Firm History


110 years of history in the making…

Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP (or Wendel Rosen, for short) traces its origins to December 1909. Always in Oakland, the firm was founded by Louis Glickman, along with his two brothers, and retained the Glickman family name until 1946. At that time, J. Clayton Orr joined the firm, causing the name to change to Glickman, Glickman & Orr. In 1948, Marion W. Heuring was admitted to the partnership and the firm became known as Glickman, Orr & Heuring. When David I. Wendel became a partner in the firm in 1956, the name changed to Orr, Heuring & Wendel.

More recent history has led to several name changes as well. In 1970, Eugene Lawlor, a leading East Bay trial attorney, joined the partnership. At that time the firm became known as Orr, Wendel & Lawlor (affectionately, the wise OWL firm). In 1977, Donn Black, former mayor of Lafayette, joined what was to be known as Wendel, Lawlor, Rosen and Black.  Michael Dean joined the firm in 1967, straight out of law school, and was later added to the partnership and eventually the firm name.  In 1988, the name changed once more to Wendel, Rosen, Black, Dean & Levitan (the longest of the name incarnations).  Shortly after the 1988 name change, Jacob Levitan died in a tragic accident.

The current name of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP was established in 1996, when the partnership became a limited liability partnership (LLP).  

Despite the many name changes over the years, the firm has always had the same core values—a strong sense of community and personal client service. The team of attorneys and staff housed under Wendel Rosen's roof today continues to keep those values very close to heart.