Three more corporate law firms in Texas – Akin Gump, Bracewell and Latham & Watkins – have announced they are ending their operations in Russia and will not represent Kremlin-controlled businesses. Several other law firms with large operations in Texas, including Baker Botts, Norton Rose Fulbright and Sidley, made similar announcements earlier this week.
After 27 years at Haynes and Boone, prominent appellate lawyer Anne Johnson is joining forces with respected Dallas trial lawyer Jeff Tillotson. The move puts Johnson’s name on the door as well as another lawyer at the firm. The Texas Lawbook has the scoop.
San Francisco-founded Morrison & Foerster announced Monday that it is opening its first Texas office in Austin. Known in legal circles as MoFo, the corporate law firm announced that it has hired two intellectual property litigation partners – one from Pillsbury and one from DLA Piper – and a corporate M&A partner from Pillsbury, and that “further additions to the Austin office are anticipated in the weeks and months ahead.”
Norton Rose Fulbright announced Monday that the global law firm is “winding down” its operations in Russia “as quickly as we can.” Formerly known as Houston-based Fulbright & Jaworski, Norton Rose Fulbright said it is closing its Moscow office “in compliance with its professional obligations” and that the “wellbeing of our staff in the region is a priority.”
As sanctions against Russian companies and those that do business with Russian entities expand daily, the role of lawyers is increasingly in the spotlight. Some law firms are being pressured to fire their Russian clients. Fourteen corporate law firms operating in Texas have Moscow offices, including Akin Gump, Baker Botts and Norton Rose Fulbright. Some law firms, such as Baker Botts, are reevaluating their operations in Russia. A few firms secretly encouraged their attorneys to leave Moscow as quickly and quietly as possible, as they fear retribution from the Kremlin. The Texas Lawbook has the details.
The Detroit-based firm added a “critical” piece to its Texas expansion with the opening of its fifth office in the state.
Phoenix-based Snell & Wilmer is the latest new entrant — and the first of 2022 — in Texas.
Susman Godfrey’s newly elected co-managing partner, Vineet Bhatia, said Tuesday that 2021 was the most profitable year in the 42-year history of the Houston-based litigation powerhouse and that the law firm needs to hire more lawyers to keep up with client demand. Susman Godfrey announced Tuesday that long-time managing partner Neal Manne is stepping down as co-leader of the law firm Jan. 15 and that Houston partner Bhatia is his successor, along with current co-managing partner Kalpana Srinivasan in Los Angeles.
Mark Kelly and Scott Wulfe took over as co-leaders of Vinson & Elkins 10 years ago. This Friday at 11:59 p.m., their reign ends. Some V&E partners were skittish about them leading the firm. Together, they faced existential threats to the firm’s existence and implemented fundamental challenges during the past decade. They saw scores of partners leave to join elite national corporate firms that open offices in V&Es backyard. But Texas’ largest law firm by headcount also achieved record revenues and record profits. Kelly and Wulfe say 2021 was another record-breaking year for one of the most influential law firms in Texas history. For V&E, it is the end of an era.
In an effort to attract and retain talented business lawyers in a highly competitive Texas market, corporate law firms are dishing out major holiday bonuses to their associate ranks this year. Susman and Sidley are leading the way in Texas.