Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd Opens Washington Office

January 26, 2009

Mike Tongour to lead governmental relations practice

COLUMBIA, SC – January 26, 2009 – The law firm of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A. announced plans today to open an office in Washington, DC.  Michael A. (Mike) Tongour will serve as Special Counsel and direct the Firm’s government relations practice, which will be located at 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Suite One, on Capitol Hill.  This is Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd’s fifth office and the first outside South Carolina.

Anne S. Ellefson, managing director of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, said, “This will expand the Firm’s existing government relations practice and will provide our clients with DC-based Congressional and Federal agency advocacy representation. Mike Tongour has nearly 25 years of experience in Federal government relations. This significant and immediate expansion is a perfect fit for our Firm’s continued growth and progress in today’s ever-changing business climate.   

“Now, more than ever, what happens in the halls of Congress and at the Federal agencies has a critical impact on our clients and their businesses,” said Ellefson.             

Tongour worked as an attorney for 10 years in senior positions in the US Senate. Subsequently, he has represented a wide variety of FORTUNE 500 corporations, leading American associations, municipalities, educational institutions, and non-profits before Congress and various Federal agencies.  Since 1996, Tongour has been the managing partner of a bipartisan non-lawyer government relations company – TCH Group, LLC.  He helps an array of diverse clients identify achievable goals; formulate advocacy strategies in Congress and in the Federal agencies, and then effectively works to implement those strategies. He will seek to expand Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd’s client base in Washington and in its present locations, but separately will continue his relationship with the TCH Group and existing clients.

Tongour came to Washington in 1985 to work as Counsel to what is now the Senate HELP (Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions) Committee. He was soon promoted to Legislative Director to the late US Senator Strom Thurmond (1985-1987).

From 1989-1995 Tongour served as Chief Counsel to the Senate GOP Whip, Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming).  In this position, he supervised the daily operations of the Whip’s office including helping to develop and implement legislative strategy for bills and nominees considered by the full Senate, assisting the Whip in the traditional role of vote counting, and serving as an information liaison to Senators and their staff.

Tongour’s legislative skills were acknowledged in Capitol Hill’s leading newspaper, Roll Call, where he was regularly included in their list of the “Fifty Top Congressional Staffers with Real Power.” When he moved to the private sector, he was listed by Legal Times, the Washington, DC-based weekly journal on law and lobbying, as “one of the top 10 most sought after staffers to leave the Hill that year.”

Tongour has been a guest lecturer/seminar presenter on the Federal legislative process at Georgetown University Law School, the Brookings Institution, American University, George Washington University, the International Republican Institute, and the Close Up Foundation.  His community activities include service on the USC Department of Political Science National Advisory Board and the National Symphony Orchestra Circles Board. He is a member of the DC Bar Association.

A native of Barnwell, SC, Tongour finished the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1981, and was a selected for membership in legal honorary societies, the Order of the Coif and Order of the Wig and Robe. Throughout college and law school, he worked as a page in the SC House of Representatives for his hometown member, the late Speaker-emeritus Solomon Blatt. 

Tongour is a 1978 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of South Carolina.  He finished magna cum laude, and first in his major – political science – and was the recipient of the Outstanding Senior in Political Science Award. 

Contact information for Mike Tongour
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.
227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Suite One
Washington, DC 20002
Direct Number: 202.544.1800
E-mail: [email protected]

About the Firm
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A. provides business, litigation, governmental, and financial legal to national and international clients.  With a history dating back more than 100 years, it is one of the largest law firms in the Carolinas with over 135 attorneys.  The Firm has offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Greenville, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.