Five Fulbright & Jaworski attorneys have joined Greenberg Traurig’s Houston office to launch a real estate practice there. Kent Newsome will serve as the Chair of the Houston real estate practice. He has 22 years of experience in real estate, healthcare, financing, and business law. Joining Newsome are of counsel Gerald Lance and associates Robert Brannon, Adam MacLuckie, and Thomas Rogers. Lance is experienced in commercial real estate, land development, and real estate financing. Greenberg Traurig is an international firm with over 1,000 lawyers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Merger talks have begun between Texas firm Hughes & Luce, and international powerhouse K&L Gates. Hughes & Luce has about 150 attorneys in offices in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Austin, the majority working in Dallas. A combination of the two firms would create a firm of more than 1,500 lawyers in 24 offices the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Hughes & Luce is interested in the deal because the firm has increasingly seen a need to service clients outside of Texas. Additionally, the people and culture of K&L Gates seem like a good fit for the firm. For K&L Gates, having a stronger foothold in Texas is an attractive prospect considering that ten percent of Fortune 1,000 companies are located in Texas. The firms hope to come to an agreement and combine by the end of the year.
Thompson & Knight has built up its 170-lawyer Trial Practice group by hiring three laterals. Robert F. Brodegaard joined the firm’s New York office as a partner, Richard J. Zook is a partner in Houston, and Jennifer Rudenick has joined the Firm’s Dallas office as an associate. Brodegaard’s practice focuses on international dispute resolution and U.S. commercial litigation. Zook is a trial lawyer who specializes in handling complex business lawsuits in state and federal courts and in arbitration. Rudenick deals especially with litigation and dispute resolution.
The Houston office of Fulbright & Jaworski has gained two international corporate partners. Kevin Trautner joins from King & Spalding, where he specialized in finance and M&A. Charles Powell left Haynes & Boone, where he was the head of the technology practice, providing counsel related to venture capital, securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions.
Thompson & Knight announced that effective Aug. 1, its first and second-year associates will receive a pay raise. In all of its U.S. offices, starting salaries will be $160,000 and those for second-years will be $170,000. The compensation structure for other associate classes has yet to be determined. This Dallas-based firm is the fifth TX firm behind Vinson & Elkins, Andrews Kurth, Locke Liddell & Sapp, and Susman Godfrey to raise associate salaries in the last two weeks.
Houston-based Susman Godfrey has joined the ranks of Texas firms raising associate salaries. The firm raised salaries to $160,000 for first-years, $170,000 for second-years, $175,000 for third-years, $180,000 for fourth-years and $190,000 for fifth years. Unlike other firms, Susman’s pay hikes have no hour requirements attached. For example, starting in their third year, Vinson & Elkins associates must bill 2,000 hours in order to be eligible for the full raise.
Locke Liddell & Sapp is the third Texas-based firm to raise associates’ salaries in Texas and Washington, D.C. Following Vinson & Elkins and Andrews Kurth, Locke Liddell has also raised first years’ pay to $160,000 and second years’ pay to $170,000. Additional raises for other associate classes are still under discussion. Locke Liddell is based in Houston and Dallas.
In response to Vinson & Elkins’ Wednesday salary hike, Houston-based Andrews Kurth has announced pay raises of its own. First-year associates in Texas and D.C. will now receive $160,000, and second-years will earn $170,000. The firm has not decided on the compensation structure for higher-level associates.
Vinson & Elkins raised Texas first-year associates’ salaries to $160,000, becoming the first Texas-based firm to match the New York market rate. V&E also raised pay for its Washington, D.C. associates. Salaries for first through eighth year associates were raised, but starting in the third year, associates must work 2,000 credit hours in order to be eligible for the complete raise. With this system, associates earn salaries comparable to those in NY, but if they are not able to make the 2,000 hours their pay is reduced only slightly, and only for that year.
Jones Day recruited Weston Loegering for its litigation practice in Dallas. Loegering joins the firm from Hughes & Luce as a partner. He has done work in civil and criminal litigation, as well as white collar crime defense, securities litigation, and class actions. Jones Day employs more than 2,200 lawyers in 30 offices around the world.
One of El Paso, Texas’ larger firms, Delgado, Acosta, Braden and Jones, has broken up. Three of the partners, Alejandro Acosta Jr., Hector Delgado, and John Jones, have become partners with Bickerstaff, Heath, Pollan & Caroom, which changed its name to Bickerstaff, Heath, Delgado & Acosta. The Austin-based firm now has an El Paso office where Acosta and Delgado work; Jones will head the Houston office. Two other lawyers moved to the Austin firm, while eleven of the other lawyers from the El Paso firm have found new jobs or opened their own practices. Paul Braden, the other partner of the old firm, has joined Fulbright & Jaworski as a partner, and will continue to work in El Paso.