mith & Hale LLC traces its origins back to the late 1880s, making it one of the oldest law firms in Columbus, Ohio. Initially known as the law firm of Wilson & West and later as Wilson & Rector, the early attorneys in the firm made their living representing local business owners. The firm at one time represented Nelson Rockefeller's business interests in Ohio and also represented Charles Kettering of General Motors. In the period between the 1930s and 1960s, a large potion of the firm's business shifted to the representation of the railroads. Harrison W. Smith, Sr. counted the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (now CSX) as a major client.

During the 1950s, Smith's son, Harrison Smith, Jr., joined the firm. Not long thereafter the firm began representing Don Casto, Sr. and his extensive and growing real estate interests. This, combined with some annexation work that the younger Smith had become involved with, began the firm's work in the zoning, land use, and real estate fields. In the early 1970s, Ben Hale, Jr. joined the firm. While the firm still represented the railroads, Hale and Smith orchestrated a shift in its practice toward the representation of landowners and developers in a growing Central Ohio.

By the early 1980s, the firm came to be known as Smith & Hale and focused its practice on zoning, land use, real estate, and related matters. This transformation was spurred by the firm's representation of many clients that would come to be (and still are) fixtures in the local development community. In addition to representing Casto, the firm began its representation of M/I Homes and played a key role in facilitating the development of the Muirfield community and golf course in Dublin through its representation of Jack Nicklaus. Since then, the firm has represented elite local developers such as The New Albany Company, The Edwards Company, Continental Realty, The Casto Organization and Plaza Properties, as well as developers with a national presence such as Duke, Multicon, Jacobs, Visconsi, and Jacobs, Developers Diversified, Melvin Simon, and Epcon Communities.

While our lawyers have been significant contributors to many of the highest-profile development projects in Central Ohio over the last 50 years, our firm has carefully managed its growth from a three attorney office in the 1970s to a firm with seven attorneys today. This combination of size and experience has allowed Smith & Hale to provide the unique level of expertise and client service upon which it has earned its reputation.


Smith and Hale LLC      37 West Broad Street, Suite 460      Columbus OH 43215

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