Gardner Carton & Douglas

Gardner Carton & Douglas (GCD) was a Chicago-based law firm that practiced from 1910 to 2006 when it merged with Philadelphia-based law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath.[1]

In 1910, Henry A. Gardner, Jr. and Alfred T. (Tom) Carton, two young graduates of the Harvard Law School, opened the doors to their new law practice at 76 West Monroe Street in Chicago. Their first client was Swift & Company. Over the next two decades, relationships with major corporations in the Chicago area formed the heart of the firm's legal practice, which began to grow substantially and continued through the advent of the New Deal in 1933, an era that often necessitated that corporate entities pay near constant legal attention to their business dealings. After serving as the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt for a year, James H. Douglas returned to the firm renaming it Gardner Carton & Douglas, which was kept until the combination in 2007 with Drinker Biddle.[2][3] Around the same time, in the 1930s, firm partner Arthur D. Chilgren filed one of the first registration statements in the United States under the Securities Act of 1933. His skills attracted many investment bankers to use the firm as underwriter's counsel for numerous financing transactions. Several decades later, in 1973, partner Ray Garrett, Jr., was selected to become chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the 1970s, Gardner Carton & Douglas also established one of the first health law practices in the country. The firm opened its Washington, D.C., office in 1977, and several years later expanded again, opening offices in Milwaukee, W.I. and Albany, N.Y.[4]


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