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
David ShankScott Douglass McConnicoSusman GodfreyCommercial LitigationAustin1/1/2019https://www.scottdoug.com/news
John EllisScott Douglass McConnicoLocke LordCommercial LitigationAustin1/1/2019https://www.scottdoug.com/news
Judge Randy WilsonSusman Godrey157th Civil District CourtCommercial LitigationHouston1/1/2019https://www.susmangodfrey.com/news-awards/sg-news/longtime-judge-randy-wilson-returns-to-susman-godfrey-as-partner/
Shamoil T. ShipchandlerJones DaySecurities and Exchange CommissionSecurities Litigation and EnforcementDallas1/1/2019https://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 LawDallas1/2/2019http://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
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
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
Jeffrey ZissaPolsinelliAkin Gump Strauss Hauer & FeldReal EstateDallas1/9/2019https://www.polsinelli.com/newsevents/polsinelli-dallas-office-welcomes-real-estate
Jenni TauzelBarnes & ThornburgWinsteadCorporate M&A Securities Dallas1/10/2019https://www.btlaw.com/insights/news/barnes-thornburg-makes-early-hiring-splash-in-2019-adding-three-partners-in-dallas
Randy GordonBarnes & ThornburgCrowe & DunlevyCommercial LitigationDallas1/10/2019https://www.btlaw.com/insights/news/barnes-thornburg-makes-early-hiring-splash-in-2019-adding-three-partners-in-dallas
Tamara Baggett Barnes & ThornburgKilpatrick Townsend & StocktonCommercial LitigationDallas1/10/2019https://www.btlaw.com/insights/news/barnes-thornburg-makes-early-hiring-splash-in-2019-adding-three-partners-in-dallas
Valerie AugerKemp SmithRincon Law GroupCommercial LitigationEl Paso1/10/2019http://www.kempsmith.com/kemp-smith-welcomes-valerie-r-auger
Bill MorrisonHaynes & BooneTenet Healthcare CorporationHealth CareDallas1/14/2019http://www.haynesboone.com/press-releases/bill-morrison-rejoins-haynes-and-boone
Derrick MitchellHolland and KnightBracewellBanking and FinanceHouston1/14/2019https://www.hklaw.com/news/Public-Finance-Attorney-Derrick-Mitchell-Joins-Holland-Knight-in-Houston-01-14-2019/
Silvia MarchiliWhite & CaseKing & SpaldingCommercial LitigationHouston1/17/2019https://www.whitecase.com/news/press-release/silvia-marchili-joins-white-case-international-arbitration-partner
Andrea CookGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas1/18/2019https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Beverly BondGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas1/18/2019https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Chip AdamsGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas1/18/2019https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Edward SlaughterGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas1/18/2019https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Hollingsworth MarshallGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas1/18/2019https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Jason IrvinGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas1/18/2019https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
Saxon GuerriereGordon & ReesHawkins Parnell & YoungEnvironmentalDallas1/18/2019https://www.gordonrees.com/newsroom/2019/gordon-rees-further-expands-with-addition-of-preeminent-toxic-tort-group
David LangeKing & SpaldingBaker McKenzieEnergy and InfrastructureHouston1/23/2019https://www.kslaw.com/news-and-insights/energy-partner-david-lang-joins-king-spaldings-houston-office
Trevor WommackLatham & WatkinsVinson & ElkinsBanking and FinanceHouston1/23/2019https://www.lw.com/news/latham-and-watkins-adds-top-oil-and-gas-banking-partner-in-houston
Arturo MichelHusch BlackwellThompson & HortonCommercial LitigationHouston1/28/2019https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/husch-blackwell-adds-three-partners-in-houston
Robert EckelsHusch BlackwellGray Reed & McGrawGovernment Relations/Government ContractsHouston1/28/2019https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/husch-blackwell-adds-three-partners-in-houston
Sandy Hellums-GomezHusch BlackwellThompson & HortonGovernment Relations/Government ContractsHouston1/28/2019https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/husch-blackwell-adds-three-partners-in-houston
Jeff WhittleWomble Bond DickinsonHogan LovellsIntellectual PropertyHouston1/29/2019https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news/houston-office
Joshua DavisWomble Bond DickinsonReed SmithIntellectual PropertyHouston1/29/2019https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news/houston-office
Paul TurnerWomble Bond DickinsonReed SmithEnergy and InfrastructureHouston1/29/2019https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news/houston-office
Richard ChengDLADykemaHealth CareDallas1/31/2019https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/news/2019/01/richard-cheng-joins-dla-pipers-corporate-practice-in-dallas/
Daniel PrietoDLAJones DayBankruptcyDallas2/1/2019https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/news/2019/01/daniel-prieto-joins-dla-pipers-restructuring-practice-in-dallas/
Scott FiddlerJackson WalkerFiddler & AssociatesLabor and EmploymentHouston2/1/2019https://www.jw.com/news/scott-fiddler-jackson-walker-labor-employment-litigation-houston/
Byron RomainWhite & CaseSimpson Thacher & BartlettEnergy and InfrastructureHouston2/4/2019https://www.whitecase.com/news/press-release/byron-romain-joins-white-case-partner-houston
Jonathan Castelan Latham & WatkinsKirkland & EllisCorporate M&A Securities Houston2/4/2019https://www.lw.com/news/ProminentMAndAPartnerJoinsLathamAndWatkinsinHouston
Kirsten PolyanskyReed SmithHaynes and BooneEnergy and InfrastructureHouston2/4/2019https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2019/02/leading-commodities-partner-kirsten-polyansky-joins-reed-smith-in-houston
Anna VireneGray ReedNathan Sommers JacobsBanking and FinanceHouston2/5/2019https://www.grayreed.com/NewsResources/Press-Releases/157103/Gray-Reed-Welcomes-Four-Attorneys
Brian CororveGray ReedCampbell & RiggsTrusts and EstatesHouston2/5/2019https://www.grayreed.com/NewsResources/Press-Releases/157103/Gray-Reed-Welcomes-Four-Attorneys
Carlos TreistmanGreenberg TraurigOrrickCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston2/5/2019https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2019/2/press-releases/greenberg-traurig-continues-growth-of-corporate-practice-with-carlos-treistman-in-houston
Jane BlandVinson & ElkinsFirst Court of AppealsAppellateHouston2/5/2019https://www.velaw.com/News/Distinguished-Former-Appellate-Justice-Jane-Bland-Joins-Vinson---Elkins/
Deron WadeDykema Hartline Dacus Barger DreyerCommercial LitigationHouston2/7/2019https://www.dykema.com/news-press-dykemas-dallas-offices-grows-with-the-addition-of-four-trial-attorneys_020719.html
Jeff CoxDykema Hartline Dacus Barger DreyerCommercial LitigationHouston2/7/2019https://www.dykema.com/news-press-dykemas-dallas-offices-grows-with-the-addition-of-four-trial-attorneys_020719.html
Chuck ShiverThompson CoeSargent LawCommercial LitigationDallas2/8/2019https://www.thompsoncoe.com/NewsEvents/News?find=104203
Dick SchwartzMunsch Hardt Kopf & HarrVorys Sater Seymour and PeaseCommercial LitigationHouston2/8/2019https://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 LitigationHouston2/8/2019https://www.porterhedges.com/NewsPublications/News?find=200702
Ken TapscottThompson CoeDallas County CourtCommercial LitigationDallas2/8/2019https://www.thompsoncoe.com/NewsEvents/News?find=104203
Susan SampleMunsch Hardt Kopf & HarrShell Oil CompanyTaxHouston2/8/2019https://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 LitigationHouston2/8/2019https://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 AppealsAppellateHouston2/11/2019https://lanierlawfirm.com/former-state-appellate-court-judge-harvey-brown-joins-the-lanier-law-firm/
Tony GuerinoWomble Bond DickinsonGreenberg TraurigCommercial LitigationHouston2/11/2019https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news/houston-oil-gas-attorney-tony-guerino-joins-womble
Bryce LinsenmayerTaylor EnglishKelly DryeCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston2/13/2019https://www.taylorenglish.com/newsroom-pressreleases-taylor-english-enters-texas-market-with-addition-corporate-attorney-bryce-linsenmayer.html
Heidi BlochGreenberg TraurigHusch BlackwellAppellateAustin2/14/2019https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2019/2/press-releases/greenberg-traurig-welcomes-austin-appellate-lawyer-heidi-bloch
Erin FonteHunton Andrews KurthDykema GossettBanking and FinanceAustin2/19/2019https://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
Ivana RouseLatham & WatkinsAkin Gump Strauss Hauer & FeldCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston2/19/2019https://www.lw.com/news/investment-funds-partner-joins-latham-houston
Bryan RoseFrost Brown ToddRose WalkerCommercial LitigationDallas2/20/2019https://www.frostbrowntodd.com/newsroom-FBT-Dallas-Adds-Eight-Attorneys-Texas-Lawyer.html
Holly ClarkeFrost Brown ToddRose WalkerGovernment Relations/Government ContractsDallas2/20/2019https://www.frostbrowntodd.com/newsroom-FBT-Dallas-Adds-Eight-Attorneys-Texas-Lawyer.html
Katherine TreistmanGreenberg TraurigOrrickCommercial LitigationHouston2/20/2019https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2019/2/press-releases/greenberg-traurig-enhances-its-litigation-practice-with-the-addition-of-katherine-treistman
Martin RoseFrost Brown ToddRose WalkerCommercial LitigationDallas2/20/2019https://www.frostbrowntodd.com/newsroom-FBT-Dallas-Adds-Eight-Attorneys-Texas-Lawyer.html
Jason BoatrightCantey HangerFifth District Court of AppealsCommercial LitigationDallas2/26/2019http://canteyhanger.com/news/former-appeals-court-justice-boatright-joins-cantey-hanger/
Jonathan BullJackson WalkerFoley GardereEnvironmentalDallas3/5/2019https://www.jw.com/news/jon-bull-joins-jackson-walker-environment-natural-resources-practice-dallas/
Robert LongGreenberg TraurigSecurities and Exchange CommissionSecurities Litigation and EnforcementDallas3/6/2019https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2019/3/press-releases/former-federal-prosecutor-and-sec-and-finra-regulator-robert-long-joins-greenberg-traurig-in-dallas
Justin TschoepeMcKool SmithNorton Rose FulbrightCommercial LitigationHouston3/7/2019https://www.mckoolsmith.com/newsroom-pressreleases-294
William "Willie" WoodMcKool SmithNorton Rose FulbrightCommercial LitigationHouston3/7/2019https://www.mckoolsmith.com/newsroom-pressreleases-294
Matthew NielsonBracewellStantonSecurities Litigation and EnforcementDallas3/18/2019https://bracewell.com/news/matthew-nielsen-joins-bracewell%E2%80%99s-white-collar-defense-team-dallas
Jennifer CaugheyJackson WalkerFirst Court of AppealsAppellateHouston3/19/2019https://www.jw.com/news/jennifer-caughey-joins-jackson-walker-trial-appellate-litigation-practice/
Kim UskovichHusch BlackwellKelly Hart & HallmanTrusts and EstatesDallas3/25/2019https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/kim-uskovich-joins-dallas-office-of-husch-blackwell