Proudly serving Wisconsin since 1851

History 1851 440px The Honorable Levi Baker Vilas


Originally founded under the name of Vilas & Remington in 1851, we continue a long tradition of providing community services as well as professional excellence. The founding member of our firm, Levi Baker Vilas, set up his practice in Madison in 1851, and soon began a tradition of involvement and leadership in community affairs that continues today. Mr. Vilas served as Madison's mayor in 1861, was a state assemblyman for three terms and served as a regent of the University of Wisconsin.

History 1854 440px Silas U Pinney


The next attorney in the firm to serve as mayor of Madison was Silas U. Pinney. Mr. Pinney was known throughout the state as an expert in legal procedures and had a remarkable career. While serving as mayor in 1874, Mr. Pinney was instrumental in establishing the second free public library in the state. He later served on the state legislature and was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1891. In 1872, Mr. Pinney gathered the opinions of the territorial Supreme Court and the original state Supreme Court and published them in three volumes called Pinney's Wisconsin Reports.

History 1900s Lumber camp locomotive01


In the early 1900's our firm started a specialized practice with railroads, public utilities and insurance companies, led by Chancey E. Blake and William J.P. Aberg. Mr. Blake specialized in railroad and public utility law, while Mr. Aberg specialized in railroad law and helped develop the firm's insurance work by reorganizing the Farmers Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, which is now American Family Insurance. We are proud to continue to represent many of the clients that those lawyers brought into the firm many years ago.

Hugh Bell


Our firm's name has changed many times since 1851. In 2010, the firm took its current name, Bell, Moore & Richter, S.C., honoring the contributions of Hugh H, Bell, John M. Moore, and Ward I. Richter, all of whom became partners in the 1970s. Mr. Bell and his father, Glen Bell, worked at the firm for a combined 100 years, practicing in the area of public utility law.

2022 Diversity

In our community

We believe our service to Wisconsin must extend beyond the walls of our office. Our attorneys and staff are actively engaged in the broader community by contributing to non-profit organizations, as well as eager to provide opportunities and access within the legal profession.

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