Through a voting process that included 113 equity partners, Bracewell has elected Greg M. Bopp to serve as the Texas-based law firm’s next managing partner.
Big Law Business caught up with Bopp — a Houston-based corporate lawyer— to speak about his vision for the firm, which has seen some turnover in recent months. Joining Bopp on the call was Mark C. Evans, who has led the firm since 2008 as managing partner, but will become co-chair in July.
Evans turns 65 on June 6 — mark your calendars, everyone — and depicted the transition as amicable. Evans said that he told partners at a Feb. 4 firm meeting that he planned to step down and that an election would follow.
“I never had anyone who I felt comfortable that I could pass this off to other than Greg,” said Evans, noting that Bopp served on the firm’s management committee with him.
“He goes through the financial details of all the partners and really understands every aspect of how the firm is run.”
That is an important prerequisite: Bracewell’s attorney make-up has shifted in recent months after seeingname partner Rudy Giuliani join Greenberg Traurig in January, and a 10-lawyer broker-dealer group join Schulte Roth in March .
Bopp, who is 48, said that he intends to build the firm’s ranks, both organically and through lateral hires, in a number of key industry sectors and practices: oil and gas, electric power, financial services, technology, intellectual property and public finance.
“You should expect to see over the next couple weeks some announcements in a couple of different offices, where we are expanding through lateral acquisition,” said Bopp, who wouldn’t provide further details.
Bopp, however, downplayed the significance of the strategy, saying that it’s in keeping with the firm’s long-term goals, and “it’s not a response to anything in particular" — presumably, referring to the recent firm departures.
“Some departures were planned, others were not,” said Bopp. “All great firms with excellent partners experience departures from time to time. Fortunate for us, we have a deep bench and we’re excited how we’re positioned going forward.”
Bopp, who received his law degree from South Texas College of Law in 1995, said that he will continue to practice in his new role. In 2015, he advised Kinder Morgan Inc. in the $76 billion acquisition of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, Kinder Morgan Management and El Paso Pipeline Partners LP.
A firm spokeswoman also provided a list of top Bracewell clients, which we’ve included below. The list is ultimately what Bopp will look at when deciding where and how to expand the firm.
Apache Corporation Baker Hughes Incorporated Energy & Exploration Partners, LLC GDF SUEZ Energy North America, Inc. Kinder Morgan, Inc. Ophir Energy Plc Overstock.com, Inc. Powerex Corp. Saudi Aramco Société Générale Toshiba Corporation Wells Fargo Energy Capital, Inc.