Our Legacy

One of Iowa’s oldest and most respected law firms, Whitfield & Eddy has built a reputation as the go-to firm for businesses and individuals facing complex and challenging legal issues.

Founded by Allen Whitfield and Joseph H. Allen in 1928, the firm employed just two attorneys and one secretary until Edgar Musgrave joined as a partner four years later.

As the nation joined the battle in World War II, most of the firm’s attorneys went on active duty in the armed forces. During this period, Walter W. Selvy joined the firm from the Polk County Attorney’s Office and managed it under the name of Whitfield, Musgrave & Selvy. When the war ended and the veterans returned, the firm began a period of growth with an emphasis on litigation and a particular focus on insurance.

In 1969, with the addition of John Eddy, the firm became known as Whitfield, Musgrave, Selvy, Kelly & Eddy. Over the next few decades, it continued to expand through a series of mergers, including consolidations with Bridges & Frampton, a Des Moines firm with roots dating back to 1924; Adams & Rice, P.L.C.; Reavely Law Firm; and the construction law group from the former Pingel & Templer, P.C. These combinations added strength in a number of areas, including transactions, corporate counsel, real estate, and construction. Moreover, the steady recruitment of trial lawyers that began in the 1960s put Whitfield & Eddy on the path to become a respected litigation firm in Des Moines by the 1980s.

Responding to client needs, Whitfield & Eddy continued to expand its reach and add legal talent in a host of new areas. For example, as the legal landscape for employment law began to change in the 1980s and corporate clients faced increasing scrutiny of their labor practices, the firm responded by creating its employment practice. Further growth continued in the areas of banking, family law, and estate planning. As the firm’s practice diversified, its geographic reach expanded beyond the Iowa border as attorneys began representing clients throughout the Midwest and nationally.

Today, Whitfield & Eddy brings together a team of more than 40 experienced attorneys who provide the full range of legal counsel to a broad array of businesses in multiple sectors. The firm is constantly evolving to keep pace with the legal needs of clients in a rapidly changing economic and legal environment.


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