Two out-of-state law firms have added a total of 24 Houston attorneys this week with large lateral group announcements.
Sheppard Mullin officially launched its Houston office on Wednesday with 18 lawyers from six different firms. It is the Los Angeles firm’s second Texas office – the firm expanded to Dallas in 2018.
Lucantonio Salvi, chair of Sheppard Mullin, said Houston’s strength in the private equity, renewable energy and healthcare sectors “dovetails nicely” with the firm’s practice mix.
The founding partners include intellectual property litigators John Keville, Michelle Replogle and Robert Green from Winston & Strawn; Norton Rose Fulbright partners Andrius Kontrimas, who was global head of the tax practice, and Barclay Nicholson, who focuses on energy litigation; energy transaction pros Chad Mills and Kathryn Shurin from Haynes and Boone; Locke Lord deal lawyer Steve Peterson; and McGuireWoods IP expert Eric Schlichter.
Keville has been tapped to lead the office. He said he was not looking to move, but took a closer look after a Sheppard Mullin partner in Chicago said he would be a good fit.
“I’ve seen laterals come and go so fast. Partners come to Sheppard Mullin and don’t leave,” Keville said, referencing a retention rate above 96 percent. “Luca [Salvi] had a good vision for where we are going to go.”
Rounding out the 18-lawyer bench are associates Briana Hopes, Camilo Godoy, John A. Montgomery II and Alexander L. Williams from Haynes and Boone and Michael Krill and Chante Westmoreland from Winston & Strawn; special counsel Donna Adams Harris from NRF; and staff attorney Erica Gibbons from McDowell Hetherington.
Salvi said it’s a “top notch group” that gives the firm a “good critical mass.” He said the Dallas office played a “critical” role in this expansion in Texas.
The other firm bulking up its Houston presence this week is Kansas City-based Spencer Fane, which added six lawyers from three firms.
The group includes former Clark Hill banking and financial services litigation partner Jason Medley and ex-Holman Fenwick Willan/Legge Farrow litigation partner Jacob Esparza; banking and financial services of counsel Edward Burdzinski and Trevor Hall from Clark Hill; labor and employment associate Tiffany Santhavi from Germer; and staff attorney Anne Marie Laney Hill, also from Clark Hill.
Spencer Fane opened in Houston by combining with the Zimmerman law firm in 2019 and now has nearly 40 attorneys.