Cincinnati-based Frost Brown Todd officially opened a Houston office this week with nine attorneys from four different law firms and a professional sports team.
The firm has been piecing together its second Texas outpost over the past eight months. Zenobia Bivens, a trial lawyer who joined the firm from Berg & Androphy in January, was its first Houston hire. She will lead the new office.
Bivens said the firm reached a critical mass after recruiting energy litigator Kenneth Bullock from Munsch Hardt last week. Rounding out the team are Kenneth Breitbeil, Greg Eidman, Courtney Gahm-Oldham and Stephen Crowder from commercial and oil and gas litigation firm McFall, Breitbeil & Eidman; Cleve Glenn and Patrick LaRue from Lewis Brisbois; and Brian Michael Cooper, a former professional sports executive who was most recently the president of the Roughnecks, the XFL’s Houston franchise.
“We are all really excited to have the opportunity to grow FBT’s footprint and start something new in a time where it’s hard to find something to look forward to,” said Bivens, who started her career as a clerk to former Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright and Judge Carl Stewart of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Frost Brown Todd, which broke into Texas with a Dallas office in March 2015 and now has 35 attorneys practicing in the state, has been asked by clients for boots on the ground in Houston for some time now, according to firm chairman Robert Sartin. The firm represents publicly-traded manufacturing and energy companies that operate in the city.
Firm leaders aim to grow the new office to 50 attorneys over the next three to five years. Bivens says the plan is to add depth in areas that reflect Houston’s growing industries and to create a culture of pro bono and community service.
“Every single attorney who works in the Houston office is involved in the community in some capacity,” said Bivens, pointing to work as varied as expungements, animal rescue and autism advocacy. “It reflects our firm’s larger commitment to pro bono. Giving back to the community is a centerpiece to the Houston office.”