Get to Know Gawthrop
A History of
Unparalleled Client Service
As one of the most historic law firms in the Greater Mid-Atlantic Region, Gawthrop Greenwood has shaped our region’s history – and its future.
The legacy of Gawthrop Greenwood began in 1904 when Robert S. Gawthrop, Sr. was admitted to the bar of Chester County, Pennsylvania. More than 100 years later, the firm he founded has produced six judges, including the first female judge in Chester County, 11 presidents of the Chester County Bar Association and dozens of prominent lawyers whose commitment to unparalleled service has long distinguished them across the Mid-Atlantic region.
Mr. Gawthrop moved the practice to the Waddell and Pinkerton Building at 119 North High Street in West Chester. It remained the firm’s home until early 2004, when the firm moved around the corner to its present location at 17 East Gay Street to accommodate growth.
Mr. Gawthrop was joined by his sons Thomas C. Gawthrop in 1932, Robert S. Gawthrop, Jr. in 1940, and W. Edward Gawthrop in 1943. Robert S. Gawthrop, Jr. would be the last of the founding family to work at the firm. Upon his death in 2004 at the age of 89, the firm paid tribute to him, saying, “Bob steadfastly believed that the cause of his client required total commitment. Not only his name, but his philosophy will continue to guide the firm.”
Gawthrop Greenwood moved to 17 East Gay Street in West Chester, located in the old Penn Mutual Insurance building. The new location provided more than 4,100 square feet of additional space and was designed to “take the firm into its next 100 years of service.”
Gawthrop elected its first female chair of the management committee. Sandra L. Knapp was the first woman in Chester County to be elected to manage a mid-sized law firm, and she would take on the role once again 2018.
Gawthrop Greenwood, PC opened its first office in Delaware. Located in the heart of Greenville and serving the Greater Wilmington area, the office moved less than a quarter of a mile away in 2018 to accommodate growth.
The firm underwent a complete remodel at its West Chester office to accommodate the flexible work and meeting spaces required to practice law at the convenience and comfort of clients.
Gawthrop elected the youngest chair of its management committee, Patrick M. McKenna. Before heading the firm’s Government & Education Law Department, McKenna became a shareholder in 2011. His key initiatives include growing the regional services of the firm and embracing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that ensure a stronger workforce.