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Bingham McHale LLP collection

Identifier: L166

Scope and Contents

This collection includes materials about the law firm of Bingham McHale, formerly Bingham, Summers Welsh and Spilman, in Indianapolis, Indiana, from 1912 to 2011. Much of the information regards Governor Matthew E. Welsh, who was a partner in the firm. This includes the tribute dinner given to him by Vincennes University in 1993 and a speech of his reminiscences. Claude M. Spilman's World War II memoirs, which he wrote while a partner at the firm, tells of his experiences in Germany and France. His biography is included at the end of the booklet. There are photographs of the attorneys involved in Victory Field baseball diamond being built in Indianapolis, as well as client brochures and a photocopy of the history of the firm written by the firm's 37-year librarian, Nikki Schofield. This history includes a photocopied picture of Hoagy Carmichael who worked for the firm before beginning his music career. An article about Kelly Kappes, a labor lawyer, is included with a photograph of the Labor Practice Group.


  • 1912-2011


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Administrative History

The law firm began in 1914 when James Bingham began practicing law on his own, after he left a small firm. Bingham graduated from Wabash College in 1911, but never attended law school. In 1918, George Bingham joined his son but they never formed a partnership. When Maurice Mendenhall came on board in 1925, the firm of Bingham Mendenhall and Bingham began.

Mendenhall left in 1937, and Charles Cook joined the firm, so the name changed to Bingham Cook and Bingham. After George Bingham died in 1947, a young World War II hero, Claude Spilman, added his name to the firm's title, thus becoming Bingham Cook and Spilman. In 1949, with the addition of Paul Summers, the name became Bingham Summers and Spilman. When Matthew Welsh left the governor's office in 1965, the firm became Bingham Summers Welsh and Spilman, and kept that name for 36 years.

In 1970, the firm moved from the Circle Tower to the first skyscraper in Indianapolis, the new Indiana National Bank Tower. Here, the firm grew from 12 attorneys to 54 attorneys and ten paralegals in January 1989, when the firm moved to the new Market Tower. Since that time, there have been three firms to merge with BSWS.

In January 2002, McHale Cook and Welch came, resulting in the name changing to Bingham McHale. In November 2005, Kiefer and McGoff joined the firm. In January 2008, McTurnan and Turner became part of the firm. In May 2008, there were 140 attorneys in four office. Bingham McHale was the fourth largest law firm in the State of Indiana.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Nikki Schofield on 2011/11/03.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2016/03/10 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid revised 2019/11/20 by Brittany Kropf.
Bingham McHale LLP collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.