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History

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Our Beginning


A handshake agreement to organize Brouse McDowell took place between Edwin W. Brouse and C. Blake McDowell.

November 1918
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Our First Home


The firm formally organized as Commins, Brouse, Englebeck and McDowell and established offices on the 4th floor of the Central Savings and Trust Building. 
 



January 1919
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C. Blake McDowell


Blake was the youngest of our founders. Despite his age, he played a key role in leading us to make a difference in Akron and Summit County.

January 1920
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A New Home


The firm relocated to the Central Depositors Bank Building, later known as First National Tower, which remained the firm’s headquarters for 73 years. It was constructed in 1929.


 
January 1931
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Our Firm Grows


Combined with Roetzel and Hunsicker.
January 1971
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The Brouse Legacy Continues


Managing Partner Robert C. Brouse followed in his grandfather's footsteps to lead the firm and add to our firm’s vision for Summit County.

January 1972
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C. Blake McDowell's Lifetime of Community Commitment


July 1972
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The McDowell Succession Continues


C. Blake McDowell Jr. elected managing partner. His impact is still found throughout downtown Akron and in the hearts of new law students to this day, with the C. Blake McDowell Law Center in the northwest portion of the University of Akron.

January 1979
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New Leadership


Managing Partner Frank Harvey Jr. helped advance our vision of providing unmatched and sophisticated legal services from 1984-1989. 

January 1984
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Quirk Elected Managing Partner


Frank Quirk carried our firm forward with a commitment to furthering the vision and impact of Brouse McDowell throughout Northeast Ohio.

January 1989
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Cleveland Office Established


Our Cleveland office was established in 1998 with more than 20 attorneys practicing from the 16th floor of the Fifth Third Center in downtown. 



January 1998
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The Brouse McDowell Brand


The firm was given several different names throughout its history, through acquisitions of partners and combinations with other law firms, and finally settled on the name Brouse McDowell. 

January 1998
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New Century, New Leadership


Jerry Whitmer elected managing partner carrying us through the new century. 

January 1998
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Karl S. Hay Award for Service


Our firm presented the first Karl S. Hay Award to Brouse employees who have made exceptional contributions of time, talent, energy and enthusiasm in service to others.

January 2002
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Brouse Adds Intellectual Property Attorneys


Brouse McDowell grew to 62 lawyers when it combined with Emerson & Skeriotis, Co. LPA.
October 2002
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Leadership Change


Jeffrey T. Heintz elected managing partner. 

January 2004
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A New Home on Main Street


The firm opened its new Akron headquarters in the AES Building, a former B.F. Goodrich manufacturing complex dating back to 1925. After renovations in 1995, the building was transformed into Class A office space at 388 South Main Street.

November 2004
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90 Years of Service to the Community


Blake McDowell Sr. believed in giving back to the community. Here he serves breakfast to soap box derby racers in the 1950s.

January 2008
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Leadership Under Marc Merklin


Marc B. Merklin elected managing partner. 

January 2013
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Brouse Grows with Nadler


Brouse welcomed eight attorneys from the 100-year-old Youngstown-based Nadler Nadler and Burdman Co., LPA, growing the firm to approximately 70 attorneys.

 

December 2016
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Brouse Grows with Thacker Robinson Zinz


Brouse welcomed 12 attorneys from the women-owned Thacker Robinson Zinz firm, growing to approximately 80 attorneys. Through the combination we added offices in Toledo, Ohio and Naples, Florida. July 2018
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Brouse McDowell Today


Brouse McDowell’s Akron headquarters occupies more than 60,000 square feet in the AES Building.

January 2019
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Brouse Celebrates 100 Years


Brouse McDowell celebrates its 100th year of client service, with a series of special events and commemorations throughout the year. The firm continues its commitment to excellence, professional responsibility, community involvement, and advocacy for our clients and their business matters. 

January 2019