When Martin H. Royston opened his law office in 1892 in Galveston, it was the wealthiest city in Texas. With a booming economy based on the state's biggest port, Galveston was the busiest financial center between New Orleans and San Francisco. Disaster struck when the hurricane of 1900 destroyed much of the island. With the vulnerability of the port of Galveston tragically demonstrated, the small, protected inland port of Houston began to grow. This port soon overtook Galveston's, and Houston became the preeminent economic force in Texas.
Royston built a thriving general practice in Galveston and also represented the port and many of its ancillary businesses. His first partner, J. Newton Rayzor, recognizing the growing importance of Houston, opened another office for the Firm there in 1927. The two offices grew as they handled maritime and general legal problems, with Houston eventually becoming the larger office. Royston and Rayzor laid a foundation of respect, solid ethical values and professional competence.