Orrick poaches 13 lawyers to staff Texas office

Senior practitioners from a number of major law firms have joined Orrick’s newly established Houston outpost.

International law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has hired 13 lawyers from rival companies to staff the three practice groups that will be operating out of its Houston office, which the firm established last month.

Blake Winburne, previously global head of McDermott, Will & Emery’s energy practice, will be part of the transactional team, serving as co-leader of Orrick’s global energy and infrastructure group. Winburne has extensive experience in the energy and renewables sectors, advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and on the development, structuring and financing of large-scale energy projects in the US and Latin America.

Other practitioners that will comprise the energy and infrastructure team include Dahl Thompson, a former partner of Andrews Kurth; Brad Gathright and George Humphrey, both from McDermott, Will & Emery; and Giji John and Darrell Thomas, former Andrews Kurth partners. The unit will focus on renewables and oil and gas as well as on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate finance and project development and finance in Latin America. 

“The Houston team gives Orrick a strong presence in a global energy sector hub and, from its inception, will represent one of the deepest and most broadly capable energy-focused transactional practices in the Houston legal market,” Winburne said in a statement, noting that the team also adds upstream, midstream and downstream transactional capabilities in the US that complement the firm’s oil and gas work around the world.

“This group also will include lawyers with long-standing, market-leading corporate, M&A, private equity and projects practices in Latin America and particularly in Mexico, representing an important strategic client offering in a region that promises to attract substantial international investment over the next decade,” Winburne said. The firm expects to announce the addition of seven new partners, including the Houston office leader, in the coming weeks.

Orrick has also staffed its public finance group with five new partners. Former McGuire Woods partner Todd Brewer, who has extensive experience in tax-exempt transactions, will serve as vice chair for Orrick Public Finance in Texas. He is joined by Hoang Vu and Marcus Dietz, also from McGuire Woods, and former Haynes & Boone partners Kathryn Garner and J Kent Friedman.

The firm has also launched its litigation and intellectual property group in Houston, with the hiring of former DLA Piper partners Claudia Wilson Frost and Jeffrey Johnson. Katherine Ginzburg Treistman, formerly a partner with Susman Godfrey, rounds out the three-member team.

“This team will add enormous talent to our firm and give us a tremendous foundation in Texas on which to build,” Orrick chairman Mitch Zuklie said, referring to the firm’s 13 new partners. “We are committed to continuing to grow these teams and adding capabilities in areas such as private equity and energy technology that address our clients’ needs and are a strategic fit with our strengths”.