About SBSW

History of Sharpnack, Bigley, Stroh & Washburn LLP

Our firm’s heritage dates back to 1824.  The attorneys who practice here have been involved in our state from the firm’s beginning and have continued to be active in civic, political, and judicial positions since that time.

The firm was founded in 1824 when William Herod came to Columbus and began to practice law.  He was soon joined in his practice by Ferdinand Winter.  Mr. Winter would leave the practice after being elected to the state legislature and moving to Indianapolis.  He later became law partners with Benjamin Harrison.

In 1851, Simeon Stansifer, a nephew of William Herod, joined the firm.  Another nephew, Nelson Keyes, also joined the firm in 1872.  Mr. Keyes became a county court  judge in 1883.

Mr. Herod was elected to the state House of Representatives and the state Senate, and he also served in the United States House of Representatives.  At that time, Charles Baker joined the firm and stayed until he became a judge in 1931.  Frank Richman became a part of the firm in 1908.  Mr. Richman became a judge in 1941 and ultimately served as a judge on the Indiana Supreme Court.  He was also appointed to hear some of the Nazi war crime cases at Nuremberg after World War II.

The firm’s present name is first traced to Julian Sharpnack, who joined the firm and became a partner in the 1930s.  Thomas Bigley, son-in-law of Julian Sharpnack, joined the firm in 1942, and Lew Sharpnack, son of Julian Sharpnack, joined in 1947.  John Sharpnack, son of Lew Sharpnack, joined the firm in 1963 after serving in Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department.  John Sharpnack was appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals in 1991, where he became chief judge.

Lee Hamilton joined the firm in 1955.  In 1964, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he would serve  for thirty-two years.  Donald Jurgemeyer joined the firm in 1964 and would later serve as president of the Indiana State Bar Association.  Thomas Bigley, Jr. joined the firm in 1966 and retired from active practice in 2011. 

The current members of the firm are John Stroh who joined the firm in 1982,  Jeff Washburn who joined in 1987,  Mike McIver who joined in 2006, and Mary Stroh, daughter of John Stroh, who joined in 2010.