The majority of the lawyers in the Houston office of Epstein Becker Green Wickliff & Hall, including name partners A. Martin Wickliff Jr. and Alton J. Hall Jr., plan to join Cozen O’Connor’s Houston office on June 1. Wickliff, who does labor and employment work, says the group of 14 lawyers decided to join Cozen O’Connor because it has a broad national and international reach, particularly in the energy area, and a skilled and deep litigation department. “It’s moving our Houston office forward and offering our clients the type of energy and litigation depth we thought was needed,” Wickliff says. Hall notes that he does energy and environmental litigation and Cozen has both practices. “It just seems to be a perfect meld,” Hall says. Cozen O’Connor, based in Philadelphia, open an office in Dallas in 1993 and one in Houston in 2004. Additionally, Wickliff and Hall — who founded Wickliff & Hall, Texas’s first African-American-owned firm that represented major corporate clients — say Cozen O’Connor is committed to improving its diversity. The group of 14 lawyers leaving Epstein Becker will double the size of Cozen O’Connor’s office in Houston, which currently has 15 lawyers. Wickliff and Hall have practiced together for more than 20 years ago, first at Houston firm Wickliff & Hall and then joining Epstein Becker & Green in 2002. “The addition of the Wickliff Hall team is our most important development in Texas since the opening of our Houston office in 2004,” Cozen O’Connor President and Chief Executive Officer Tad Decker writes in a press release. Marichelli Hughes, public relations manager for Epstein Becker in Washington, D.C., did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment this evening. In addition to Wickliff and Hall, the group includes David Barron, J. Cal Courtney Jr., Terrence Bouvier Robinson, Charles Wilson, Jennifer Joy Cooper, Nelsy Gomez, O. Darcele Holley, Michelle Rebecca Moore, Greta Ravitsky, Daniel Schuch, Tammy Shea and Norasha Williams, the firm announced in a press release. Cozen O’Connor has about 550 lawyers in 22 offices.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys