Our Story

Our firm was founded by Arthur I. Vorys, Lowry F. Sater, Augustus T. Seymour and Edward L. Pease on March 1, 1909, in Columbus, Ohio.  Since then, we have grown from a four-person office to a firm of nearly 375 lawyers in nine different cities.  Through the years, our firm has developed and cultivated deep-seated traditions of innovation, client service, high ethical standards, public service and community involvement.  Those traditions continue to guide us today and remain as important to the firm as our name – which has remained unchanged since our creation.

Over more than 100 years, our firm has developed an extensive client list that numbers more than 10,000 active clients, ranging from individuals to charitable institutions to Fortune 50 companies.

Remembering our roots.

Since 1911, shortly after our founding, we have been located in an office building at 52 East Gay Street in Columbus.  From these early roots, the firm has grown into the nationally recognized firm it is today.  As the years passed, we acquired that entire building, as well as five neighboring buildings.  We took over space formerly occupied by a stable, a hardware store, a dance studio, a telephone company and a school of cosmetology – making for unique office space that is connected by a sprawling network of stairways, steps and ramps.  

Strategic and manageable growth.

Over time, we have strategically grown and expanded across the U.S while continuing to emphasize our firm’s culture and traditions.  The Washington, D.C. office was founded in the 1970s and the Cleveland and Cincinnati offices were founded in the 1980s.  The firm’s fifth office – located in Akron, Ohio – was opened in 2004.  Our Houston, Texas, office opened February 2009.  We opened our doors in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October 2013 and in southern California in February 2021. Our newest office, in London, England opened in September 2022.

Steady leadership.

While our firm has been around since 1909, we have only had six firm-wide managing partners.  We believe this is a testament to our firm's culture of teamwork, our overall stability and our focus on manageable growth.  Our first managing partner was Lowry Sater, followed by Webb I. Vorys, John C. Elam, Robert Werth and Russell Gertmenian.  Our current managing partner, Michael Martz, took on the role in 2018.

Although many decades have passed since our firm was created, the four founders – and the many other individuals who have contributed immensely to the growth and development of the firm – remain a strong presence through the traditions they helped to create and foster.  Those traditions continue to grow and evolve through the efforts of new generations of Vorys lawyers.

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