Highlights for 2021: record breaking Q4, returning to pre-pandemic levels; M&A accounted for 1 in 4 moves; Texas-based Jackson Walker tallied most moves in 2021; 10 firms entered Texas market last year, 6 in Austin; Houston’s share of moves declined, Austin grew by 7 points

WHAT WE’RE SEEING

Busiest Quarter, Year: Once the dust of 2021 settled, it proved one of the busiest in the four years we’ve been tracking.

Q4 tallied a record 41 moves (versus 24 in 2020, 29 in 2019, and 31 in 2018). That brings 2021’s total moves to 223, the highest we’ve seen since 2018.

M&A Still Hot: Nearly 1 in 4 moves in 2021 were made by Corporate M&A attorneys. The Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property practice areas followed in popularity, consistent with 2020’s trend.

Texas-Based Hanging Tough: The share of Texas-based firms drawing lateral moves ticked up slightly this year to 36% of all moves. In fact, the firm that tallied the most partner moves in 2021 went to Texas-based Jackson Walker with 14 hires between its four Texas offices.

But the trend toward non-Texas-based firms expanding into Texas continues—2021 welcomed 10 new entrants, following 11 in 2020, 8 in 2019 and 10 in 2018.

Dallas, Houston Steady While Austin Surges: In the race for the hottest spot in Texas, Dallas and Houston remain the frontrunners but have lost a bit of steam—both cities saw a decline in their share of partner moves in 2021.

Austin, meanwhile, has steadily increased from 8% of all partner moves in 2019, to 11% in 2020, jumping to 18% in 2021. Six out of the 10 offices that opened in 2021 went to Austin.

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

LIST OF PARTNER MOVES: Q4 OF 2021

Name
New Firm
Old Firm
Practice Area
City
Date Announced
Link
Andrew OlsanPhelps DunbarKatten Muchin Rosenman Real EstateDallas-Fort Worth10-06-2021https://www.phelps.com/insights/phelps-welcomes-partner-to-support-texas-real-estate-deals.html
Brian ShawCarrington, Coleman, Sloman & BlumenthalRogge Dunn GroupCommercial LitigationDallas10-13-2021https://www.ccsb.com/carrington-coleman-adds-business-litigation-intellectual-property-partners/
Chad RayCarrington, Coleman, Sloman & BlumenthalMunck Wilson MandalaIntellectual PropertyDallas10-13-2021https://www.ccsb.com/carrington-coleman-adds-business-litigation-intellectual-property-partners/
Denmon SiglerMcDermott Will & EmeryBaker McKenzieCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston10-13-2021https://www.mwe.com/media/mcdermott-adds-energy-ma-all-star-in-houston/
Eli BurrissKatten Muchin RosenmanMcDermott Will & EmeryCommercial LitigationDallas10-14-2021https://katten.com/katten-adds-seasoned-litigator-as-partner-in-dallas
Sam PatranellaMayer BrownLuxe Energy and Luxe MineralsCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston10-14-2021https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/news/2021/10/sam-patranella-joins-mayer-brown-growing-corporate-and-energy-transactional-groups-in-houston
Ann LopezKelly HartBenenati Law FirmTrusts and EstatesFort Worth10-18-2021https://www.kellyhart.com/news/3697-ann-lopez-joins-kelly-hart
Christopher GraffK&L GatesPirkey BarberIntellectual PropertyAustin10-18-2021https://www.klgates.com/KL-Gates-Continues-Growth-of-Intellectual-Property-Practice-with-Addition-of-Trademarks-Partner-in-Austin-10-18-2021
Nick BunchHaynes and BooneAssistant United States AttorneyWhite Collar Criminal DefenseDallas10-18-2021https://www.haynesboone.com/news/press-releases/new-partner-nick-bunch
Chelsea WoodJackson WalkerKelly Hart & Hallman Corporate M&A SecuritiesFort Worth10-21-2021https://www.jw.com/news/welcome-evan-malloy-chelsea-wood/
Evan Malloy Jackson WalkerKelly Hart & Hallman Corporate M&A SecuritiesFort Worth10-21-2021https://www.jw.com/news/welcome-evan-malloy-chelsea-wood/
Mollie DuckworthLatham & WatkinsBaker BottsCorporate M&A SecuritiesAustin10-25-2021https://www.lw.com/news/mollie-duckworth-leader-in-austin-joins-latham-new-office
Tracy WolfHusch BlackwellLewis Brisbois Bisgaard & SmithLabor and EmploymentDallas10-25-2021https://www.huschblackwell.com/inthenews/husch-blackwell-lands-leading-litigator-tracy-wolf
Bobby MajumderFrost Brown ToddReed SmithCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas10-26-2021https://frostbrowntodd.com/frost-brown-todd-dallas-adds-three-new-attorneys/
Edgar McQueenFrost Brown ToddBell Nunnally & Martin Banking and FinanceDallas10-26-2021https://frostbrowntodd.com/frost-brown-todd-dallas-adds-three-new-attorneys/
Jason VillalbaFrost Brown ToddFoleyCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas10-26-2021https://frostbrowntodd.com/frost-brown-todd-dallas-adds-three-new-attorneys/
Dan GoldShearman & Sterling Haynes and BooneCommercial LitigationDallas10-27-2021https://www.shearman.com/News-and-Events/News/2021/10/Continues-Growth-of-Litigation-Practice-with-Addition-of-Thad-Behrens-Dan-Gold
Thad BehrensShearman & Sterling Haynes and BooneCommercial LitigationDallas10-27-2021https://www.shearman.com/News-and-Events/News/2021/10/Continues-Growth-of-Litigation-Practice-with-Addition-of-Thad-Behrens-Dan-Gold
Amy LaValleMunck Wilson Mandala Wick PhillipsIntellectual PropertyDallas11-01-2021https://www.munckwilson.com/press_releases/munck-wilson-mandala-welcomes-patent-litigation-partner-amy-lavalle/
Brian LidjiJackson WalkerLidji Dorey & HooperCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas11-01-2021https://www.jw.com/news/welcome-brian-lidji-kyle-hooper/
Kyle HooperJackson WalkerLidji Dorey & HooperCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas11-01-2021https://www.jw.com/news/welcome-brian-lidji-kyle-hooper/
Trevor PinkertonKing & SpaldingNorton Rose FulbrightCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston11-01-2021https://www.kslaw.com/news-and-insights/king-spalding-boosts-transactional-bench-with-addition-of-trevor-pinkerton
Valeska Pederson HintzPerkins CoieLowenstein SandlerCorporate M&A SecuritiesAustin11-01-2021https://www.perkinscoie.com/en/news-insights/perkins-coie-adds-emerging-companies-and-venture-capital-partner-valeska-pederson-hintz-to-growing-austin-office.html
Andrew IngrumJackson WalkerHolland & KnightReal EstateDallas11-03-2021https://www.jw.com/news/welcome-andrew-ingrum-michelle-vincent-parker/
Michelle Vincent ParkerJackson WalkerHolland & KnightReal EstateDallas11-03-2021https://www.jw.com/news/welcome-andrew-ingrum-michelle-vincent-parker/
Jennifer Freel Jackson WalkerAssistant United States AttorneyWhite Collar Criminal DefenseAustin11-08-2021https://www.jw.com/news/welcome-jennifer-freel/
Paul Singer Kelley Drye & WarrenState Attorney GeneralCommercial LitigationHouston11-08-2021https://www.kelleydrye.com/News-Events/News/Press-Releases/Paul-Singer-of-the-Office-of-the-Texas-Attorney-Ge
Wilka ToppinsWomble Bond DickinsonBaker DonelsonCorporate M&A SecuritiesHouston11-08-2021https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/us/insights/news-and-insights/womble-bond-dickinson-deepens-houston-bench-global-business-partner-wilka-toppins
Jermaine WatsonCantey Hanger Bonds Ellis Eppich Schafer Jones BankruptcyFort Worth11-09-2021https://canteyhanger.com/news/2-partners-3-associates-join-cantey-hanger/
Lyndsay NewellCantey Hanger Newell Family LawFamily LawFort Worth11-09-2021https://canteyhanger.com/news/2-partners-3-associates-join-cantey-hanger/
Ryan HunsakerWinston & Strawn Vinson & ElkinsBanking and FinanceHouston11-09-2021https://www.winston.com/en/thought-leadership/index.html#!/en/thought-leadership/winston-and-strawn-adds-finance-partner-ryan-hunsaker-in-houston.html?aj=ov
Erick RobinsonSpencer FanePorter HedgesIntellectual PropertyHouston11-15-2021https://www.spencerfane.com/robinson-and-dunn-bolster-spencer-fane-intellectual-property-practice-group/
Olga GurtovayaKatten Muchin RosenmanMunsch Hardt Kopf & HarrReal EstateDallas11-15-2021https://katten.com/katten-dallas-office-continues-to-grow-with-new-real-estate-partnerShe joined 09-01-2021
Monica Hwang O’MelvenyKing & SpaldingEnergy and InfrastructureAustin11-17-2021https://www.omm.com/our-firm/media-center/press-releases/omelveny-continues-texas-expansion-with-addition-of-renowned-energy-sector-dealmaker/
Aaron GreggBalch & BinghamGreenberg TraurigGovernment Relations/Government ContractsAustin11-18-2021https://www.balch.com/news-and-events/news/2021/11/balch-welcomes-aaron-gregg
C. Brendan CummingsBlank Rome Bilfinger North America Corporate M&A SecuritiesHouston11-30-2021https://www.blankrome.com/news/blank-rome-welcomes-new-corporate-partner-houston
Jeff OldhamBracewellGeneral Counsel for the state of TexasAppellateHouston12-07-2021https://bracewell.com/news/appellate-partner-jeff-oldham-rejoins-bracewell%E2%80%99s-houston-office
Kristin CopeO’MelvenyBaker BottsCommercial LitigationDallas12-07-2021https://www.omm.com/our-firm/media-center/press-releases/omelveny-furthers-texas-expansion-with-arrival-of-rising-star-trial-lawyer-kristin-cope-in-dallas/
Sarah RingPorter HedgesDaniels & Tredennick Intellectual PropertyHouston12-08-2021https://www.porterhedges.com/newsroom-news-porter-hedges-expands-ip-litigation-practice-with-new-partner
Jacqueline ValletteMayer BrownJones DaySecurities Litigation and EnforcementHouston12-09-2021https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/news/2021/12/mayer-brown-expands-securities-litigation-capabilities-with-addition-of-jackie-vallette-in-houston
John GessnerCarrington, Coleman, Sloman & BlumenthalFox RothschildCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas12-16-2021https://www.ccsb.com/texas-hospitality-attorney-john-gessner-joins-carrington-coleman/
Robert FlowersBradleyStinsonCorporate M&A SecuritiesDallas12-16-2021https://www.bradley.com/insights/news/2021/12/robert-n-flowers-and-lawrence-j-mcfarland-join-bradleys-real-estate-practice-in-dallas