Peabody & Arnold’s Defining Moments Over 125 Years


As we continue to celebrate Peabody & Arnold’s 125 Years, we look back at some of the defining moments and proud successes of our firm.

1899: Firm founded by General Peabody and Edmund Arnold, named Peabody & Arnold, and located at 10 State Street, Boston, MA.

1909: Peabody & Arnold changes name to Peabody, Arnold, Batchelder & Luther, once Samuel Batchelder and Willard Luther join the firm in 1902 and 1905.

1920s to 1930s: The Firm perseveres through the Great Depression (1929 – 1939).

1930s to 1940s: The Firm gains its reputation as one of nation’s finest suretyship law firms, building on its relationships with State Street Trust Company and Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company.

1950s: The “generalists” expand the Firm’s work with State Street Bank to handle ancestral trusts left by famed Abbott Lawrence, and strengthens its expertise in real estate, trust, surety and fidelity, insurance coverage, and litigation.

1960s: The Firm changes name from Peabody, Arnold, Batchelder & Luther to Peabody & Arnold and moves to 53 State Street, Boston, MA.

1970s: Peabody & Arnold hires its first woman law clerks; begins building insurance defense litigation practice that continues 50+ years to present day; and moves its office to One Beacon Street, Boston, MA.

Early 1980s: The Firm leads with inclusion for that era by welcoming its first woman partner; and hires its first openly gay associate.

1980s:During this time, Peabody & Arnold also takes on some notable entertainment law matters for the ’80, including assisting iconic actor Burt Reynolds to defeat a libel action about the film “The End”; and defends “The Bell Jar” film studio and director against another libel action. The Firm also expands to open its Providence, RI office.

1990s: Firm continues to thrive in service of its varied clients. Further embracing inclusion, the Firm welcomes the first African American partner; and assists in representation of GLAD in support of their rights to participate in the South Boston Veterans Day Parade. Peabody & Arnold also reorganizes from general practice to litigation; doubles in size to over 100 lawyers; dramatically expands its business practice with a client portfolio including many prominent Boston banks; and expands insurance defense practice to include professional liability expertise.

1999: Firm celebrates its Centennial! 100 Years!

2010s: Firm expands with office in New York, NY. Peabody & Arnold nearly doubles insurance coverage practice and continues its history of growth and expansion.

2020s: Peabody & Arnold continues to serve its clients and maintains all staff at the Firm through the Covid-19 pandemic, which was the third pandemic in the Firm’s long history. Former partner Hon. Maureen Mulligan (1961- 2023) confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Commonwealth’s Superior Court.

2024: Firm proudly celebrates 125 years of continuous operation, as one of the oldest law firms in America, servicing clients across the U.S., Bermuda and abroad in Europe.