Highlights for the third quarter of 2019: partner moves leveling off after 2018 new office boom and subsequent slow down; smaller markets getting squeezed out of the attorney race; a look at two Texas firms 18 months post merger and their potential to start attracting talent in 2020

Post Merger Firms Positioned to Acquire Talent in 2020?

As 2020 and all its upheavals melts into the start of 2021, there’s no denying it has been a remarkable year. But one of the most remarkable parts of 2020 for the lateral partner market in Texas is that it’s been…well, unremarkable. Lateral movements in Texas continued almost as normal (in terms of the volume) when compared with past years. Total lateral partner moves in 2020 were at 196, pretty close to 209 moves in 2019. 

Another sign of the “normalcy”: Law firms continued to open new offices in Texas. Shearman & Sterling; Baker & Hostetler; and Thompson Coburn in Dallas. Perkins Coie and Spencer Fane opened in Austin. And Balch and Bingham, and Frost Brown opened in Houston, to name a few. 

It begs the question of why this normalcy persisted in Texas in the face of a historically abnormal year. Texas was certainly not immune to the economic fallout that came with the pandemic, nor the changes in regulation, funding or business immigration. 

While we didn’t see the anticipated drop-off in lateral moves, we also didn’t see a consistent narrative shared across law firm clients and individual partners/groups last year. Every firm and every practice within the firms were hit by the pandemic differently. Whether an individual partner’s or group’s practice was heavily impacted one way or another depended very much on the impacts their clients were facing. Some firms had a challenging year in terms of meeting their revenue goals and profitability, others had their best year ever. 

With the austerity measures enacted (and often later retracted) by firms, changes in client demands and even the abrupt change to a virtual format, partners and groups did find it advantageous to move during the pandemic, and many firms were strategic and bullish about adding talent during this unique year. 

So while we didn’t necessarily see the strong shared trends as in other years, here’s what we saw from 2020’s raw data: 

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

LIST OF PARTNER MOVES: Q3 OF 2019

Name
New Firm
Old Firm
Practice Area
City
Date Announced
Link
George FibbBaker BottsU.S. Department of EnergyCommerical LitigationHouston9/17/2019http://www.bakerbotts.com/news/2019/09/baker-botts-welcomes-george-fibbe-as-litigation-partner
Shawn ClevelandBakerHostetlerWinston & StrawnSecurities Litigation and EnforcementHouston9/10/2019https://www.bakerlaw.com/press/leading-white-collar-and-litigation-partner-shawn-cleveland-joins-bakerhostetler-in-texas
Mark RodriguezBeck ReddenVinson & ElkinsCommercial LitigationHouston8/12/2019https://www.beckredden.com/news/mark-c-rodriguez-joins-beck-redden-llp
Bill MahomesBracewellMahomes BoldenBanking and FinanceDallas7/8/2019https://bracewell.com/news/bracewell-grows-dallas-office-addition-two-public-finance-partners
Steve Bolden IIBracewellMahomes BoldenBanking and FinanceDallas7/8/2019https://bracewell.com/news/bracewell-grows-dallas-office-addition-two-public-finance-partners
Gene R. BesenBradley Arant Boult CummingsGray Reed & McGrawSecurities Litigation and EnforcementDallas7/9/2019https://www.bradley.com/insights/news/2019/07/gene-besen-joins-bradleys-dallas-office-as-government-enforcement-and-investigations-partner
Jason KatzCarrington ColemanHiersche, Hayward, Drakeley & UrbachCommercial LitigationDallas7/1/2019https://www.ccsb.com/jason-katz-joins-carrington-coleman-as-litigation-and-bankruptcy-receivership-insolvency-partner/
Jason MedleyClark HillLeClairRyanBanking and FinanceDallas 8/16/2019https://www.clarkhill.com/press/clark-hill-strasburger-adds-five-attorneys-in-texas
Racy L. HaddadCoats RoseHaddad Legal GroupReal EstateAustin7/1/2019https://www.coatsrose.com/six-attorneys-join-coats-rose/
William HammelFox RothschildLeClairRyanLabor & EmploymentDallas9/4/2019https://www.foxrothschild.com/news/fox-welcomes-six-attorneys-in-dc-texas-and-new-jersey/
Chris DavisGray ReedU.S. Securities and Exchange CommissionSecurities Litigation and EnforcementDallas 7/29/2019https://www.grayreed.com/NewsResources/Press-Releases/165103/Gray-Reed-Welcomes-Former-SEC-Trial-Lawyer-as-White-Collar-Defense-Practice-Group-Leader
Daniel ElmsGreenberg TraurigBell Nunnally & MartinCommercial LitigationDallas7/29/2019https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2019/7/press-releases/business-litigator-daniel-elms-joins-greenberg-traurig
David MerkleyHartline BargerGermerCommercial LitigationHouston9/13/2019http://hartlinebarger.com/hb-expands-houston-office-with-addition-of-david-merkley/
Eddy Daniels Haynes and BoonePanda Power FundsEnergy and InfrastructureHouston7/16/2019https://www.haynesboone.com/press-releases/eddy-daniels-joins-haynes-and-boone
George HincheyHaynes and BooneJackson WalkerReal EstateSan Antonio8/29/2019https://www.haynesboone.com/press-releases/george-hinchey-rejoins-haynes-and-boone
Jody L. RudmanHusch BlackwellNossamanHealth CareAustin 9/5/2019https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/jody-rudman-joins-husch-blackwells-austin-office
Jerry RiosHusch BlackwellLightfoot, Franklin & WhiteCommercial LitigationHouston9/30/2019https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/jerry-l-rios-joins-husch-blackwell-in-houston
James A. ReederJones DayVinson & ElkinsCommercial LitigationHouston8/1/2019https://www.jonesday.com/en/news/2019/08/james-a-reeder-jr-joins-jones-day
Stewart MesherK&L GatesConley RoseIntellectual PropertyAustin7/9/2019http://www.klgates.com/kl-gates-bolsters-ip-practice-with-addition-of-four-lawyer-austin-team-07-09-2019/
Darlene GhavimiK&L GatesConley RoseIntellectual PropertyAustin7/9/2019http://www.klgates.com/kl-gates-bolsters-ip-practice-with-addition-of-four-lawyer-austin-team-07-09-2019/
Henry PogorzelskiK&L GatesConley RoseIntellectual PropertyAustin7/9/2019http://www.klgates.com/kl-gates-bolsters-ip-practice-with-addition-of-four-lawyer-austin-team-07-09-2019/
Edward FernandesKing & SpaldingHunton Andrews KurthCommercial LitigationAustin9/17/2019https://www.kslaw.com/news-and-insights/trial-lawyer-edward-f-fernandes-joins-king-spalding-in-austin
Andrew Van NoordKirkland & EllisJones DayReal EstateHouston8/1/2019https://www.kirkland.com/news/press-release/2019/08/kirkland_ellis-adds-partner-andy-van-noord-in-dall
Eric Johnson Locke LordCity of DallasBanking and FinanceDallas 8/26/2019https://www.lockelord.com/newsandevents/news/2019/08/dallas-mayor-eric-johnson-joins-locke-lord
Matt HudnallMaynard Cooper GaleHudnallReal EstateDallas9/10/2019https://www.maynardcooper.com/maynard-cooper-bolsters-real-estate-and-land-development-practice/
Karen CowdenMaynard Cooper GaleHudnallReal EstateDallas9/10/2019https://www.maynardcooper.com/maynard-cooper-bolsters-real-estate-and-land-development-practice/
Allan KatzMaynard Cooper GaleHudnallReal EstateDallas9/10/2019https://www.maynardcooper.com/maynard-cooper-bolsters-real-estate-and-land-development-practice/
Laura RoachMcCathernAlbin RoachFamily LawFrisco8/2/2019https://mccathernlaw.com/laura-roach-joins-mccathern-family-law-practice/
Amanda JesterMcDermott Will & EmeryWaller LansdenHealth CareDallas8/22/2019https://www.mwe.com/media/mcdermott-adds-prominent-lawyer-to-advise-dealmakers-transforming-and-investing-in-dynamic-health-and-life-sciences-markets/
Eric SchlichterMcGuireWoodsWinston & StrawnIntellectual PropertyHouston8/14/2019https://www.mcguirewoods.com/news/press-releases/2019/8/top-patent-litigator-eric-schlichter-boosts-mcguirewoods-energy-capabilities-in-houston
Patrick KnappMcGuireWoodsRobert Anderson LawEnergy and InfrastructureDallas8/26/2019https://www.mcguirewoods.com/news/press-releases/2019/8/oil-gas-dealmaker-patrick-knapp-joins-mcguirewoods-in-texas
Craig DouglassMunck Wilson MandalaJames K. LaroeCommercial LitigationDallas8/5/2019https://www.munckwilson.com/press_releases/munck-wilson-mandala-welcomes-subrogation-partner-craig-douglass/
Bo SartainMunsch HardtHaynes and BooneCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas7/23/2019https://www.munsch.com/Newsroom/Blogs/114902/Munsch-Hardt-Adds-Seasoned-Investment-Management-Partner-in-Dallas-Litigation-Associates-in-Houston
Chris JohnsonMunsch HardtMcKool SmithBankruptcyHouston8/15/2019https://www.munsch.com/Newsroom/Blogs/115904/Munsch-Hardtrsquos-Bankruptcy-Restructuring-amp-Insolvency-Practice-Group-Adds-Shareholder-to-its-Growing-Houston-Officenbsp
Becky DiffenNorton Rose FulbrightMcGuireWoodsEnergy and InfrastructureAustin 8/13/2019https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en-us/news/ee47c2ed/norton-rose-fulbright-expands-renewable-energy-practice-in-texas
John ChrismanNorton Rose FulbrightClyde & CoCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas 9/9/2019https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en-us/news/cd9270d6/norton-rose-fulbright-adds-globally-accomplished-corporate-partner-in-dallas
Jonathan R. SpiveyPolsinelliBracewellIntellectual PropertyHouston7/16/2019https://www.polsinelli.com/newsevents/jonathan-r-spivey-joins-polsinelli-as-shareholder
Elizabeth BrandonReed SmithBarnes & ThornburgCommercial LitigationDallas7/9/2019https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2019/07/established-litigator-elizabeth-brandon-joins-reed-smith-in-dallas
Paulo McKeebyReed SmithMorgan LewisLabor & EmploymentDallas7/15/2019https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2019/07/reed-smith-continues-growth-addition-le-partners-mckeeby-correll-in-dallas
Michael CorrellReed SmithMorgan LewisLabor & EmploymentDallas7/15/2019https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2019/07/reed-smith-continues-growth-addition-le-partners-mckeeby-correll-in-dallas
Jarrett ReedSheppard, Mullin, Richter & HamptonNorton Rose FulbrightReal EstateDallas 7/22/2019https://www.sheppardmullin.com/newsroom-pressreleases-582.html
William MorfeySpencer FaneZimmerman, Axelrad, Stern & WiseCommercial LitigationHouston8/1/2019https://www.spencerfane.com/spencer-fane-announces-combination-with-houston-based-firm-zimmerman-axelrad-stern-wise/
Brian ZimmermanSpencer FaneZimmerman, Axelrad, Stern & WiseCommercial LitigationHouston8/1/2019https://www.spencerfane.com/spencer-fane-announces-combination-with-houston-based-firm-zimmerman-axelrad-stern-wise/
Dan CogdellSquire Patton BoggsCogdell Law FirmWhite CollarHouston9/23/2019https://www.squirepattonboggs.com/en/news/2019/09/squire-patton-boggs-welcomes-renowned-texas-trial-lawyer-dan-cogdell
George HumphreyThompson & KnightOrrick, Herrington & SutcliffeEnergy and InfrastructureHouston7/24/2019https://www.tklaw.com/news-insights/news/thompson-knight-welcomes-finance-partner-to-houston-office
Jeffrey MalonsonWeil Gotshal & MangesKing & SpaldingCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston9/23/2019https://www.weil.com/articles/weil-adds-private-equity-partner-jeffery-malonson-in-houston
Mark HolmesWhite & CaseBracewellBanking and FinanceHouston8/12/2019https://www.whitecase.com/news/press-release/mark-holmes-joins-white-case-partner-houston
Karthika PerumalWomble Bond DickinsonBracewellIntellectual PropertyHouston7/30/2019https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news/houston-attorney-karthika-perumal-phd-brings-patent-ip-transactions-practice