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Miller Canfield Celebrates 150 Years

February 25, 2002

In 1852 when Miller Canfield's founder, Sidney Davy Miller, 22 years old and straight out of Harvard Law School, began his law practice on Detroit's Jefferson Avenue he could hardly have suspected that he was establishing what would become Michigan's oldest and largest law firm.

That small practice, now celebrating its 150th year, recently grew to 300 attorneys when Miller Canfield joined forces with Windsor's largest law firm Wilson Walker LLP in January of this year.

The changes that have taken place in the practice of law during the past 150 years are unparalleled. Yet, according to Thomas W. Linn, Miller Canfield's CEO, the guiding principles of the founder continue today. "Regardless of how much Miller Canfield has changed in 150 years, our values have stayed the same. I personally feel a strong responsibility to our clients and to our attorneys and staff to continue the traditions that have made us a great law firm and to continually make the changes necessary to succeed in the future."

Linn also stated "We were one of the first law firms to embrace technology, to open branch offices regionally and internationally and to create multidisciplinary industry practice groups. We are one of the few in the country to have an in-house, continuing education program. Courses at Miller Canfield University range from legal updates and management strategies to personal development and improvement. An important goal of the firm is to identify and develop future leaders who will continue to support our defining values of high integrity, strong collegiality and community service. We are extremely proud of our history."

The firm's 150th anniversary will be celebrated throughout the year by client receptions in the firm's various offices and numerous internal activities for employees, the creation of a sesquicentennial logo, an ad campaign, and publishing a firm history titled Miller Canfield at 150: An Informal History, written by award-winning author and historian James E. Tobin, Jr., son of the longtime head of the firm's labor and employment group. Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize while a reporter for the Detroit News, Tobin's first book, Ernie Pyle's War: America's Eyewitness to WW II, won the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography in 1998.

Miller Canfield enjoys the distinction of being one of the nation's leading firms in its specialty areas and was recently named one of America's Best Corporate Law Firms by Corporate Board Member magazine. Miller Canfield represents individuals in their personal and business concerns, trusts and estates, publicly traded and multinational companies, and many start-up, small, and medium-sized businesses. Its client base also includes public bodies such as the state of Michigan and many of its agencies, authorities and universities, cities, counties, townships, school and community college districts, and special authorities throughout the state. Its attorneys also represent numerous nonprofit, tax-exempt institutions, such as hospitals, charitable organizations, and professional associations.

The 300-attorney law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. , established in Detroit, Michigan in 1852, has offices in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Howell, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Monroe, Troy, Washington, D.C., New York City, Pensacola, Florida, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and in Gdynia, Katowice, and Warsaw, Poland. The internet address is