O'Melveny swipes five-partner Locke Lord team in further Texas expansion

Signage is seen outside of the law firm O'Melveny & Myers at their legal offices in Washington, D.C., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • The firm has 27 attorneys now working in Texas
  • O'Melveny launched its Dallas office last year

(Reuters) - O'Melveny & Myers has added five corporate partners from Locke Lord to its seven-month-old Dallas office as it continues to build out its Texas presence, the firm said Wednesday.

Los Angeles-founded O'Melveny said it now has 17 attorneys working in Dallas, after opening there in June. It launched an Austin office the same month.

"Austin and Dallas were the first offices we've opened domestically in 20 years. We don't just plant flags all over the place," said firm chair Bradley Butwin.

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O'Melveny has represented a number of Texas-based companies like American Airlines Inc, AT&T Inc and Exxon Mobil Corp, according to Butwin.

Whit Roberts, former deputy managing partner of Locke Lord's Dallas office, Jack Jacobsen, co-chair of Locke Lord's corporate and transactional department and Jason Schumacher, co-chair of Locke Lord's energy practice group will move to O'Melveny. Two other partners will join them, Will Becker and Christine Williford Metcalf.

A number of out-of-town law firms have opened up new offices in Texas in recent years, with growth particularly pronounced in 2021.

"If [firms] want to have a lasting presence here in the state,[they've] got to have a good solid foundation and that good solid foundation should be made up of Texas lawyers," said Robert Croyle, Texas-based managing director of legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Aside from its latest hire from Dallas-founded Locke Lord, O'Melveny also brought on a former litigator from Houston-founded Baker Botts in Texas last month.

A representative for Locke Lord said in a statement Wednesday that "while other firms can simply plant a flag in Dallas, we've actually played a part in the city's emergence as a key player on the world stage."

Read more:

O'Melveny launches in Dallas with Norton Rose restructuring head

O’Melveny takes team from Thompson & Knight to launch Austin office

O'Melveny bolsters new Dallas office with Baker Botts litigator

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Chinekwu Osakwe covers legal industry news with a focus on midsize law firms. Reach her at Chinekwu.osakwe@thomsonreuters.com.