Attorney Kemper Kossuth Knapp, founding member of Rooks Pitts and Poust, opens his solo practice in the iconic Rookery Building, located in heart of Chicago’s Financial District. In virtually no time at all, his legal career receives an instant boost when Judge Elbert H. Gary, names him general attorney for the Chicago-based companies in the Federal Steel Group. Soon after, Mr. Knapp’s representation of the region’s largest steel corporations grows substantially to include those corporations which make up what we recognize today as U.S. Steel. Read More >
Under Mr. Knapp’s leadership, Rooks Pitts and Poust's ability to adapt to the changing needs of clients grew throughout the early part of the first century. From its outset, the Firm helps its earliest clients—among them railroads and one of the largest steel companies in the world—shape the industrialization of the Midwest, all the while becoming known among the premier civil practice law firms in Chicago.
Founders Raymond K. Dykema, Elroy O. Jones and Renville Wheat open up shop on the 20th floor of the Old Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit. With a total headcount of five, the Firm engages its first client—the Great Lakes Engineering Company. Wasting no time establishing a reputation for strength in relationships through client service, Dykema’s fourth client remains a client of the firm for more than 50 years. Read More >
In the same year U.S. automobile production hit 5.3 million, a record that would not be surpassed until the 1950’s, Dykema moves its offices to Suite 2746 of the Griswold Street Building of the Penobscot complex—a move necessitated by more than doubling Firm headcount in three short years. Today, Griswold Street passes through the heart of Detroit’s Financial District. Read More >
While the U.S. continues to face the effects of the Great Depression, Dykema expands its client portfolio. The Firm opens its 800th client file six years after it welcomed its first client—that’s more than an average of 133 new clients per year.
Seeligson, Cox and Patterson is originally founded to meet the business needs of many prominent Oklahoma oil and gas families and independent oil companies who relocated to San Antonio. As the city changed and expanded, the firm also evolved and grew to meet its clients’ changing needs. Read More >
Dykema begins working with two divisions of GM—General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) and General Exchange Insurance Corporation. The initial scope of work for the client encompasses matters of collection and repossession. Read More >
Rooks Pitts exhibits its ability to successfully adapt to clients’ changing needs. With the Second World War impacting the way-of-life on all fronts, the Firm handles a myriad legal issues accompanying the immense expansion of clients’ facilities needed for the production of war materials.
Co-founder of Dykema, R.K. Dykema, makes known his high and rigid ethical standards, making certain the Firm adheres to these principles. While his motto was “better to lose a client than to compromise a principle,” the truth is he did not lose clients.
The practice of law in Detroit begins to change, as many Detroit lawyers discover aspects of practice that had since been unknown to the city’s legal community. Tax work, traditionally left to accountants in the big firms, or to Washington, D.C. counsel, begins to shift to Dykema’s Detroit-based lawyers. While the theory had been that one needed a D.C. lawyer to access the National Office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Dykema lawyer, Paul Trigg, learns that all the way up the line, everyone in the Commissioner’s office will accept a long-distance call (which in those days were not made lightly, and cost “real money”). Corollary to the accessibility of D.C.-based government officials, were the novel changes in tax code.
The Firm is substantially involved in the planning, building and development of the Illinois and Indiana toll road systems, which directly affects the operations of several firm clients. Championed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the formation of these and other roads—which are part of the Interstate Highway System—was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. Read More >
Dykema, celebrates its growth (now a 23-lawyer firm), by expanding its offices to encompass the entire 27th floor of the Penobscot Building—the same year the Detroit Lions celebrated their fourth NFL Championship. Read More >
Rooks Pitts partner, Jay Lipe, helps establish one of the first environmental legal teams in the United States to help the steel and other industries deal with newly enacted federal and state regulations and litigation. During this time, the new regulations impact nearly every environmental facet—including air, water, land and hazardous waste. Read More >
As law firm management practices evolve, Dykema engages a management consulting firm to recommend an administrative and operating structure, as well as to identify those partners who might best fit these administrative roles. The recommended model, fashioned on a corporate structure, includes such positions as: Executive Partner, Partner in charge of Professional Personnel, Partner in charge of managing the Firm’s relationship with the Detroit community, and another in charge of Non-Professional Personnel—but no Executive Committee yet.
Dykema celebrates its 40th anniversary with all three founding members—Messrs. Dykema, Jones and Wheat—present. During the celebration, R.K. Dykema remarks about the Firm, "...with this number of people the most vital concern is to have that state of morale—of harmonious common endeavor—which makes for the highest productive capacity of the whole group."
Dykema opens its Bloomfield Hills office with a headcount of 60 lawyers—making it the Firm’s second largest office at the time—representing virtually all of the Firm’s practice areas. Key clients include Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers, financial institutions, real estate developers, high tech companies and several Fortune 200 firms. Read More >
Concurrent with the region’s explosive growth in high-tech enterprises, Dykema opens its office in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The move helps expand the Firm’s client portfolio to include municipalities, media organizations and educational institutions, as well as computer, robotics and other representative high-tech industries. Read More >
Dykema’s Lansing, Michigan office opens. Adjacent to Michigan’s Capitol Building, the Firm’s newest office serves as the home of Dykema’s government policy practice. Read More >
After almost three years of planning, design and construction, Dykema moves its Detroit office to the iconic Renaissance Center. The space is large enough to house Dykema’s growing headcount—including lawyers, legal specialists and staff—of 258, and is the biggest undertaking by the Firm to date. Read More >
In the same year the Washington Bullets (n.k.a the Washington Wizards) win their firsts NBA title, Dykema opens its first office outside of Michigan in Washington, D.C. The expansion allows better access to clients in such realms as federal legislative and policy practice, intellectual property, transportation law and government contracts. Read More >
Strengthening its presence in Michigan, Dykema opens its Grand Rapids office—at the time, the Firm’s westernmost office. The team of Grand Rapids-based lawyers serve clients throughout Western and Northern Michigan, and in the Upper Peninsula, in areas including real estate, corporate, financial institution, environmental and litigation.
Rooks Pits and Poust adopts its name following nearly three decades of continued growth. Among 30 years of highlights: Richard Ogilvie was elected as the Illinois Governor in 1968, while Henry Pitts became president of the Illinois State Bar Association. Newt Rooks became President of the Chicago Bar Association and, after merging his litigation practice with the firm, John Poust served on the select committee which drafted the Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions. Read More >
Dykema expands to the third most populous city, and one of the busiest legal venues, in the U.S.—Chicago. The establishment of Dykema in Chicago marks the Firm's seventh office. It allows the Firm to expand its international client base. In fact, due to rapid growth, the Firm is prompted to relocate to a larger office space in 1995. Read More >
Rooks Pitts and Poust celebrates its 100th anniversary. The Firm, which at the time is comprised of 80 lawyers in four offices, has flourished because of its dedication to quality and acquisition of top talent.
The Board of Commissioners of the State Bar of Michigan unanimously adopts a resolution honoring the Firm, “for its outstanding and exemplary commitment to pro bono service to the public." Dykema is the only firm in Michigan to be bestowed such an honor—a testament to the Firm’s belief that the practice of law is a privilege that carries with it profound societal responsibilities, and that equal access to justice for those with unmet legal needs is essential. Read More >
As The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King earns the year's Best Picture honors, Dykema opens its first office west of the Mississippi—in Los Angeles. With its Midwest work ethic and value-driven approach, the Firm serves those industries that fuel the California economy, including automotive, banking, entertainment, technology and real estate. Read More >
Rooks Pitts and Dykema Gossett join forces to form the nearly 400 attorney firm operating under the name, Dykema Gossett. Announced on February 23, 2004, the merger gives Dykema a substantial Chicago presence—at the time, the 2nd largest of its offices—greatly expanding its litigation practice while broadening its platform to deliver corporate, real estate and related. Rooks Pitts gains an enhanced platform to offer clients expanded capabilities in corporate law and securities, government policy, employment, intellectual property, real estate, tax, health care and trade regulation. Read More >
Dykema expands to the “Big D,” opening its Dallas office. With Dallas-Fort Worth being the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States, and being home to the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation, the move is highly strategic for expanding the Firm’s commercial litigation, consumer financial services, intellectual property and class action practices. Read More >
Becoming effective on July 14, 2008, Dykema's merger with Schwartz Cooper Chartered grows the firm by 53 attorneys. The transaction gives the Firm a headcount of nearly 130 lawyers in Chicago, and more than 450 lawyers and other professionals nationally. Strategically, the transaction bolsters Dykema’s existing practices in banking and lending; bankruptcy, insolvency and creditors’ rights; real estate/real estate finance; corporate; and litigation.
Dykema opened its Minneapolis office in January 2013. The Twin Cities are home to 19 Fortune 500 corporations and several of the world’s largest private companies and a major center for medical devices, high-technology industries, financial service institutions and energy providers. Read More >
Opened in July 2013, Dykema’s Austin office is home to experienced and highly credentialed lawyers representing several of the firm’s core practices: Taxation, Litigation, Government Policy and Real Estate. The office is situated in the heart of downtown, just a few blocks from the Texas State Capitol—enabling our attorneys and other professionals to represent clients before government and regulatory agencies. Read More >
The combination between Dykema and Cox Smith—a leading Texas law firm with deep history and more than 100 attorneys—gives the firm a significantly expanded presence in Texas and the American Southwest. In addition to San Antonio, which is now one of the firm’s largest offices, the combination added locations in El Paso and McAllen, effectively doubled the number of attorneys in Dallas, and significantly increased the firm’s presence in Austin. In Texas, the firm will initially operate under the name Dykema Cox Smith. Read More >