BAKER & HOSTETLER, one of the nation's 25 largest law firms, has served the health care industry, the media and communications industry, and has worked to protect the intellectual property rights of clients in the entertainment, high technology, sports, and apparel industries. Its client list has included E. W. Scripps, the CLEVELAND CLINIC Foundation, and the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs.
Baker, Hostetler & Sidlo was founded by former Cleveland Mayor NEWTON D. BAKER, JOSEPH C. HOSTETLER, and THOMAS L. SIDLO in 1916. Three months later, Baker was appointed secretary of war by Pres. Woodrow Wilson and left for Washington. When he returned in 1921, his stature helped the firm acquire a national reputation. Significant clients represented by Baker included O. P. and M. P. VAN SWERINGEN, the General Electric Co. in a federal antitrust suit, and several utility companies seeking to have the Tennessee Valley Authority declared unconstitutional. Baker also successfully represented the city of Cleveland against the EAST OHIO GAS CO.'s unilateral withdrawal of service when its rate agreement with the city expired in the mid-1920s. In 1928 Baker & Hostetler attorneys wrote the reorganization agreement and charter for the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, and since then the firm has continued to represent corporations, professional sports teams, and organizations in Cleveland and throughout the nation.
Over the years the firm changed both its location and name. Needing larger quarters by 1924, it moved from its original office in the Union Natl. Bank Bldg., to the Union Trust Bldg. (HUNTINGTON BLDG.). lt stayed there until 1980, when it relocated to the Natl. City Ctr. Bldg. Baker, Hostetler & Sidlo added Patterson to its name in 1931, and in 1938 changed it to Baker, Hostetler & Patterson. It was shortened to Baker & Hostetler in 1979. The firm merged with McCutchen Black Verleger & Shea of Los Angeles in 1990, giving it access to West Coast legal business. In 1995 the firm's Cleveland office, with approx. 140 attorneys, has represented many of the city's major developers during the largest downtown revitalization in Cleveland's history in such projects as SOCIETY CENTER, TOWER CITY CENTER, and Jacobs Field.