Firm History

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Our founders, William Thompson and R.E.L. Knight, were among the earliest law graduates of the University of Texas. Since 1887, the firm they created, Thompson & Knight, has been at the forefront of law and commerce in Texas and throughout the world.

When Thompson & Knight was founded, the practice of lawyers in Dallas was essentially rural. There was no income tax law, there were no antitrust statutes, no regulations of business, and lending institutions were generally free to handle their loans in whatever fashion they desired. Law practice then was composed of litigation, real property contracts, business advice, and an occasional will or probate representation.

In many ways, Dallas and Thompson & Knight grew up together. As Dallas progressively matured into an international center for commerce, finance, energy, and technology, Thompson & Knight followed in its footsteps by aligning legal services to the ever-changing business demand. The Firm began expanding into more markets and broader legal services. We now have U.S. offices in Texas, New York, and California and international offices and associations in the Americas, North Africa, and Europe.

The strength of our partnership with clients and the community has helped to maintain our position at the forefront of the industry. More than 100 years ago, we aided in the removal of the Texas and Pacific Railway tracks in downtown Dallas, eliminating a barrier deemed detrimental to the development of the city. In another case, our arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1930 established the proposition that income belonged one-half to the husband and one-half to the wife and could be reported separately for income tax purposes. Our services rendered to another client in 1958 lent to the development and successful testing of the integrated circuit, ushering in the semiconductor and electronics age.

Thompson & Knight has a long and distinguished tradition of service to clients in Texas and around the world. Today, with offices in five countries, our tradition of exemplary performance executed with practical judgment, remains highly respected among our peers. Our reputation is our most valued asset.