Highlights for the first quarter of 2019: the departures to out-of-state-based firms slowed; Houston is edging out Dallas in the attorney move count; March was particularly stagnant; and M&A is still the hottest ticket in town.

The Art of Luring the All-Powerful M&A Lawyer

Law firms operating in Texas oversaw a record number of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures last year, valued at nearly half a trillion dollars. For those (every single one) of us who are counting, the lucky few firms involved in these deals earned more than $3 billion in legal fees. Unsurprisingly, the firms with the most M&A deals are also those boasting the highest overall revenues, all according to The Texas Lawbook.

Revenue numbers like that make the rainmaker lawyers behind these transactions very hot commodities in an already competitive market. Over the past decade, dozens of firms headquartered outside of Texas have opened satellite offices here. But they’ve largely siphoned talent away from Texas-based firms rather than bringing in staff or hiring from other non-local firms. That’s compounded by a relative stagnation in the pool of Texas attorneys.

Texas-based legacy firm Vinson & Elkins still reigns king in attorney count and billings, but that also makes it a tempting target. Kirkland & Ellis and Sidley Austin have both ballooned their M&A staff and billings, due in large part to their success luring attorneys away from V&E and other Texas firms. But that flow of talent seems to be slowing; Q1 of 2018 saw 28 Corporate/M&A/Securities partners move firms, while in Q1 of this year, the number dropped to just five moves.

To see the complete newsletter, with data and analysis for this quarter, click the button below. 

LIST OF PARTNER MOVES: Q1 OF 2019

Name
New Firm
Old Firm
Practice Area
City
Date Announced
Link
John EllisScott Douglass McConnicoLocke LordCommercial LitigationAustin01-01-19https://www.scottdoug.com/news
David ShankScott Douglass McConnicoSusman GodfreyCommercial LitigationAustin01-01-19https://www.scottdoug.com/news
Heidi BlochGreenberg TraurigHusch BlackwellAppellateAustin02-14-19https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2019/2/press-releases/greenberg-traurig-welcomes-austin-appellate-lawyer-heidi-bloch
Erin FonteHunton Andrews KurthDykema GossettBanking and FinanceAustin02-19-19https://www.huntonak.com/en/news/hunton-andrews-kurth-grows-banking-and-fintech-practices-with-addition-of-erin-fonte-as-co-head-of-financial-institutions-corporate-and-regulatory-team.html
Shamoil T. ShipchandlerJones DaySecurities and Exchange CommissionSecurities Litigation and EnforcementDallas01-01-19https://www.jonesday.com/shamoil-t-shipchandler-sec-regional-director-joins-jones-day-in-dallas-01-28-2019/
Scott BeckerMcCathern219th State District Court in Collin County, TXFamily LawDallas01-02-19http://mccathernlaw.com/mccathern-welcomes-former-judge-scott-j-becker-to-the-firm/
Dick SaylesBradley ArantSayles WerbnerCommercial LitigationDallas1/3/2019https://www.bradley.com/insights/news/2019/01/bradley-law-firm-celebrates-new-year-with-opening-of-new-texas-office
William SnyderBradley ArantSayles WerbnerCommercial LitigationDallas1/3/2019https://www.bradley.com/insights/news/2019/01/bradley-law-firm-celebrates-new-year-with-opening-of-new-texas-office
Mark TorianBradley ArantSayles WerbnerCommercial LitigationDallas1/3/2019https://www.bradley.com/insights/news/2019/01/bradley-law-firm-celebrates-new-year-with-opening-of-new-texas-office
Robert SaylesBradley ArantSayles WerbnerCommercial LitigationDallas1/3/2019https://www.bradley.com/insights/news/2019/01/bradley-law-firm-celebrates-new-year-with-opening-of-new-texas-office
Jeffrey ZissaPolsinelliAkin Gump Strauss Hauer & FeldReal EstateDallas01-09-19https://www.polsinelli.com/newsevents/polsinelli-dallas-office-welcomes-real-estate
Randy GordonBarnes & ThornburgCrowe & DunlevyCommercial LitigationDallas01-10-19https://www.btlaw.com/insights/news/barnes-thornburg-makes-early-hiring-splash-in-2019-adding-three-partners-in-dallas
Tamara Baggett Barnes & ThornburgKilpatrick Townsend & StocktonCommercial LitigationDallas01-10-19https://www.btlaw.com/insights/news/barnes-thornburg-makes-early-hiring-splash-in-2019-adding-three-partners-in-dallas
Jenni TauzelBarnes & ThornburgWinsteadCorporate M&A Securities Dallas01-10-19https://www.btlaw.com/insights/news/barnes-thornburg-makes-early-hiring-splash-in-2019-adding-three-partners-in-dallas
Bill MorrisonHaynes & BooneTenet Healthcare CorporationHealth CareDallas01-14-19http://www.haynesboone.com/press-releases/bill-morrison-rejoins-haynes-and-boone
Edward SlaughterGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas01-18-19https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Jason IrvinGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas01-18-19https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Beverly BondGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas01-18-19https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Chip AdamsGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas01-18-19https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Andrea CookGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas01-18-19https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Saxon GuerriereGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas01-18-19https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Hollingsworth MarshallGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas01-18-19https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Richard ChengDLADykemaHealth CareDallas01-31-19https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/news/2019/01/richard-cheng-joins-dla-pipers-corporate-practice-in-dallas/
Daniel PrietoDLAJones DayBankruptcyDallas02-01-19https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/news/2019/01/daniel-prieto-joins-dla-pipers-restructuring-practice-in-dallas/
Ken TapscottThompson CoeDallas County CourtCommercial LitigationDallas02-08-19https://www.thompsoncoe.com/NewsEvents/News?find=104203
Chuck ShiverThompson CoeSargent LawCommercial LitigationDallas02-08-19https://www.thompsoncoe.com/NewsEvents/News?find=104203
Bryan RoseFrost Brown ToddRose WalkerCommercial LitigationDallas02-20-19https://www.frostbrowntodd.com/newsroom-FBT-Dallas-Adds-Eight-Attorneys-Texas-Lawyer.html
Martin RoseFrost Brown ToddRose WalkerCommercial LitigationDallas02-20-19https://www.frostbrowntodd.com/newsroom-FBT-Dallas-Adds-Eight-Attorneys-Texas-Lawyer.html
Holly ClarkeFrost Brown ToddRose WalkerGovernment Relations/Government ContractsDallas02-20-19https://www.frostbrowntodd.com/newsroom-FBT-Dallas-Adds-Eight-Attorneys-Texas-Lawyer.html
Jason BoatrightCantey HangerFifth District Court of AppealsCommercial LitigationDallas02-26-19http://canteyhanger.com/news/former-appeals-court-justice-boatright-joins-cantey-hanger/
Jonathan BullJackson WalkerFoley GardereEnvironmentalDallas03-05-19https://www.jw.com/news/jon-bull-joins-jackson-walker-environment-natural-resources-practice-dallas/
Robert LongGreenberg TraurigSecurities and Exchange CommissionSecurities Litigation and EnforcementDallas03-06-19https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2019/3/press-releases/former-federal-prosecutor-and-sec-and-finra-regulator-robert-long-joins-greenberg-traurig-in-dallas
Matthew NielsonBracewellStantonSecurities Litigation and EnforcementDallas03-18-19https://bracewell.com/news/matthew-nielsen-joins-bracewell%E2%80%99s-white-collar-defense-team-dallas
Kim UskovichHusch BlackwellKelly Hart & HallmanTrusts and EstatesDallas03-25-19https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/kim-uskovich-joins-dallas-office-of-husch-blackwell
Valerie AugerKemp SmithRincon Law GroupCommercial LitigationEl Paso01-10-19http://www.kempsmith.com/kemp-smith-welcomes-valerie-r-auger
Judge Randy WilsonSusman Godrey157th Civil District CourtCommercial LitigationHouston01-01-19https://www.susmangodfrey.com/news-awards/sg-news/longtime-judge-randy-wilson-returns-to-susman-godfrey-as-partner/
Derrick MitchellHolland and KnightBracewellBanking and FinanceHouston01-14-19https://www.hklaw.com/news/Public-Finance-Attorney-Derrick-Mitchell-Joins-Holland-Knight-in-Houston-01-14-2019/
Silvia MarchiliWhite & CaseKing & SpaldingCommercial LitigationHouston01-17-19https://www.whitecase.com/news/press-release/silvia-marchili-joins-white-case-international-arbitration-partner
Trevor WommackLatham & WatkinsVinson & ElkinsBanking and FinanceHouston01-23-19https://www.lw.com/news/latham-and-watkins-adds-top-oil-and-gas-banking-partner-in-houston
David LangeKing & SpaldingBaker McKenzieEnergy and InfrastructureHouston01-23-19https://www.kslaw.com/news-and-insights/energy-partner-david-lang-joins-king-spaldings-houston-office
Arturo MichelHusch BlackwellThompson & HortonCommercial LitigationHouston01-28-19https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/husch-blackwell-adds-three-partners-in-houston
Robert EckelsHusch BlackwellGray Reed & McGrawGovernment Relations/Government ContractsHouston01-28-19https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/husch-blackwell-adds-three-partners-in-houston
Sandy Hellums-GomezHusch BlackwellThompson & HortonGovernment Relations/Government ContractsHouston01-28-19https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/husch-blackwell-adds-three-partners-in-houston
Paul TurnerWomble Bond DickinsonReed SmithEnergy and InfrastructureHouston01-29-19https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news/houston-office
Jeff WhittleWomble Bond DickinsonHogan LovellsIntellectual PropertyHouston01-29-19https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news/houston-office
Joshua DavisWomble Bond DickinsonReed SmithIntellectual PropertyHouston01-29-19https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news/houston-office
Scott FiddlerJackson WalkerFiddler & AssociatesLabor and EmploymentHouston02-01-19https://www.jw.com/news/scott-fiddler-jackson-walker-labor-employment-litigation-houston/
Jonathan Castelan Latham & WatkinsKirkland & EllisCorporate M&A Securities Houston02-04-19https://www.lw.com/news/ProminentMAndAPartnerJoinsLathamAndWatkinsinHouston
Kirsten PolyanskyReed SmithHaynes and BooneEnergy and InfrastructureHouston02-04-19https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2019/02/leading-commodities-partner-kirsten-polyansky-joins-reed-smith-in-houston
Byron RomainWhite & CaseSimpson Thacher & BartlettEnergy and InfrastructureHouston02-04-19https://www.whitecase.com/news/press-release/byron-romain-joins-white-case-partner-houston
Jane BlandVinson & ElkinsFirst Court of AppealsAppellateHouston02-05-19https://www.velaw.com/News/Distinguished-Former-Appellate-Justice-Jane-Bland-Joins-Vinson---Elkins/
Anna VireneGray ReedNathan Sommers JacobsBanking and FinanceHouston02-05-19https://www.grayreed.com/NewsResources/Press-Releases/157103/Gray-Reed-Welcomes-Four-Attorneys
Carlos TreistmanGreenberg TraurigOrrickCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston02-05-2019https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2019/2/press-releases/greenberg-traurig-continues-growth-of-corporate-practice-with-carlos-treistman-in-houston
Brian CororveGray ReedCampbell & RiggsTrusts and EstatesHouston02-05-19https://www.grayreed.com/NewsResources/Press-Releases/157103/Gray-Reed-Welcomes-Four-Attorneys
Jeff CoxDykema Hartline Dacus Barger DreyerCommercial LitigationHouston02-07-19https://www.dykema.com/news-press-dykemas-dallas-offices-grows-with-the-addition-of-four-trial-attorneys_020719.html
Deron WadeDykema Hartline Dacus Barger DreyerCommercial LitigationHouston02-07-19https://www.dykema.com/news-press-dykemas-dallas-offices-grows-with-the-addition-of-four-trial-attorneys_020719.html
Dick SchwartzMunsch Hardt Kopf & HarrVorys Sater Seymour and PeaseCommercial LitigationHouston02-08-19https://www.munsch.com/Newsroom/Blogs/109405/Munsch-Hardtrsquos-Growing-Houston-Office-Adds-Two-Energy-Litigation-Shareholders-One-Tax-Shareholder
Todd FrankMunsch Hardt Kopf & HarrWatt Thompson Frank & CarverCommercial LitigationHouston02-08-19https://www.munsch.com/Newsroom/Blogs/109405/Munsch-Hardtrsquos-Growing-Houston-Office-Adds-Two-Energy-Litigation-Shareholders-One-Tax-Shareholder
Joe ThompsonPorter HedgesWatt Beckworth Thompson & HennemanCommercial LitigationHouston02-08-19https://www.porterhedges.com/NewsPublications/News?find=200702
Susan SampleMunsch Hardt Kopf & HarrShell Oil CompanyTaxHouston02-08-19https://www.munsch.com/Newsroom/Blogs/109405/Munsch-Hardtrsquos-Growing-Houston-Office-Adds-Two-Energy-Litigation-Shareholders-One-Tax-Shareholder
Harvey BrownThe Lanier Law FirmFirst Court of AppealsAppellateHouston02-11-19https://lanierlawfirm.com/former-state-appellate-court-judge-harvey-brown-joins-the-lanier-law-firm/
Tony GuerinoWomble Bond DickinsonGreenberg TraurigCommercial LitigationHouston02-11-19https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news/houston-oil-gas-attorney-tony-guerino-joins-womble
Bryce LinsenmayerTaylor EnglishKelly DryeCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston02-13-19https://www.taylorenglish.com/newsroom-pressreleases-taylor-english-enters-texas-market-with-addition-corporate-attorney-bryce-linsenmayer.html
Ivana RouseLatham & WatkinsAkin Gump Strauss Hauer & FeldCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston02-19-19https://www.lw.com/news/investment-funds-partner-joins-latham-houston
Katherine TreistmanGreenberg TraurigOrrickCommercial LitigationHouston02-20-19https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2019/2/press-releases/greenberg-traurig-enhances-its-litigation-practice-with-the-addition-of-katherine-treistman
William "Willie" WoodMcKool SmithNorton Rose FulbrightCommercial LitigationHouston03-07-19https://www.mckoolsmith.com/newsroom-pressreleases-294
Justin TschoepeMcKool SmithNorton Rose FulbrightCommercial LitigationHouston03-07-19https://www.mckoolsmith.com/newsroom-pressreleases-294
Jennifer CaugheyJackson WalkerFirst Court of AppealsAppellateHouston03-19-2019https://www.jw.com/news/jennifer-caughey-joins-jackson-walker-trial-appellate-litigation-practice/