Interactive Time Line

Frost Brown Todd is proud of its heritage. For nearly 100 years, Frost Brown Todd and its legacy firms have provided the highest standards of service and knowledge of the law to its clients. Click on the items below to learn about some of Frost Brown Todd’s landmark events.


Jan 1917

Theodore L. Locke went to Indianapolis and associated with an established solo practitioner, Charles Dryer

Jan 1919

Cincinnati's Frost & Jacobs was founded in 1919 by Henry G. Frost and Carl M. Jacobs

Jan 1943

Hugh Reynolds was made full partner, and Slaymaker, Merrell & Locke became known as Slaymaker, Merrell, Locke & Reynolds (Locke Reynolds is one of Frost Brown Todd's legacy firms)

Jan 1955

The legacy firm became known as Locke Reynolds Boyd & Weisell

Jan 1972

Marshall, Cochran, Heyburn & Wells; Brown, Eldred & Bonnie; Brown, Ardery, Todd & Dudley consolidate their partnership in Louisville, Kentucky. The firm name becomes Brown, Todd & Heyburn (also a Frost Brown Todd legacy firm).

May 1977

On May 28, 1977, a fire broke out at the Beverly Hills Supper Club. Because of inadequate exits, patrons were unable to evacuate and 167 people were killed. The club was without adequate insurance and unable to compensate the victims. Multiple class action lawsuits were filed. Frost Brown Todd represented six (6) defendants through three trials. Mass Tort litigation—as it is known today—was born from this case.

Jan 1978

Frost & Jacobs merged with Kyte, Wulsin & Vogeler

Jan 1979

Frost & Jacobs merged with IP firm, Melville, Strasser, Foster & Hoffman

Nov 1980

This hotel fire resulted in 84 deaths and numerous personal injuries. Following in the footsteps of the Beverly Hills Fire Litigation, well-known plaintiffs’ counsel, including Stanley Chesley, and Wendell Gauthier, sued more than 50 defendants with diverse product liability and other claims. Frost Brown Todd successfully defended B.F. Goodrich, Conoco, and Pantsaote, Inc., against claims that the off-gasses of PVC vinyl-coated materials were toxic and unreasonably dangerous.

Jan 1982

Brown, Todd & Heyburn expanded to Lexington

Aug 1982

Brown, Todd & Heyburn merged with Park & Sullivan. Firm name continued on as Brown, Todd & Heyburn

Jan 1986

Hugh E. Reynolds, Jr. provided testimony regarding Product Liability Reform before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Aug 1988

Frost & Jacobs Expands to Columbus

Jan 1990

Hotel fire killed 95 guests and injured more than 1,400 hotel patrons. Resulting litigation involved class action suits filed in several states. More than 100 defendants were sued. This litigation was described at the time as the largest ever, single incident mass tort case in history.

Jan 1992

Served as Indiana counsel for General Motors (GM) in the ground-breaking litigation against NBC arising out of the Dateline program that misrepresented the effect of high-speed crashes on GM pickup trucks

Aug 1992

The Honorable John G. Heyburn II appointed as United States District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky. 

Apr 1995

After the 1995 bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Johnnie Cochran filed a class action lawsuit seeking incalculable damages from the company that allegedly made the fertilizer. Breaking new ground, we developed a successful defense strategy for this multinational client. Within two years, the case was dismissed and the dismissal was affirmed on appeal.

Mar 1997

Warner-Jenkinson Company, Inc. v. Hilton Davis Chemical Co., 520 U.S. 17 (1997), was a United States Supreme Court decision in the area of patent law, affirming the continued vitality of the doctrine of equivalents while making some important refinements to the doctrine. FBT attorney, David Schmit, was the lead trail counsel for Hilton Davis and argued the case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jan 1998

Brown, Todd & Heyburn expanded to Nashville

Jan 1999

The firm changed its name from Locke Reynolds Boyd & Weisell to Locke Reynolds

Jan 2000

Julia Blackwell Gelinas was named Managing Partner of Locke Reynolds. She served as chair of the management committee of the former Locke Reynolds law firm from 2000 to 2005, one of very few women to hold that title in Indianapolis.

Nov 2000

Brown, Todd & Heyburn merged with Ohio-counterpart, Frost & Jacobs to form Frost Brown Todd

Jan 2001

Diversity and Inclusion Committee formed

Jan 2001

Women’s Initiative began

Feb 2003

The fire was caused by pyrotechnics which ignited flammable sound insulation foam in the walls and ceilings surrounding the stage. Within five minutes, fire had consumed much of the club, ultimately claiming 100 lives and injuring scores of other club patrons.

We represented the alleged foam manufacturers, and filed motion for summary judgment on their behalf. The litigation is ongoing.

Dec 2003

In an unprecedented lawsuit believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, FBT’s clients alleged the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association had withheld over $100 million due and owing to its members. After nearly five years of hard-fought litigation involving novel theories of recovery and very little, if any, legal precedent, FBT lawyers obtained a gross judgment in excess of $128 million.

Jan 2004

Informal Mentor Lunch Program began – where two seasoned attorneys are matched up with two associates every other month (pairings are done randomly)

Jan 2004

Lunch and Learn training programs began

Jan 2004

Mentor of the Year Award began

Jan 2004

National Foundation of Judicial Excellence supports a strong, independent, responsive judiciary by providing officers of the courts with educational programs and other tools that enable them to perform at their highest level. Lloyd Milliken served as President of the organization from 2004-2006.

Dec 2004

Frost Brown Todd Helps Injured Troops Wish Loved Ones A Happy New Year by purchasing thousands of pre-paid phone card minutes

Jan 2005

FBT made significant financial commitments to Tsunami relief efforts and provided free legal advice to community members who donated to foreign charities for the first time

Jan 2005

FBT Member raised $50,012 in Janus Charity Triathlon Challenge to support the Family & Children’s Counseling Centers of Kentucky

Aug 2005

Frost Brown Todd Donates money to the American Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast Region

Sep 2005

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari – FBT filed the amicus curiae (friend of the court) on behalf of several area chambers of commerce

Oct 2005

Frost Brown Todd and Wahlert Rechtsanwalte form U.S. – German Alliance

Oct 2005

Frost Brown Todd Establishes Pro Bono Team

Apr 2006

Director of Diversity appointed; role was expanded from 600 to 1200 hours/year in October of 2008

Jan 2007

Career Development Coach Hired

May 2007

FBT Announces Opening of Florence Office

Jun 2007

FBT Announces Opening of Charleston Office

Jul 2007

First Class Program, a summer associate program, where a first-year law student spends six weeks at FBT and six weeks at one of our client’s facilities during the summer

Jul 2007

Sustainability Committee Formed

Nov 2007

FBT Named to BTI Top 50 Law Firms List

Jan 2008

FBT forms Electronic Data Discovery Group

Jul 2008

FBT Announces Opening of West Chester Office

Jan 2009

FBT Merges with Locke Reynolds

Jan 2009

FBT Named a Top Fifty Law Firm for Women

Jan 2009

FBT transitions Co-Managing member leadership structure to a Chairman and Managing Member model.

May 2009

Automotive Task Force Formed

May 2009

FBT adopts the practice group management structure

Jun 2009

Frost Brown Todd launches an attorney apprenticeship program placing first-year FBT attorneys in the offices of our clients. Click here for more information.

Nov 2009

FBT Moves to BTI’s Top 30 in the Nation in Client Service

May 2010

FBT Adopts New Strategic Plan

Jun 2010

FBT Establishes Diversity Scholarship Fund

Aug 2010

Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III elected President – Elect of the American Bar Association

Oct 2010

Professional Development Director Hired

Nov 2010

On November 1, 2010, FBT's Charleston office moved to the Laidley Tower to allow for additional attorneys to join the group, which is a part of the firm's overrall strategic plan.

Nov 2010

Project Management Professional Hired

Dec 2010

Frost Brown Todd has been ranked 12th in the nation for superior client service and was again included in the Client Service 30 in the annual BTI Consulting Group Client Service A-Team Report, an annual survey ranking the top performing law firms in client service.

Dec 2010

FBT Named Best Places to Work in Louisville

Jan 2011

The Honorable Beth Buchanan appointed as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Ohio

Jan 2011

Frost Brown Todd has been awarded the 2011 Award for Community Service. Presented by Medical Mutual and sponsored by CVS/Caremark, Duke Energy Center and Smart Business Magazine.

Jun 2011

Frost Brown Todd receives the 2011 Inaugural Award for Women Empowerment by The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF)

Aug 2011

Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III Named President of the American Bar Association

Sep 2011

Frost Brown Todd's Cincinnati office relocates to 3300 Great American Tower at Queen City Square.

May 2012

Frost Brown Todd's Nasvhille office relocates to The Pinnacle at Symphony Place. The new office has the capacity to hold about 80 attorneys.

Jun 2012

MGLAW's seven attorneys and staff join Frost Brown Todd's Nashville office in the new space, and assume the name Frost Brown Todd. The resulting merger increases the size of the Nashville office to 23 lawyers.

Jul 2012

Frost Brown Todd receives the 2012 Award for Women Empowerment by The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF).  Each year it gives law firms a ‘Gold Standard’ award for giving women positions of leadership.

Aug 2012

The Law & Leadership Institute, a pipeline program for 9-12th graders, has recognized FBT as its Exemplary Law Firm Supporter for 2012. The firm has been involved in the program since it launched in Ohio several years ago. Dan Choi has taken a leadership role in mentoring our interns we host every summer, as well as planning a field trip for the students. In addition, several of our attorneys judged the interns this spring at a Mock Trial Competition.