Building a History of Leadership

Haynes and Boone is a relatively young law firm, but one with an impressive and respected history. We began from the efforts and dreams of one lawyer, Richard Haynes, who was soon joined by his colleague and former student Mike Boone. Together they and many other talented individuals built an organization around collaboration and mutual respect, and on absolute dedication to providing clients with value.

That Haynes and Boone today is one of America’s largest law firms testifies to the strength of their vision.

Forming the Partnership

In 1964, Richard D. Haynes opened his solo law office in Dallas. The son of an Ada, Oklahoma hardware merchant, he had practiced as both an in-house counsel and a member of a larger firm before following his entrepreneurial instincts. While he was teaching a securities law seminar, he met Michael M. Boone, a student at the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. Upon graduating in 1967, Boone joined Haynes in practice.

They successfully focused on securities work as a small firm with a big firm attitude – they would try harder, and demonstrate that they could provide great service, quickly and be as creative and innovative in legal practice as large firms. Their success led them, on January 1, 1970, to form the partnership of Haynes and Boone.

Haynes felt that creating a partnership was a major step to symbolize the distinctive law firm he intended. “I was very eager to stop calling ourselves Law Offices of Richard D. Haynes and to have a firm. I always encouraged referring to ourselves as ‘we’ rather than ‘I’,” he later recalled. “That was a very subtle distinction, but to me it meant that we were able to do more than what I was able to do, that we could push out and grow and expand. The client and the lawyers get the idea that this is a team effort rather than a one man deal.”

Richard Haynes was senior partner until his retirement in the late 1980s.

Setting Precedent Early On

By 1980, with Dallas and the Southwest booming, Haynes and Boone had 24 lawyers and was poised for significant expansion. “Our decisions were always made to grow to meet the needs of our client base,” relates Boone. “We never made decisions just to grow for growth's sake. We felt if we let that drive us, then we were making the wrong decisions. We saw that many firms did that, and they built things on sand.”

The firm maintained its collegial, client-focused character by expanding through several mergers and opening offices in four major Texas cities. By 1990 Haynes and Boone, with more than 200 lawyers, had reached national stature, and The American Lawyer featured the “old fashioned way” that our firm had been “growing rapidly for years, out of the spotlight.”

Remaining “out of the spotlight” was no longer possible for an organization that numbered nearly 350 lawyers and had successfully garnered international stature with our highly regarded Latin American presence.

Today, with more than 500 lawyers in 12 offices and 30 major legal practice areas, we have received multiple honors for our approach to client service including recognition by Corporate Board Member Magazine and from the BTI Consulting Group’s survey of corporate general counsel.  Despite our growth we retain our historic commitment to fairness, respect and camaraderie.

Looking Ahead

We carry with us the progressive, entrepreneurial spirit that has always animated our firm.  We’ve always worked differently than other firms. We are committed to remaining forward-thinking and preparing for the dynamically changing world of business law.