Paul Hastings opened an office in Houston today staffed by four partners, including three who formerly practiced at large Houston-based firms.
The partners are Greg Nelson, a tax lawyer who came from Baker Botts; Paris Theofanidis, a finance lawyer from Vinson & Elkins; and Steven Tredennick, a private equity and mergers-and-acquisitions lawyer who was at Bracewell & Giuliani. Kevin Fisher, a finance and restructuring partner, moved to the Houston office from Paul Hastings’ San Francisco office.
Greg Nitzkowski, managing partner of Paul Hastings, says his firm has eyed Houston for the past three years because it’s a major energy industry market, but started work a year ago on opening an office. He expects the office to grow to 25 to 30 lawyers within the first year.
The firm has a number of energy clients, including Calpine Corp. of Houston, he says. Fisher says Paul Hastings’ move into Houston is part of the firm’s global energy initiative.
Tredennick says it’s “less about a Houston office and more of a global energy practice.”
Nelson, who will chair the office, says one of the reasons he made the move to Paul Hastings is because of its commitment to growing its energy practice, and its offices in major finance centers such as New York City.
The Houston office is the 19th office for the New York-based Paul Hastings, which also recently submitted applications to open an office in South Korea.
The Houston office opened its doors today, but Fisher has been in Houston for about four months laying groundwork for the new office. Nelson joined on April 9, Theofanidis on April 2, and Tredennick on Jan. 23.
“Paris was a good colleague and we wish him well,” Scott Wulfe, V&E’s managing partner, says in a statement provided by the firm.
Maria Boyce, partner in charge of the Houston office of Baker Botts, writes in a statement: "Houston is a great place for the practice of law. We wish Paul Hastings and Greg Nelson the best of luck."
A spokeswoman for Bracewell did not immediately provide a comment.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys