Another Large Law Firm Raids Houston for Partners

Sidley Austin LLP is adding five partners from Andrews Kurth to its capital markets and M&A practices, which will round out the firm’s energy expertise, the firm said.

David Buck, Jon Daly, Angela Richards and George Vlahakos will join as partners in the firm’s Houston office, while the fifth partner, Bill Cooper, will split his time between Houston and Washington D.C.

The group marks the latest instance of a large international firm luring partners away from a Texas firm.

Earlier this year, Gibson Dunn lured six energy transactional partners away from Baker Botts LLP.  There have been others. Last year Orrick entered the Houston market, hiring 20 partners away from local firms. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP also opened a Houston office, hiring four partners from Coates Rose and four associates from the firm as well.

Andrews Kurth managing partner Bob Jewell wished his partners well in a statement. He stressed the firm “continues to be strong” and its energy capital markets practice is still one of its “deepest” practices.

“The most senior and biggest contributors to our success remain loyal and committed to our firm and our long-term success,” he said.

In an interview, Kevin Lewis, Sidley’s co-managing partner in Houston, said the group was attractive to Sidley because their corporate expertise can be applied to the firm’s energy industry clients.

Up until now, while the Houston office did some capital market work, it didn’t have a group that focused on capital markets, he added.

Lewis said the group was a “sought after group in town” and the firm was grateful it “convinced them to join.”

Read more on large law firms’ move to Houston here. 

Sidley, with 1,900 attorneys in 20 offices around the world, established the Houston office five years ago to expand its services more deeply into the energy industry, Lewis said.

“Unless you’re going to have a presence in Texas, particularly in Houston, you can’t really be involved [in energy] the way Texans expect,” Lewis said.

The five partners, with the exception of Richards, will join the firm Nov. 1. Richards will join the firm in early December.

 

Contact the reporter responsible for this story: Nushin Huq at nhuq@bna.com.

Contact the editors responsible for this story: Casey Sullivan at csullivan@bloomberglaw.com and Tom Taylor ttaylor@bna.com.