The 23 lawyers and lobbyists of D.C. law and lobbying boutique O’Connor & Hannan will merge with California-based law firm Nossaman Guthner Knox & Elliott on Tuesday. The combined firm will have more than 150 attorneys and lobbyists across eight offices nationwide. In Washington, the firm will operate under the name Nossaman/O’Connor & Hannan. In the Arlington, Va., Austin, Los Angeles, Orange County, Calif., Sacramento, San Francisco, and Seattle offices, the combined firm will be called Nossaman.
The merger is the latest in a string of Washington boutiques to announce unions with bigger firms. Troutman Sanders and Washington litigation boutique Ross, Dixon & Bell, for example, announced their plan to combine last week. And Kilpatrick Stockton acquired D.C. corporate and financial transactions firm Muldoon Murphy & Aguggia last month.
“Merging with Nossaman allows us to better serve our clients’ range of needs,” said F. Gordon Lee, O’Connor’s managing partner, in a statement released by Nossaman.
In the same statement, Nossaman’s managing partner Michael Heumann said the two firms' complementary practices motivated the merger. He said his firm’s land use and environmental clients will benefit from a larger footprint in D.C., which will offer “the opportunity to contribute at a federal level to the formation of the laws that govern their businesses.”
O’Connor was founded in D.C. in 1957. Its lawyers and lobbyists represent corporate clients, trade associations, non-profit organizations, and public clients. The firm placed 50th in 2007’s Influence 50, Legal Times’ rankings of the top-grossing lobby shops, but did not make the cut for this year’s list.
Nossaman, founded in 1946, has practices focused on infrastructure, complex civil litigation, land use, environmental, real property, water, healthcare, corporate transactions, and public policy.