Founded in San Francisco in 1926, Brobeck,Phleger & Harrison (Brobeck) was a leading regional law firm that grew to national prominence in the 1990s. During the interwar period, Brobeck represented important corporate clients such as Wells Fargo Bank and the Pacific Maritime Association. Following World War II, managing partner Herman Phleger served as an advisor to Bernard Baruch during the creation of the United Nations. In 1980, under the direction of John Larson, the firm established an office in Palo Alto to serve expanding technology companies in Santa Clara County. By the mid-1990s, Brobeck had become one of the two largest firms representing technology startups in Silicon Valley.
In 2002, as the technology economy slowed, Brobeck was forced to rethink the growth strategy that had propelled it to the pinnacle of corporate practice. Declining partner compensation prompted an exodus of top-performers. This vicious cycle ultimately forced the partnership to announce its intention to liquidate in February 2003. A committee of three senior partners assumed responsibility for liquidation. In September creditors lost confidence in the liquidation committee and forced the firm to seek protection under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.
A potential bright spot in this otherwise dismal story came from an unexpected corner. The artifacts left in the wake of Brobeck – including digital materials documenting the operation of the partnership and the work its lawyers did on behalf of more than 10,000 clients – contained a wealth of historical information. BrobeckClosedArchive.org is an information site about the broad- based effort to save the digital records of Brobeck in a closed archive.
Welcome to BrobeckClosedArchive.org. Please explore the reference materials we have collected on this site. If you would like to learn more about the project, please contact us.