Co-leader of the firm’s Public Policy, Regulatory & Government Affairs practice and former managing partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office (2009-21), Phil Recht represents clients in legislative, regulatory, enforcement and litigation matters before and involving federal, state and local governments. He also handles grants, approvals, permits and other government transactions. He has particular expertise in transportation, infrastructure, tribal gaming, health care, trade association, government contracts, and election law matters. Legal 500 ranks Phil as a “Leading Lawyer” for Government Relations in the United States. Phil was selected in 2021 to the Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal’s list of “Top Lawyers of the Decade” for his work on emerging industry regulatory matters, and he was named in 2019 to The National Law Journal’s inaugural list of "Government Relations Trailblazers.” 

Phil also has extensive government experience. Prior to joining the firm, he served as Chief Counsel (1994-95) and Deputy Administrator (1995-99) for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US Department of Transportation. He also worked as a Legislative Assistant in the Office of US Rep. David L. Cornwell (Ind.) (1976-78), as a consultant with the Joint Center for Political Studies in Washington, DC (1975) and as a Legislative Aide with the Office of US Rep. John Moakley (Mass.) (1975).


  • Englisch


Yale University, BA, cum laude

University of Pennsylvania Law School, JD, cum laude


  • California


  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • US District Court for the Central District of California
  • US District Court for the Southern District of California
  • US District Court for the Northern District of California


  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Co-Chair, 2016, Government and Fiscal Affairs Committee Co-Chair
  • Central City Association of Los Angeles, Executive Board Chair, 2009-10, Government Relations Committee Vice-Chair, 2012-13, Transportation Committee Chair, 2002
  • Los Angeles Business Council, Board of Directors, Housing and Transportation Committee Co-Chair 
  • Public Counsel Law Center, Board of Directors
  • Pacific Council on International Affairs, Member, NGO Observer at Guantanamo Bay Military Commission, pre-trial proceedings in US vs. Al-Nashiri, 2020
  • Chancery Group, Member
  • Biden for President, National Finance Council, Lawyers for Biden Finance Team, 2020
  • City of Los Angeles Mayoral Trade Mission to Vietnam and Hong Kong, Member, 2019
  • California Gubernatorial Trade Mission to Mexico, Member, 2017
  • California Gubernatorial Trade Mission to China, Member, 2013
  • City of Los Angeles Board of Transportation Commissioners, Member and Vice President, 2002-05
  • California Commission on Uniform State Laws, Member, 2003-07
  • American Council of Young Political Leaders, Delegation to Future of Europe Conference, 1994
  • California Clinton for President Campaign, Chief Counsel, 1992
  • Democratic National Convention, Platform Committee Member, 2016, Rules Committee Member, 1992, 2008, 2012, Delegate, 1988
  • California Democratic Party, Business and Professions Caucus Co-Chair, 1991-92, Platform Committee Co-Chair, 1987-88