Highlights for the second quarter of 2021: Austin making big gains; firms are interested but partners staying put; Texas-based firms dwindle; Aspire expands to Denver 

THE MAGNETISM OF AUSTIN

Following a steady drip of companies announcing moves to or expansions in Austin — Apple, Facebook, Tesla, BAE Systems, Realtor.com — we seem to be reaching a crescendo. Austin is solidifying its place as a destination city, where employers can easily relocate their current workforce or draw from the thriving local talent pool. When narrowing its shortlist of potential corporate homes, one CEO gushed about Austin’s romantic, quirky, friendly vibe, as well as the “influx of bright, brilliant people.” 

And law firms are feeling the magnetism too. Of the six new office opens (and one announced) in Texas this year, all but two went to Austin. And they include such heavy-hitters as Kirkland, Quinn Emanuel and O’Melveny.

Combined with two more new offices in 2020, Austin has landed more new firms than Dallas or Houston in the past 18 months. In fairness, this could have to do with the other cities being already saturated with new legal entrants over the past few years. But when the firms’ press releases call Austin a “boom town” with “remarkable growth” and a “dynamic city at the center of exciting changes,” it’s clear they see Austin as the next big thing.

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

LIST OF PARTNER MOVES: Q2 OF 2021

Name
New Firm
Old Firm
Practice Area
City
Date Announced
Link
Carey TroellLocke LordBracewellBanking and FinanceAustin04-01-2021https://www.lockelord.com/newsandevents/news/2021/04/carey-troell-joins-in-austin
Kyle D. HawkinsGibson, Dunn & CrutcherSolicitor General of TexasAppellateHouston04-05-2021https://www.gibsondunn.com/former-solicitor-general-of-texas-kyle-hawkins-returns-to-gibson-dunn/
Donald WalkerK&L Gatessenior legal counsel at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH)Health CareHouston04-07-2021https://www.klgates.com/KL-Gates-Continues-Growth-of-Health-Care-Practice-with-Addition-of-Houston-Partner-4-7-2021
Jessica HammonsAkin GumpThompson & KnightEnergy and InfrastructureDallas04-07-2021https://www.akingump.com/en/news-insights/akin-gump-announces-addition-of-leading-energy-transactional-lawyers-wesley-williams-and-jessica-hammons-in-dallas-fort-worth.html
Wesley WilliamsAkin GumpThompson & KnightEnergy and InfrastructureDallas04-07-2021https://www.akingump.com/en/news-insights/akin-gump-announces-addition-of-leading-energy-transactional-lawyers-wesley-williams-and-jessica-hammons-in-dallas-fort-worth.html
Laura Katherine MannWhite & CaseBaker BottsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston04-12-2021https://www.whitecase.com/news/press-release/laura-katherine-mann-joins-white-case-partner-houston
Becky JamesDykemaJames & AssociatesWhite Collar Criminal DefenseSan Antonio04-13-2021https://www.dykema.com/news-press-Dykema-Expands-Corporate-Investigations-Enforcement-Practice-Becky-James_041321.html
Lawrence A. WaksReed SmithFoley & LardnerEntertainment & MediaDallas and Austin04-19-2021https://www.reedsmith.com/en/news/2021/04/lawrence-a-waks-joins-reed-smiths-global-entertainment--media-group
Daniel TristanShearman & SterlingBaker BottsBanking and FinanceHouston04-20-2021https://www.shearman.com/News-and-Events/News/2021/04/Shearman-Sterling-Addition-of-Daniel-Tristan-in-Houston
Jeremy MooreBaker McKenzieBaker BottsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston04-26-2021https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/newsroom/2021/04/new-houston-partner-jeremy-moore
Wes WattsGunderson DettmerVinson & ElkinsCorporate M&A SecuritiesAustin04-26-2021https://www.gunder.com/news/gunderson-dettmer-launches-austin-office-strengthening-commitment-to-the-regions-venture-ecosystem/
James Garrett Latham & WatkinsVinson & ElkinsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston04-26-2021https://www.lw.com/news/skilled-private-equity-lawyer-joins-latham-houston
Andrea CunhaK&L GatesWaller Lansden Dortch & DavisHealth CareAustin04-26-2021https://www.klgates.com/KL-Gates-Further-Bolsters-Health-Care-Practice-with-Austin-Partner-Addition-4-26-2021
Darren Skyles Frost Brown ToddJacobson LLCHealth CareHouston05-03-2021https://frostbrowntodd.com/healthcare-attorney-darren-skyles-joins-frost-brown-todd-houston/
Jay DewaldNorton Rose FulbrightJackson WalkerWhite Collar Criminal DefenseDallas and San Antonio05-04-2021https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en-us/news/49a0f285/norton-rose-fulbright-strengthens-global-investigations-offering-with-two-texas-partners
Susan FisherThompson CoburnThompson & Knight Corporate M&A SecuritiesDallas05-04-2021https://www.thompsoncoburn.com/news-events/news/2021-05-04/corporate-and-securities-partner-susan-fisher-joins-thompson-coburn-in-dallas
Julie SearleNorton Rose FulbrightWalmartSecurities Litigation and EnforcementAustin05-04-2021https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en-us/news/49a0f285/norton-rose-fulbright-strengthens-global-investigations-offering-with-two-texas-partners
Doug GettenBaker BottsPaul HastingsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston05-05-2021https://www.bakerbotts.com/news/2021/05/baker-botts-welcomes-prominent-corporate-partner-in-houston
Bart TurnerHusch BlackwellK&L GatesEnergy and InfrastructureHouston05-11-2021https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/bart-turner-joins-husch-blackwells-construction-team
Shad SumrowBaker BottsThompson & KnightBanking and FinanceDallas05-11-2021https://www.bakerbotts.com/news/2021/05/leading-finance-partner-joins-baker-botts-in-dallas
Vernon LewisGreenberg TraurigUnited States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of TexasWhite Collar Criminal DefenseHouston05-11-2021https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2021/5/press-releases/greenberg-traurig-white-collar-add-vernon-lewis-former-deputy-fraud-section-chief-us-attorney-office
James R. BrownWinston & StrawnVinson & ElkinsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston05-12-2021https://www.winston.com/en/thought-leadership/index.html#!/en/thought-leadership/winston-and-strawn-strengthens-corporate-practice-in-houston-with-addition-of-james-r-brown-and-douglas-c-lionberger.html?aj=ov
Douglas C. Lionberger Winston & StrawnVinson & ElkinsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston05-12-2021https://www.winston.com/en/thought-leadership/index.html#!/en/thought-leadership/winston-and-strawn-strengthens-corporate-practice-in-houston-with-addition-of-james-r-brown-and-douglas-c-lionberger.html?aj=ov
Megan RachelMcCathern Albin Oldner LawFamily LawFrisco05-17-2021https://mccathernlaw.com/attorney/megan-rachel/
Jesse BettsAkin GumpThompson & KnightCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas 05-17-2021https://www.akingump.com/en/news-insights/akin-gump-welcomes-corporate-transactions-partners-jesse-betts-and-cole-bredthauer-in-dallas-fort-worth.html
Cole BredthauerAkin GumpThompson & KnightEnergy and InfrastructureFort Worth05-17-2021https://www.akingump.com/en/news-insights/akin-gump-welcomes-corporate-transactions-partners-jesse-betts-and-cole-bredthauer-in-dallas-fort-worth.html
Mary Goodrich NixLynn Pinker Hurst & SchwegmannHolland & KnightLabor and EmploymentDallas05-18-2021https://www.lynnllp.com/headlines/veteran-trial-lawyer-mary-goodrich-nix-joins-dallas-trial-boutique
Daena Goldsmith RamseyCantey HangerVaughn & RamseyCommercial LitigationDallas05-18-2021https://canteyhanger.com/news/cantey-hanger-adds-three-ramsey-and-broome-are-partners/
Constance M. “Misty” BroomeCantey HangerVaughn & RamseyCommercial LitigationDallas05-18-2021https://canteyhanger.com/news/cantey-hanger-adds-three-ramsey-and-broome-are-partners/
Annette A. IdalskiSeyfarthChamberlain HrdlickaLabor and EmploymentHouston05-19-2021https://www.seyfarth.com/news-insights/seyfarth-adds-labor-and-employment-group-in-atlanta-and-houston.html
John KaercherKirkland & EllisBaker BottsCorporate M&A SecuritiesAustin05-20-2021https://www.kirkland.com/news/press-release/2021/05/kirkland-welcomes-private-equity-partner-john-kaer
Brian MetcalfLangley & BanackCokinos, Bosien & YoungCommercial LitigationSan Antonio05-20-2021https://www.langleybanack.com/brian-metcalf-joins-our-litigation-group/
Jason HeepAkermanHusch BlackwellCommercial LitigationDallas05-21-2021https://www.akerman.com/en/firm/newsroom/akerman-llp-expands-litigation-practice-group-with-partner-jason-heep-in-dallas.html
Holt FosterSidleyThompson & Knight Energy and InfrastructureDallas05-24-2021https://www.sidley.com/en/newslanding/newpressreleases/2021/05/sidley-adds-prominent-energy-transactional-partner-holt-foster-in-dallas
Jason LodenBaker BottsThompson & KnightEmployee BenefitsDallas06-01-2021https://www.bakerbotts.com/news/2021/06/baker-botts-welcomes-prominent-executive-compensation-and-benefits-partner-in-dallas
Adrienne H. NelsonNicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides SullivanThompson, Coe, Cousins & IronsCommercial LitigationDallas06-02-2021https://www.nicolaidesllp.com/news/nicolaides-fink-thorpe-michaelides-sullivan-llp-adds-to-its-dallas-team-and-is-on-the-move
Jennifer Librach NallDLA PiperBaker BottsIntellectual PropertyAustin06-03-2021https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/news/2021/06/jennifer-librach-nall-and-helena-kiepura-join-intellectual-property-and-technology-practice/
Kelly Robreno KosterMunsch HardtEckert Seamans Cherin & MellottLabor and EmploymentHouston06-03-2021https://www.munsch.com/Newsroom/Blogs/139802/Kelly-Koster-to-Join-Munsch-Hardtrsquos-Houston-Office
Todd KimbroughBalch & BinghamHolland & KnightEnergy and InfrastructureAustin06-03-2021https://www.balch.com/news-and-events/news/2021/06/texas-energy-lawyer-todd-kimbrough-joins-balch
Michael SmithScheef & StoneSiebman Forrest Intellectual PropertyMarshall06-07-2021https://solidcounsel.com/new-ip-partner-east-texas-expansion/
Benjamin HallmarkO’MelvenyThompson & Knight Commercial LitigationAustin06-07-2021https://www.omm.com/our-firm/media-center/press-releases/omelveny-expands-into-texas/
Phillip OldhamO’MelvenyThompson & Knight Energy and InfrastructureAustin06-07-2021https://www.omm.com/our-firm/media-center/press-releases/omelveny-expands-into-texas/https://www.omm.com/our-firm/media-center/press-releases/omelveny-expands-into-texas/
Katie Coleman O’MelvenyThompson & Knight Energy and InfrastructureAustin06-07-2021https://www.omm.com/our-firm/media-center/press-releases/omelveny-expands-into-texas/
Dean HinderliterWinston & StrawnThompson & KnightTaxDallas06-08-2021https://www.winston.com/en/thought-leadership/index.html#!/en/thought-leadership/winston-and-strawn-expands-tax-practice-with-addition-of-dean-hinderliter.html?aj=ov
Steven BartzGreenberg TraurigDLA PiperCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas06-09-2021https://www.gtlaw.com/en/news/2021/6/press-releases/greenberg-traurig-grows-corporate-practice-adding-steven-bartz-as-dallas-shareholder
Edmund DanielsMcGuireWoods McGuireWoods Energy and InfrastructureHouston06-14-2021https://www.mcguirewoods.com/news/press-releases/2021/6/energy-dealmaker-edmund-daniels-joins-mcguirewoods
Ruth Ruggero HughsKelly Hart & HallmanTexas Secretary of StatePublic LawAustin06-15-2021https://www.kellyhart.com/news/3480-former-texas-secretary-of-state-ruth-hughs-joins-kelly-hart
Phil KimSheppard MullinHaynes BooneHealth CareDallas06-24-2021https://www.sheppardmullin.com/pressrelease-762
Stephen Grant Haynes and BooneThompson & KnightCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston06-28-2021https://www.haynesboone.com/press-releases/stephen-grant-joins-haynes-and-boone
Ted StevensonAlston & BirdMcKool SmithIntellectual PropertyDallas06-29-2021https://www.alston.com/en/insights/news/2021/06/alston-bird-adds-prominent-ip-trial-lawyer
Arnold CantuLocke LordNorton Rose FulbrightBanking and FinanceAustin06-29-2021https://www.lockelord.com/newsandevents/news/2021/06/arnold-cantu-joins-as-austin-partner
Louis R. Strubeck, Jr.O’MelvenyNorton Rose FulbrightBankruptcyDallas06-29-2021https://www.omm.com/our-firm/media-center/press-releases/omelveny-continues-texas-expansion-launches-dallas-office/
Scott DrakeO’MelvenyNorton Rose FulbrightBankruptcyDallas06-29-2021https://www.omm.com/our-firm/media-center/press-releases/omelveny-continues-texas-expansion-launches-dallas-office/
H. Douglas WabnerO’MelvenyNorton Rose FulbrightCommercial LitigationDallas06-29-2021https://www.omm.com/our-firm/media-center/press-releases/omelveny-continues-texas-expansion-launches-dallas-office/
Greg WilkesO’MelvenyNorton Rose FulbrightBankruptcyDallas06-29-2021https://www.omm.com/our-firm/media-center/press-releases/omelveny-continues-texas-expansion-launches-dallas-office/
Arthur GollwitzerJackson WalkerMichael Best & FriedrichIntellectual PropertyAustin06-30-2021https://www.jw.com/news/welcome-arthur-gollwitzer/
Michael NavarroKane Russell Coleman Logan Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & NortonCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston06-30-2021https://www.krcl.com/news/kane-russell-coleman-logan-expands-transactional-practice-with-the-addition-of-corporate-lawyer-michael-navarro-in-houston/