Firm History

Founded by George Kahin in 1919, Keller Rohrback has grown from a solo practitioner in Seattle to a firm with over 70 attorneys and 140 staff members across offices in Seattle, Oakland, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Missoula, and Santa Barbara. From the firm’s origins to its evolution into Keller Rohrback LLP, our commitment to quality legal services and ability to adapt to the changing needs of our clients has remained consistent.

In 1919, George Kahin came to Seattle from Harvard Law School and began his practice in the Central Building at 810 Third Avenue. Five years later, he formed a partnership with another attorney in the Central Building, Keith L. Bullitt. This partnership quickly gained recognition, receiving an “av” rating in the 1925 edition of Martindale’s American Law Directory, the predecessor to the present-day Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. Kahin then met John D. Carmody, a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Law who began his Seattle legal practice in 1905 and served as a deputy in the King County prosecutor’s office from 1914 to 1923. In 1930, Kahin and Carmody formed the partnership that evolved into Keller Rohrback, and its principal practice areas were listed as “corporation and trial work.” Kahin and Carmody continued their shared legal practice until 1962, starting new practice areas such as insurance, real property, and probate law.

Robert Keller and Pinckney Rohrback joined the firm in 1950 and 1953 and became partners in 1954 and 1955, respectively. The firm name changed to reflect this partnership in 1962, when the firm was renamed Kahin Horswill Keller Rohrback Waldo & Moren, which stayed the firm name until 1967. During that time, the firm also moved locations to the IBM Building at 1200 Fifth Avenue. In 1968, four of the firm’s partners were listed in Who’s Who In America—an accolade that remains noteworthy until present. Keller and Rohrback remained partners of the firm until retirement, accumulating a combined 80 years in practice at KR.

Keller and Rohrback remained partners of the firm, also adding new partners over time. The firm name went through several iterations until 1986, when the firm was renamed Keller Rohrback L.L.P. That same year, current KR managing partner Lynn Sarko started the Complex Litigation practice, which enjoys a stellar national reputation to this day. In 1988, Keller Rohrback moved to its current location at 1201 Third Avenue.

Over the past 10 years, the firm has continued to grow. In 2002 we added Keller Rohrback P.L.C. (now L.L.P.) in Phoenix. In 2008 we opened our New York office, followed by our Southern California office in 2010, Montana in 2014, Northern California in 2015, and Portland in 2022. In 2019, we celebrated our 100-year anniversary.


Firm Evolution

George Kahin (1919 – 1924)
Bullitt & Kahin (1924 – 1929)
Kahin & Carmody (1930 – 1939)
Kahin Carmody & Schram (1939 – 1941)
Kahin & Carmody (1941 – 1947)
Kahin Carmody & Pearson (1948 – 1950)
Kahin Carmody & Horswill (1950 – 1962)
Kahin Horswill Keller Rohrback Waldo & Moren (1962 – 1967)
Horswill Keller Rohrback Waldo & Moren (1967 – 1972)
Keller Rohrback Waldo Moren & Hiscock (1972 – 1974)
Keller Rohrback Waldo & Hiscock (1974 – 1981)
Keller Rohrback Waldo Hiscock Butterworth & Fardal (1981 – 1986)
Keller Rohrback L.L.P. (1986 – present)