August has debuted with a flurry of lateral moves in the Texas corporate legal market.
Baker Botts said goodbye and hello to a corporate energy partner in Houston, losing Justin Hoffman to Winston & Strawn and adding Michelle Boudreaux from the boutique law firm Caldwell Boudreaux Lefler she co-founded with other ex-Vinson & Elkins lawyers.
Hoffman, who practiced at Baker Botts for the last four years, is also an alumni of Kirkland & Ellis, Simpson Thacher and Mayer Brown. He focuses his practice on public and private capital markets and M&A transactions, special situations and restructuring matters.
“Houston today is an international hub for increasingly large M&A deals and strategic acquisitions,” Mike Blankenship, Houston office managing partner, said in a statement. “Justin’s talent for structuring intricate agreements for some of the largest corporations in the world will serve Winston well as we continue to attract clients in the energy sector.”
Boudreaux, Baker Botts’ newest partner, specializes in providing regulatory and transactional advice to the owners and operators of petroleum liquids pipelines. She practiced for the first decade of her career at Vinson & Elkins before launching her own firm.
“Growing our pipeline and energy transition practices remains a key strategic goal for the firm as we continue to grow our market share in the energy sector,” Baker Botts Managing Partner John Martin said in the announcement. “Michelle will hit the ground running by bolstering our liquids pipeline practice and giving the firm additional FERC expertise.”
Gibson Dunn, BakerHostetler and Polsinelli also announced new lateral partners Monday morning.
After nearly a decade with the Department of Justice, health care fraud expert Adrienne Frazior has entered private practice at Polsinelli in Dallas.
Frazior, who most recently served as the assistant chief of the DOJ Criminal Division’s Health Care Fraud Unit, was responsible for creating the Dallas Medicare Strike Force. She is a recipient of the DOJ’s Assistant Attorney General Award for her work on the national opioid crisis.
“Since beginning my legal career fifteen years ago, I have made it a priority to become a top-tier trial lawyer with proven expertise navigating health care disputes inside and outside the courtroom,” Frazior, who has served in both the Northern and Southern Districts of Texas during her tenure as an assistant U.S. attorney, said in a statement.
“By joining Polsinelli’s highly regarded health care department, I now have access to a national platform that is dedicated to a wide range of related issues and deeply skilled in advanced health care dispute strategies and resolution methods.”
Frazior will focus her practice on the False Claims Act, U.S. Health and Human Services- Office of Inspector General (OIG)/U.S. Department of Justice investigations, health care fraud, internal investigations, Anti-Kickback Statute, Medicare and Medicaid compliance, and COVID-19 and Paycheck Protection Program issues.
Gibson Dunn picked up corporate debt finance partner Fred Lee from Akin Gump, where he practiced since 2006.
Lee, who is based in Dallas, does a significant amount of work for the New York alternative capital/hedge fund market. He represents sponsors and portfolio companies in acquisition financings, refinancings and leveraged recapitalizations; advises creditor groups in distressed and restructuring transactions; and represents credit funds in direct lending transactions.
“Fred’s substantial experience will enhance the firm’s offerings in increasingly critical types of finance transactions, including sponsor-side acquisition finance transactions in conjunction with our private equity practice group and distressed financing in conjunction with our business restructuring and reorganization practice group – both of which are strategic focus areas for the firm,” Barbara Becker, chair and managing partner of Gibson Dunn, said in a statement.
Energy litigation partner Ryan Pittman has joined BakerHostetler from GableGotwals in Houston.
Pittman, who was a landman before going to law school, has represented exploration and production companies, midstream companies and public utilities in oil field accidents and other catastrophic events, lease and title disputes, royalty class actions, property damage claims, pipeline condemnations, trade secrets and title disputes.
He has also guided clients through various transactional matters such as asset sales and purchases, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory procedures and compliance policies, and drafting and negotiating oil field contracts.