Jessica Howton Stool is nearly six weeks into her new job as executive director of Houston Volunteer Lawyers — the pro bono arm of the Houston Bar Association. Between tasks of her onboarding process, which have included acquainting herself with HVL’s staff, budget, and grant system, Howton Stool talked with The Lawbook’s Natalie Posgate about her passion for pro bono law, what attracted her to HVL, which area of law HVL needs the most lawyer volunteers for currently and what law firms can do to improve their pro bono capabilities.
The recruiting of Bennett is part of Weil’s buildout of its energy practice in Texas after some recent departures. Bennett is the second prominent addition to Weil’s energy group in Houston in the past month, following the arrival of partner Omar Samji in April.
Rahul Vashi led or co-led 14 transactions for Kirkland & Ellis with a combined value of $3.2 billion, including Devon Energy’s $1.8 billion acquisition of Denver-based Validus Energy, according to The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher believes Vashi will have the same success for it.
Adding the dealmaking attorneys is part of Winston’s strategy to further bolster its energy-focused ranks.
The announcement of his move to the firm’s Austin office came Monday, the day his retirement from the Western District of Texas became official. He served on the federal bench for more than 20 years.
The Lawbook caught up with Lu about his move to Willkie from V&E earlier this year, the emerging trends he is paying attention to and the “fuel that keeps [his] fire burning” as a deal lawyer.
Omar Samji’s departure follows the recent high-profile exits of Hugh Tucker and Jeremy Kennedy who left Shearman for Haynes and Boone. Samji plans to tool his energy practice towards the rapidly-evolving transitional sectors, like decarbonization, that are gaining significant ground within the traditional oil & gas industry.
As corporate mergers, acquisitions and capital market practices have slowed in Texas the past few months, the focus on business bankruptcies and restructurings has returned. And the Texas offices of Sidley Austin have made one of the first big lateral moves. Rakhee Patel confirmed Tuesday that she has left Winstead after seven years as a shareholder and joined Sidley this week as a partner in the firm’s Dallas office. The timing could not be better for Sidley.
When Range Resources long-time GC David Poole retired 10 days ago, the board named his handpicked successor Erin McDowell to fill his role. In an exclusive interview with The Texas Lawbook, McDowell discusses the factors that impacted her career, the path she took to become a chief legal officer of a $6 billion natural gas company and the challenges she and Range face.
Market demand for law firm partners with books of business continues to be hot. Sheppard Mullin announced Monday that it has added five Texas corporate real estate transactional lawyers — four partners and a special counsel — from rival Jones Day. The group has worked together for more than a decade and represents public and private equity companies and developers of multifamily and other commercial real estate in real estate finance matters, M&A transactions and joint venture formations.