Firm History


As one of the oldest law firms in continuous practice in the United States, Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald has a rich tradition of service to clients, the public and Connecticut's legal community since its founding in 1786. The firm's goal remains the same today as it was from the beginning - to provide clients with sound legal advice and excellence in advocacy with competitive services of the highest quality, ethics and integrity.

1786 – 1932

Enoch Perkins – Perkins & Perkins et al

CalligraphyIn 1786, Enoch Perkins began what has become one of the oldest law firms in continuous practice in the United States, and his original law practice shingle is one of the firm’s most prized heirlooms. In 1820 Enoch’s son Thomas joined his father’s law practice. Thomas Perkins married Mary Foote Beecher, daughter of Rev. Lyman Beecher and sister of author Harriet Beecher Stowe. In 1855 Thomas Perkins’s son Charles expanded the firm’s litigation practice and became widely recognized as one of the State Capital’s finest trial lawyers.

Charles Perkins also became a close friend and legal counselor to Samuel Clemens, known to most by his pen name Mark Twain. In 1889 Charles Perkins’ son Arthur continued the Perkins family stewardship of the firm until his death in 1932. Arthur Perkins also was a founding member of the Appalachian Trail Association and became known as the “Father of the Appalachian Trail,” which spans from Georgia to Maine.

1932 – 1961

Wells, Davis, Schaefer & Locke et al

Enoch PerkinsFollowing the Perkins family succession, the firm’s law practice and reputation continued to grow with the notable stewardship and talents of many other partners. Ralph Wells, an appellate law specialist, authored the Connecticut Public Utilities Act. William Locke and P. Corbin Kohn co-authored the highly regarded treatise Connecticut Probate Practice. John R. FitzGerald co-authored with former law partner, now retired Judge Douglas Wright, the much cited Connecticut Law of Torts, and later Connecticut Trial Practice. John FitzGerald also has been recognized by courts nationally and abroad as a preeminent Connecticut law expert and civil trial lawyer. From 1944-1961, the firm was named Davis, Lee, Howard & Wright.

1961 – Present

Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald, LLP

Since January 1, 1961, the firm has been known as Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald. Over the years a number of the firm’s partners have been appointed Judges of various Connecticut state and federal courts, elected to the Senate and House of the Connecticut General Assembly, and have held positions including Assistant Attorney General, prosecutor, corporation counsel, law school alumni and bar association presidents.

The firm’s Hartford office is located in its own 3-level brick building, with two additional floors over a ground level parking facility, and is surrounded by the original Old State House wrought iron fence.

Connecticut State CapitolThe firm is within walking distance of Hartford’s state and federal courts, the Connecticut Supreme Court, State Capital, Library and regulatory offices, Hartford’s business, insurance and cultural districts, Bushnell Park and is easily accessible from I-84 , I-91, Bradley International and Brainard Airports. The law firm also has an office in Manchester, CT, for the added convenience of its clients.