Phil Appenzeller (pictured) has had a few months to prepare for his new role: As of Jan. 1, he's CEO of Dallas’ Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr. The lead time has given the Dallas litigator time to think about the firm’s future.
The firm, with 114 lawyers in Dallas, Houston and Austin, is on the right growth path, he said. Here’s why, in Appenzeller’s estimation:
• The firm will move into new space in Houston later this month, which will accommodate about 44 lawyers, nearly double the 25-lawyer capacity of the current office.
• A new lease in Austin also will allow for growth, with a build-out scheduled to be complete in mid-2015.
• Several new shareholders will join the firm later this month. “It’s a great spot for lawyers who have good practices at other firms who are being pushed out,” he said.
• The firm is “uniquely positioned” to serve a base of Texas clients looking for “high-caliber services at an efficient price point.”
Appenzeller succeeded Glenn Callison as CEO. In October, Callison announced he will seek the Republican nomination for District 66 state representative.
Prior to becoming CEO, Appenzeller was the firm’s chief operating officer and head of the business litigation section. E. Lee Morris (pictured, left), a shareholder in Dallas in the restructuring, creditors’ rights and finance practice group, is now COO. Dallas shareholder Steven Harr, a founder of the firm, stepped back into the role as head of litigation, Appenzeller said.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys