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Hogan Lovells became a top 10 global legal services provider on 1 May 2010 through an unprecedented combination of two firms with international credentials, U.S.-based firm Hogan & Hartson and European-based firm Lovells. Modern-day Hogan Lovells carries on the tradition of excellence established by our founders and further builds on their legacy.


Frank J. Hogan opened his law practice in Washington, D.C. in 1904, quickly earning fame as America's leading trial lawyer as a result of a string of successes in high-profile, politically charged cases. In 1924 Hogan represented oil magnate Edward L. Doheny who had been indicted in the "Teapot Dome" scandal on charges of bribery and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Doheny was acquitted, while Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall was found guilty of accepting the bribe. Such cases earned Hogan a national reputation as the most famous trial lawyer in the country and attracted Nelson T. Hartson, former solicitor of internal revenue, to the firm in 1925 to establish a business practice to complement the firm's established trial practice. Continued growth and success led to the 1938 partnership between Hogan and Hartson.

Throughout the next half-century, the firm continued to expand and distinguish itself in numerous areas. As the activities of the federal government expanded, the number and scope of Hogan & Hartson's practice areas also grew. While litigation (both trial and appellate), taxation, health, and communications remained major focuses of the firm's practice, many other areas were also added over the years, including all significant aspects of corporate, regulatory, intellectual property, and legislative.

In the 1970s, Hogan & Hartson became the first major law firm in the United States to establish a separate practice group devoted exclusively to providing pro bono legal services.

The beginning of a major evolutionary shift for Hogan & Hartson came in 1984 with the opening of the firm's first office outside of the district. The rest, as they say, is history. By April 2010, the firm had 26 offices in 12 countries on four continents.


Lovells long history began in 1899 when John Spencer Lovell set up in practice in the UK, although the firm has even older roots in Continental Europe. Lovell was later joined by Reginald White, a clerk in his previous firm, to whom he gave articles. In 1924, they were joined by Charles King, forming Lovell, White & King. Soon after formation, the firm moved to Thavies Inn at Holborn Circus and later to Serjeant's Inn, Fleet Street, before moving to 21 Holborn Viaduct in October 1977 where the firm still has offices.

In 1966, Lovell White & King merged with Haslewoods, a firm with a much longer history. Haslewoods' diverse clients included the Treasury Solicitor and also Nelson to whom he was a trusted friend and adviser.  William Haslewood was Nelson's executor and advised Nelson on many different matters including the purchase of Merton Place where Nelson lived with Emma Hamilton and a high profile court case over prize money between Nelson and Rear- Admiral John Jervis, Earl of St Vincent.

Durrant Piesse was formed on 1 January 1973 by a merger of two established City firms, Durrant Cooper & Hambling, which was founded in 1910 and had Barclays Bank as its major client, and Piesse & Sons, which was founded as far back as 1857 and had Esso/Exxon as its most important client. In 1985 Durrant Piesse was joined by another old established firm, Faithful Owen & Fraser, who were specialists in patent, trade mark and other intellectual property work.

On 1 May 1988 the firm of Lovell White Durrant was formed by the merger of Lovell White & King, which had a large, by then a broadly based international commercial practice, and Durrant Piesse, known in particular for its banking and financial services know-how.

Lovells was formed on 1 January 2000 combining the experience of two leading practices - Lovell White Durrant in the UK, Continental Europe, United States, and Asia and German firm Boesebeck Droste with offices in the major financial and commercial centers in Germany, Spain, and key Central European countries. Boesebeck Droste's history goes back to 1884, when the Hamburg office of Droste was opened.

Lovells expanded its presence in the market with two further significant mergers; with Dutch firm Ekelmans den Hollander in December 2000 and with French firm Siméon & Associés in November 2001. In addition, Lovells entered into a joint venture with Lee & Lee in Singapore in March 2001, further expanding its Asia profile.

Hogan Lovells draws on the rich 112-year history, tradition, and excellence of our founders and all of these firms.
About Us - History