T. Hale Boggs III, a leading corporate partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and son of legendary Washington lobbyist Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., has joined O’Melveny & Myers after nearly three decades at his former firm.
Boggs joined O’Melveny’s Century City office on Monday as a partner in its mergers and acquisitions practice. He practiced at Manatt for 28 years and chaired the firm’s digital division and the investment committee for its venture capital fund. He also served on the Los Angeles-based firm’s executive committee.
Having opened Manatt’s Palo Alto office in 1998 and its San Francisco office in 2007, Boggs splits his time between the Los Angeles area and Northern California and has longstanding relationships with venture capital funds in both parts of the state.
He said he had been searching for a platform where he could better leverage the experience, clients and contacts he has established in both the media and entertainment hub of Southern California and the state’s Bay Area tech industry mecca.
“[O'Melveny] has done a really great job of building and growing, expanding a very significant Silicon Valley practice around technology and venture capital,” Boggs said. “This firm, if not unique, is close to unique in its ability to have both parts [of] where I see the future is going—that is this intersection of [Los Angeles] media and content and Northern California technology and ventures.”
O’Melveny’s Silicon Valley office, which opened in 2001, now has a total of 32 lawyers. Meanwhile, in Southern California, the firm has nearly 300 lawyers in its Los Angeles, Century City and Newport Beach offices combined.
“Hale has a well-earned reputation as one of the very best lawyers in his field,” O’Melveny chair Bradley Butwin said in a statement. “His practice aligns with our core corporate practices in a way that creates powerful benefits for clients.”
Boggs’ namesake grandfather, Thomas Hale Boggs, was a longtime U.S. congressman from Louisiana, who was succeeded by his grandmother Lindy Boggs after his presumed death from an Alaska airplane crash in 1972, when he was House majority leader. His late father, Thomas “Tommy” Boggs Jr., was a name partner of once-dominant lobbying and public policy Washington firm Patton Boggs. The firm was acquired by the law firm Squire Sanders in 2014 and is now known as Squire Patton Boggs. Tommy Boggs died the same year.
Hale Boggs’ move doesn’t leave Manatt without a Boggs in its partnership. His brother, Douglas Boggs, is managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. He joined Manatt in April 2015 after leaving Squire Patton Boggs.
While most of the Boggs family is based on the East Coast, Boggs decided to build his legal career in California. He earned his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his bachelor degree from Stanford University. Prior to joining Manatt in 1990, he spent four years at McKenna, Conner & Cuneo, which acquired by Dentons in 2015 following several mergers.
“Coming from a different part of the country, I didn’t have any sort of preconception about [Los Angeles] or San Francisco,” he said. “I have always really liked both parts of California.”
O’Melveny also added three M&A partners to its Century City office earlier in the year. The group, David M. Smith, Robert Graffum and Nicolai Schwarz-Gondek, joined from Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth.