A Houston office is a high priority for SNR Denton, and that will remain true if a pending three-way merger with European firm Salans and Canadian firm Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC) is approved by partners next month, two SNR Denton leaders say.
“It’s relatively clear that Houston in particular is a hole in our map,” says Joe Andrew (pictured, left), the global chair for SNR Denton, speaking by telephone from London.
Andrew and SNR Denton global CEO Elliott Portnoy (pictured, right), both based in Washington, D.C., confirmed that the three firms plan to merge. Texas Lawyer affiliate The Am Law Daily reported on Nov. 7 that partners in the three firms will vote on the proposed combination next month.
The merger would be effective during the first quarter of 2013 and create a firm with more than 2,500 lawyers. The new firm will be known as Dentons.
SNR Denton has an office in Dallas, which opened in 2007.
Andrew says a Houston office makes sense, because after the merger of the three firms, the new firm will have the largest headcount of energy lawyers in the world, based on statistics compiled by Law 360.
“Unlike a whole series of law firms who have become great energy law firms . . . we are the one that is not big in Texas and did not start in Texas. Obviously we have aspirations to be there,” Andrew says.
Portnoy says Texas makes a lot of sense for the firm because of the increasingly global focus of Texas corporations, and increasing number of corporate headquarters in Texas, and the energy sector,” he says.
— Brenda Sapino Jeffreys