Highlights for the first quarter of 2021: moves drop as firms respond to external uncertainty; February storm freezes hires; health care practice area surges; nearly all moves split between DFW and Houston

WHAT WE’RE SEEING

Venturing into 2021 has felt a bit like a walk through a fun house, taking a few steps in confidence only to lunge for the handrail as the floor suddenly moves, the path forward distorted and hard to make out. We’re seeing that uncertainty borne out through a drop in Q1 moves.

Even the bullish Texas economy wasn’t immune to a late-year spike in COVID-19 cases, political upheaval, delays while Congress hashed out the stimulus package and a historic February storm that crippled the better part of the state for a week. Each month this quarter, we’ve seen outside forces delay interviews and hiring.

Conditions do look more promising for Q2, with vaccination rates on the rise and talk of reaching herd immunity this summer. That has us wondering about a different kind of immunity — job change immunity.

Since 2018, 31 new firms have opened offices in Texas, and with each one has come a flurry of lateral moves. In total, more than 650 partner moves took place during that period. While the talent pool in Texas is wide and deep, we will eventually reach a ‘settled in’ point where folks want to stay put for a bit.

Our educated guess is that we’re approaching the job change immunity point and 2021 will be a year of leveling out. Then again, we’ll borrow the often used phrase from the past year: “Stay tuned, we’ll bring you more updates as this story continues to develop!”

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

LIST OF PARTNER MOVES: Q1 OF 2021

Name
New Firm
Old Firm
Practice Area
City
Date Announced
Link
Greg MatlockMayer BrownEYTaxHouston01-04-2021https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/news/2021/greg-matlock
Scott ColeQuinn Emanuel McKool SmithCommercial LitigationAustin01-04-2021https://www.quinnemanuel.com/the-firm/news-events/january-2021-new-austin-office-and-partner-hires/
Asher GriffinQuinn Emanuel Scott Douglass & McConnicoCommercial LitigationAustin01-04-2021https://www.quinnemanuel.com/the-firm/news-events/january-2021-new-austin-office-and-partner-hires/
Gerrit PronskeSpencer FanePronske & KathmanBankruptcyPlano01-04-2021https://www.spencerfane.com/spencer-fane-adds-3-experienced-bankruptcy-attorneys-in-plano/
Jason KathmanSpencer FanePronske & KathmanBankruptcyPlano01-04-2021https://www.spencerfane.com/spencer-fane-adds-3-experienced-bankruptcy-attorneys-in-plano/
Roxanne EdwardsBell Nunnally KlemchukIntellectual PropertyDallas01-05-2021https://www.bellnunnally.com/bell-nunnally-adds-ip-attorney-roxanne-edwards-as-partner
Carolyn RainesMunck Wilson MandalaGodwin BowmanCommercial LitigationDallas01-06-2021https://www.munckwilson.com/press_releases/munck-wilson-mandala-welcomes-litigation-partner-carolyn-raines/
Danielle AhlrichReed SmithMartens, Todd, Leonard & AhlrichTaxAustin01-06-2021https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2021/reed-smith-expands-state-tax-practice-texas-addition-of-danielle-ahlrich
Jesse MyersWillkie Farr & Gallagher Latham & WatkinsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston01-07-2021https://www.willkie.com/news/2021/01/willkie-adds-private-equity-partner-jesse-myers
Dania Duncan Moreno Bell Nunnally Greenberg TraurigReal EstateDallas01-10-2021https://www.bellnunnally.com/bell-nunnally-grows-with-three-attorney-additions
Mia LorickLocke LordRoberts Markel Weinberg Butler HaileyCommercial LitigationHouston01-11-2021https://www.lockelord.com/newsandevents/news/2021/01/mia-lorick-joins-locke-lord-houston-office
Taylor PullinsWhite & CaseNoble EnergyEnvironmentalHouston01-11-2021https://www.whitecase.com/news/press-release/taylor-pullins-joins-white-case-partner-houston
Anna Valkovich KavanaughCrain Caton & JamesBaker Williams MatthiesenTrusts and EstatesHouston01-12-2021https://www.craincaton.com/crain-caton-james-welcomes-estate-planning-shareholder/
Bill HopkinsSpencer FaneShackelford Bowen McKinley & NortonHealth CareAustin01-15-2021https://www.spencerfane.com/hopkins-joins-spencer-fane-as-health-care-partner-in-austin/
Jonathan IsheeMcGuireWoodsVorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease Health CareHouston01-18-2021https://www.mcguirewoods.com/news/press-releases/2021/2/mcguirewoods-expands-digital-health-team
Janice SuchytaMcGuireWoodsSeyfarth ShawHealth CareHouston01-18-2021https://www.mcguirewoods.com/news/press-releases/2021/2/mcguirewoods-expands-digital-health-team
Krystal Studavent RamseyBlank RomeAxiomDiversity and InclusionHouston01-19-2021https://www.blankrome.com/news/blank-rome-welcomes-new-director-diversity-and-inclusion
Scott BeckmenBradleyStinsonCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas01-19-2021https://www.bradley.com/insights/news/2021/01/shae-armstrong-and-scott-beckmen-join-bradley-as-partners-in-dallas
Shae ArmstrongBradleyStinsonReal EstateDallas01-19-2021https://www.bradley.com/insights/news/2021/01/shae-armstrong-and-scott-beckmen-join-bradley-as-partners-in-dallas
Gabriela Monahan Munck Wilson MandalaLake Travis ISDCommercial LitigationAustin01-19-2021https://www.munckwilson.com/press_releases/munck-wilson-mandala-welcomes-litigation-partner-gabriela-monahan/
Tom ReddinNorton Rose FulbrightPolsinelliLabor and EmploymentDallas01-19-2021https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en-us/news/e2f59821/employment-and-labor-litigator-joins-norton-rose-fulbright-in-dallas
Mackenzie WallaceThompson CoburnThompson & KnightHealth CareDallas01-19-2021https://www.thompsoncoburn.com/news-events/news/2021-01-19/health-care-litigator-mackenzie-wallace-joins-thompson-coburn-in-dallas
Travis McNellieJackson WalkerThompson & Knight Real EstateFort Worth01-22-2021https://www.jw.com/news/welcome-travis-mcnellie/
David R. EastlakeBaker BottsGreenberg TraurigBankruptcyHouston02-01-2021https://www.bakerbotts.com/news/2021/01/baker-botts-expands-financial-restructuring-practice-with-addition-of-partner-in-houston
Chance DeckerCokinos YoungGray Reed McGrawCommercial LitigationHouston02-01-2021https://www.cokinoslaw.com/chance-decker-joins-cokinos-young-as-a-principal/
Ladd HirschBradleyWinsteadCommercial LitigationDallas02-02-2021https://www.bradley.com/insights/news/2021/02/ladd-hirsch-joins-bradleys-litigation-practice-group-in-dallas
Michael BaileyWinsteadWick Phillips Gould & MartinBanking and FinanceDallas02-08-2021https://www.winstead.com/News/Firm-News/366314/Corporate-Finance-Attorney-Michael-Bailey-Joins-Winstead
Luke WohlfordDuane MorrisBarnes & ThornburgCommercial LitigationDallas02-09-2021https://www.duanemorris.com/news/duane_morris_adds_third_texas_office_dallas_hires_four_litigators_0221.html
Jamie WeltonDuane MorrisBarnes & ThornburgCommercial LitigationDallas02-09-2021https://www.duanemorris.com/news/duane_morris_adds_third_texas_office_dallas_hires_four_litigators_0221.html
Randy GordonDuane MorrisBarnes & ThornburgCommercial LitigationDallas02-09-2021https://www.duanemorris.com/news/duane_morris_adds_third_texas_office_dallas_hires_four_litigators_0221.html
Robert Castle III Duane MorrisBarnes & ThornburgHealth CareDallas02-09-2021https://www.duanemorris.com/news/duane_morris_adds_third_texas_office_dallas_hires_four_litigators_0221.html
Julie MayoBaker BottsNorton Rose FulbrightEnergy and InfrastructureHouston02-18-2021https://www.bakerbotts.com/news/2021/02/leading-energy-projects-partner-joins-baker-botts-in-houston
William SentellAkermanBaker McKenzieFranchise and DistributionHouston02-22-2021https://www.akerman.com/en/firm/newsroom/akerman-adds-five-franchise-lawyers-in-five-months-expands-in-denver-houston-and-washington-dc.html
Patrick KnappJackson WalkerBridger LogisticsEnergy and InfrastructureDallas02-22-2021https://www.jw.com/news/welcome-patrick-knapp/
Emily Leitch Shearman & SterlingJones DayCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston02-22-2021https://www.shearman.com/news-and-events/news/2021/02/shearman-expands-texas-capital-markets-offering-with-the-addition-of-emily-leitch-in-houston
Joel MohrmanAkermanMcGlinchey StaffordCommercial LitigationHouston02-23-2021https://www.akerman.com/en/firm/newsroom/akerman-grows-houston-office-with-veteran-trial-lawyer-joel-mohrman-and-andy-cao.html
Anderson CaoAkermanMcGlinchey StaffordCommercial LitigationHouston02-23-2021https://www.akerman.com/en/firm/newsroom/akerman-grows-houston-office-with-veteran-trial-lawyer-joel-mohrman-and-andy-cao.html
Rachael LichmanKirkland & EllisBaker BottsBanking and FinanceHouston03-01-2021https://www.kirkland.com/news/press-release/2021/03/kirkland-debt-finance-partner-rachael-l-lichman
Michael Gaston-BellHaynes and BooneKatten MuchinLabor and EmploymentDallas03-04-2021https://www.haynesboone.com/press-releases/michael-gastonbell-rejoins-haynes-and-boone
Bill SwartMunsch HardtPerkins CoieCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas03-04-2021https://www.munsch.com/Newsroom/Blogs/136902/Munsch-Hardt-Welcomes-New-Shareholder-Bill-Swart-to-Dallas-Office
John Sutton JrHaynes and BooneK&L Gates Banking and FinanceFort Worth03-08-2021https://www.haynesboone.com/press-releases/john-o-sutton-jr-joins-haynes-and-boone
Jennifer RangelHolland & KnightLocke LordHealth CareAustin03-08-2021https://www.hklaw.com/en/news/pressreleases/2021/03/prominent-healthcare-attorney-jennifer-rangel-joins-hk-in-texas
Elizabeth RyanWeilPinker Hurst & SchwegmannCommercial LitigationDallas03-08-2021https://www.weil.com/articles/weil-adds-complex-commercial-litigation-partner-elizabeth-ryan-in-dallas
Jason WeberPolsinelliCrawford, Wishnew & Lang Labor and EmploymentDallas03-11-2021https://www.polsinelli.com/newsevents/polsinelli-welcomes-jason-weber-as-dallas
José Luis VittorWomble Bond DickinsonHogan LovellsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston03-11-2021https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news-and-insights/womble-adds-project-finance-energy-sector-attorney-jose-luis-vittor
Doug JonesHusch BlackwellMcGinnis LochridgeTaxAustin03-15-2021https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/husch-blackwell-adds-doug-jones-to-tax-nonprofit-organization-practices
Pat HuttenbachCrain Caton & JamesHirsch & WestheimerCommercial LitigationHouston03-16-2021https://www.craincaton.com/crain-caton-james-welcomes-two-new-business-and-financial-services-lawyers/
Emily WhiteMunck Wilson MandalaWhite Law GroupIntellectual PropertyDallas03-19-2021https://www.munckwilson.com/press_releases/munck-wilson-mandala-welcomes-principal-attorney-emily-white/
Ryan PatrickHaynes and BooneU.S. Department of JusticeWhite Collar Criminal DefenseHouston03-22-2021https://www.haynesboone.com/press-releases/ryan-patrick-joins-hb
Jason Huebinger McGuireWoodsHolland & KnightLabor and EmploymentHouston03-22-2021https://www.mcguirewoods.com/news/press-releases/2021/3/jason-huebinger-joins-mcguirewoods-labor-employment-team-partner-houston
Edward RhyneReed SmithBaker BottsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston03-22-2021https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2021/03/reed-smith-adds-four-toptier-dealmakers-in-houston
Robert PhillpottReed SmithBaker BottsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston03-22-2021https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2021/03/reed-smith-adds-four-toptier-dealmakers-in-houston
Efren AcostaReed SmithBaker BottsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston03-22-2021https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2021/03/reed-smith-adds-four-toptier-dealmakers-in-houston
Ron ScharnbergReed SmithBaker BottsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston03-22-2021https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2021/03/reed-smith-adds-four-toptier-dealmakers-in-houston
Lyn PruittDLA PiperMitchell Williams Selig Gates and WoodyardCommercial LitigationDallas03-25-2021https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/news/2021/03/leading-trial-lawyer-lyn-pruitt-joins-dla-piper-along-with-adria-conklin-and-mary-catherine-way/
Adria W. ConklinDLA PiperMitchell Williams Selig Gates and WoodyardCommercial LitigationDallas03-25-2021https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/news/2021/03/leading-trial-lawyer-lyn-pruitt-joins-dla-piper-along-with-adria-conklin-and-mary-catherine-way/
Mary Catherine WayDLA PiperMitchell Williams Selig Gates and WoodyardCommercial LitigationDallas03-25-2021https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/news/2021/03/leading-trial-lawyer-lyn-pruitt-joins-dla-piper-along-with-adria-conklin-and-mary-catherine-way/
Garrett Johnston McGuireWoodsWillkie Farr & GallagherCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston03-29-2021https://www.mcguirewoods.com/news/press-releases/2021/3/garrett-johnston-joins-mcguirewoods
Jason RochaWhite & Case'sBaker BottsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston03-29-2021https://www.whitecase.com/news/press-release/white-case-adds-leading-capital-markets-team-its-houston-office
A.J. EricksenWhite & Case'sBaker BottsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston03-29-2021https://www.whitecase.com/news/press-release/white-case-adds-leading-capital-markets-team-its-houston-office