To grow its energy practice, Latham & Watkins opened a Houston office on Jan. 7 staffed with two partners who left Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s Houston office and one who joined Latham from Houston’s Baker Botts. The partners are Michael Dillard and Michael Chambers, from Akin Gump, and Sean Wheeler from Baker Botts, says Frank Pizzurro, senior public relations manager for Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles. Pizzurro says Latham expects to add more lawyers in Houston this year, including some current Latham lawyers who will transfer to Houston, but he declines to give an estimate of how many. Pizzurro says the Houston office – the firm’s 29th – is a “key part of our firm’s strategy to develop a leading international energy practice.” Pizzurro declines to identify any clients that may have prompted the 2,000-lawyer firm to open its first Texas office. Dillard, Chambers and Wheeler each did not immediately return a telephone message left at their new office.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys