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Parker D. Thomson

Of Counsel

Parker D. Thomson

Parker Thomson passed away on 3 November at the age of 85. A "civic giant" renowned for fighting, and winning, important First Amendment cases, Parker will be greatly missed by his Hogan Lovells colleagues and friends.

Parker joined the firm as a partner in 2001 in our Miami office, was Office Managing Partner for years, and retired from the partnership to become Of Counsel in 2014. He was a member of the Litigation practice, a statesman of the Florida Bar, and an admired constitutional scholar.

While at Hogan Lovells, Parker led a long-running case known as the "water wars" that addressed allocation of water from the Chattahoochee River between the states of Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. This case is an example of his commitment to the Florida environment and the local community. He also led the Everglades litigation, in which the firm represented the state of Florida in actions brought by the United States and others concerning discharges of phosphorus into the Florida Everglades. He argued three times before the U.S. Supreme Court and dozens of cases before the Florida Supreme Court.

Parker had a passion for pro bono work to improve the justice system and to provide legal representation to those who needed it — a value he instilled in many colleagues over the years.

In 2013, Parker led a Hogan Lovells pro bono team that made history and national news by persuading the Florida Supreme Court to extend the U.S. Supreme Court's 1963 decision in Gideon v. Wainwright within the Florida court system. That case allowed overburdened public defenders to decline appointments to new noncapital felony cases so that they could effectively represent indigent clients. The Miami Daily Business Review honored Parker in 2014 with a Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing his lifelong dedication to pro bono service and his participation in so many cases that shaped Florida law, such as arguing doctor-assisted suicide before the Florida Supreme Court.

Parker was deeply involved in the community and focused on bringing the arts to all. Among his invaluable contributions beyond his pro bono and legal work was his role as the founding chair of the Miami-Dade Performing Arts Center Trust that led to the creation and construction of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. He led the Performing Arts Center Trust's 32-member volunteer board and worked tirelessly to secure the public-private funding that supported the construction and operations of the Arsht.

Most recently he and a Hogan Lovells team dedicated thousands of pro bono hours in supporting The Underline, a transformative industrial reuse project to create a 10-mile linear park, urban trail, and living art destination in Miami's urban core.

Our thoughts are with Parker's family as we remember his great legal accomplishments and, most importantly, his hard work to improve lives and fight for justice.


Education and admissions


  • LL.B., magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1958
  • A.B., cum laude, Princeton University, 1953


  • Board member, Miami-Dade Performing Arts Center, 1989-present
  • Chair, Collins Center for Public Policy
  • Chairman, Dade County Fair Campaign Practices Committee, 1985-1991
  • Chairman, Florida’s Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, 1979-1997
  • Chairman, Miami-Dade Performing Arts Center Trust, 1989-2007
  • Member, Florida Supreme Court Historical Society

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • Florida
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts

Court admissions

  • Supreme Court of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


Environment (Florida), Senior Statesman

Chambers USA


Litigation: General Commercial (Florida), Senior Statesman

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