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Winston lures Thompson & Knight tax partner in latest Dallas exit

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Signage is seen outside of the law firm Winston & Strawn LLP in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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(Reuters) - Fresh off losing a team to O’Melveny & Myers, Thompson & Knight is saying goodbye to another partner in its Dallas home office, this one headed to Winston & Strawn.

Chicago-based Winston on Tuesday announced that tax partner Dean Hinderliter has joined its ranks in Dallas. The move is a reunion of sorts for Hinderliter, as he’ll be working alongside former colleagues from Locke Lord.

Months after Hinderliter joined Thompson & Knight in 2016, Winston entered the Dallas market with a splash in February 2017, opening with 23 partners taken from Locke Lord and other firms. Hinderliter said he’s kept in touch with fellow Locke Lord alums and watched how Winston's office has grown over time.

"The Winston brand is an exciting place to be right now," he said.

With Hinderliter’s departure, at least a dozen Thompson & Knight partners have headed for the exits since the firm announced in April that it was in merger talks with Miami-based Holland & Knight, with plans to cement a deal this summer. The departures have been centered in Thompson & Knight's home state of Texas, including the firm's office managing partners in Dallas and Austin.

The merger, which would absorb Thompson & Knight's 275 attorneys into 1,400-lawyer Holland & Knight, stands to make Holland & Knight a dominant firm in Texas and boost its energy and real estate practices, among others.

Last week, real estate transactions partners Ashley Anderson and Erin Marino joined Stinson’s Dallas office from Thompson & Knight, while Dallas-based executive compensation partner Jason Loden joined Baker Botts, which also brought on Thompson & Knight finance leader Shad Sumrowlast month.

Both Texas-based and out-of-state firms have turned to Thompson & Knight for Lone Star talent since April. Corporate transactions partners Jesse Betts and Cole Bredthauer jumped to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Dallas and Fort Worth, while Holt Foster, who led Thompson & Knight's Dallas office, joined Sidley Austin in May.

The attorneys who have spoken to Reuters said the looming merger between played no factor into their exits. Hinderliter said he began exploring a move to Winston in January, before he was aware of the merger. The merger didn’t affect his decision to leave, Hinderliter said.

Spokespeople for Thompson & Knight and Holland & Knight were not immediately available to comment on the status of the firms' merger talks.

Read more:

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

Another Thompson & Knight partner lands at Baker Botts pre merger

Merger-bound Thompson & Knight sees another exit as Dallas chief jumps to Sidley

Two more corporate partners exit Thompson & Knight before merger

Thompson & Knight finance leader jumps to Baker Botts ahead of merger

Holland & Knight and Thompson & Knight in merger talks

Arriana McLymore reports on the business of law, including diversity in the profession, corporate practices, legal education and attorney career life cycles.

David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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