The firm was founded, as Hyman & Phelps, on St. Patrick's Day in 1980. There were three founders: Paul Hyman, Jim Phelps, and Bob Dormer. They left a New York-based firm to create their own practice. The goal of the new firm was to provide service to clients regulated primarily by the Food and Drug Administration, the agency with which the three founders had extensive experience. When Steve McNamara joined the practice in 1984, the firm became known as Hyman, Phelps & McNamara. Later that year, the firm incorporated, and has since been known as Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C.