Shareholders at the corporate law firm Winstead have elected the chair of its business and transactions practice, Jeff Matthews, as the firm’s next chairman and CEO.
Matthews, a 2003 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and the son of former Exxon general counsel Charles Matthews, replaces David Dawson, who has led Winstead since 2014.
A Dallas-based shareholder who specializes in commercial real estate dealmaking, Matthews officially becomes Winstead’s CEO in April and will serve a four-year term. He takes over a firm of more than 300 attorneys – 260 of them in Texas – that will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023.
In an interview Tuesday with The Texas Lawbook, Matthews said that he and Dawson “see the world the same” when it comes to managing the Dallas-based firm.
“We have no interest in merging [with other law firms],” he said. “We can go toe-to-toe with the international firms. We will continue to do so for the next decade. Texas is experiencing tremendous growth, as is North Carolina where we also have a growing presence.”
“We know who we are and we are comfortable in our own skin,” Matthews said. “We understand our clients, what they need and what our niche is in the market.”
Winstead has witnessed solid business successes in a turbulent Texas corporate legal market. Matthews gives Dawson the credit.
“We experienced the highest revenue and profits in our history [in 2021], we implemented our strategic plan, we have added a number of outstanding lawyers and focused our service offerings,” he said. “Thanks to his efforts, the future is very bright for Winstead.”
The Texas Lawbook 50, which examines the financial results of the largest corporate law firms operating in Texas, showed that Winstead’s revenues in the firm’s Texas offices hit an estimated $250 million in 2021 – a 15 percent increase over the previous year.
“The first three quarters of 2022 were just like the back half of 2021, but the economy has shown signs of stress over the past 90 days,” Matthews said.