WilmerHale Celebrates 20th Anniversary

WilmerHale Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Firm News

Today, May 31, is a landmark day in our firm’s history. It is the 20th anniversary of the merger that created WilmerHale. On this day back in 2004, two widely admired and successful law firms—Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP and Hale and Dorr LLP—joined forces in what The Wall Street Journal described as “an unusual combination of equals in the legal profession.” Since its auspicious beginnings, WilmerHale has only grown in stature, forging a unique identity in the profession and setting the standard for excellence in lawyering, as its distinguished legacy firms had done before.

It’s been an incredibly exciting and rewarding 20 years. Over the last two decades, we’ve grown our scale, our capabilities, and our geographic reach, all while maintaining a culture that is the envy of the profession. From two firms with distinct yet complementary strengths, we’ve built an industry-leading and mutually reinforcing slate of practices that, year after year, have attracted the most complex, high-stakes and intellectually engaging work the profession has to offer.

We’ve handled bet-the-company internal and government investigations for clients across a wide range of industries on everything from accounting and disclosure issues to anti-corruption, cartels, cyber breaches, export controls, industrial accidents, securities trading and workplace culture. We’ve prevailed at every level of the judicial system, securing hard-fought trial wins and appellate victories—including landmark US Supreme Court rulings—on issues as varied as patent infringement, constitutional questions, consumer protection and the securities laws. We’ve represented clients in EU merger proceedings, precedent-setting foreign investment transactions in China and international arbitrations governed by the laws of more than 70 different legal systems. We’ve advised market leaders, particularly in the technology and life sciences industries, through every stage of the corporate lifecycle, representing them in their most important transactions, and helped them shore up their intellectual property rights. And we’ve done all this while maintaining a flourishing pro bono practice that has made a significant impact in areas like the death penalty, human trafficking, marriage equality and racial justice reform.

Since 2004, we’ve vaulted up the ranks of The American Lawyer’s A-List. We’ve made the list 20 times since its inception, with five recent appearances in the top five. In 2021, The American Lawyer named us Law Firm of the Year.

Over the past two decades, we’ve maintained our pre-eminent position in Boston and Washington DC, and we’ve become a leader in New York. We now have a significant and growing presence in the Western United States, with thriving offices in Denver, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Francisco. We opened our Beijing office as a newly merged firm back in late 2004 and added Frankfurt five years later, to complement our existing locations in Berlin, Brussels and London. In 2010, we established our Dayton office, centralizing many of our core support services and our financial and client support teams. We expect to extend our reach farther still, and we continue to look for opportunities to grow where there’s a client or business need.

The firm today combines a commitment to excellence in the craft with a culture of collegiality, high ethical standards, mutual respect and dedication to public service and pro bono work. And, over the past decade, we’ve added a fitting element to this set of principles: a foundational commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

WilmerHale is proud of where this firm started and of what we have built in the 20 years since the merger. As we commemorate this significant milestone, we are filled with gratitude and optimism for the future, and we are eager to embrace the next chapter of our legacy.


Unless you are an existing client, before communicating with WilmerHale by e-mail (or otherwise), please read the Disclaimer referenced by this link.(The Disclaimer is also accessible from the opening of this website). As noted therein, until you have received from us a written statement that we represent you in a particular manner (an "engagement letter") you should not send to us any confidential information about any such matter. After we have undertaken representation of you concerning a matter, you will be our client, and we may thereafter exchange confidential information freely.

Thank you for your interest in WilmerHale.