Tacoma Building to the Roanoke Building, a newer skyscraper.

In 1920 the firm assisted its long-term client Chicago Telephone Company to acquire the Central Union Telephone Company and then three weeks later change its name to the Illinois Bell Telephone Company.


In 1923 the partnership assisted Edith Rockefeller McCormick, the daughter of John D. Rockefeller, when she established the Edith Rockefeller McCormick Trust.


The firm represented Halsey, Stuart & Co., a Chicago-based underwriter in one of the first transactions under the Securities Act of 1933.


By 1941, when the firm was known as Sidley, McPherson, Austin & Burgess, it employed 32 lawyers.

In 1941 the law firm included ten partners and 21 associates.


The smaller firm had originated in 1945 when Robert F. Carney, G. Kenneth Crowell, and Morris I. Leibman formed the partnership of Carney, Crowell and Leibman.


1950: Sidley, Austin, Burgess & Smith is the firm's new name.


In 1963, its Washington, D.C. branch was established which would soon become an important player in that city's legal market through its representation of the American Medical Association, American Bar Association and the International Minerals & Chemical Corporation.


In 1967, when it changed its name to Sidley & Austin, it consisted of 80 lawyers, half of whom were partners; two years later, the firm moved into new offices at One First National Plaza, a new skyscraper in Chicago's Loop.


1982: Singapore and New York offices are opened.


According to Terence C. Halliday, the CBA in 1983 with 'its budget of $4.4 million made it the richest and biggest of all metropolitan associations in the United States.


In 1985, United States Solicitor General Rex E. Lee founded Sidley Austin's Appellate Practice Group to represent clients in all appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeals, and state appellate and supreme courts.


1990: Partnership opens its Tokyo office.


They argued in their 1996 book that the 'imbalances between real people and artificial persons called corporations are growing fast.'

1996: Dallas office is opened.


Based on its 811 lawyers, Sidley & Austin ranked number 12. Based on 1997 gross revenue of $360 million, Sidley & Austin received a number 11 ranking.


In 1999, it merged with competitor Brown & Wood to become Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood LLP. Under its new name, the firm claimed 400 attorneys and 1,400 staff in its Chicago headquarters alone, with fourteen additional offices nationwide.


With Baker & McKenzie having over 2,000 lawyers and London's Clifford Chance having about 3,000 lawyers, Sidley & Austin in early 2001 faced challenges from other big law firms competing for the best lawyers and clients.


Three years later—the firm then fifty years old—had four partners, four clerks (associates), and ten staff employees with gross income of around $100,000 (roughly $1.9 million in 2008 dollars).

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Alan Raul,John Thompson,Norman Williams
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How Old Is Sidley Austin?

Sidley Austin is 157 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Sidley Austin?

Alan Raul, John Thompson and Norman Williams founded Sidley Austin.

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