LEGAL MOVES: LOS ANGELES LAW FIRM PROSPECTING IN DALLAS

For the past several months, there were rumblings within the Dallas law community that an upset was brewing at one
of the major firms.

It seemed a giant firm from Los Angeles-Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher-was considering opening a branch in Dallas
and was talking with a number of partners from one of Dallas’ firms to launch the local office.

That firm is Jackson, Walker, Winstead, Cantwell & Miller, and apparently, the deal went sour. According to
managing partner James L. Truitt, representatives of a group of Jackson, Walker lawyers discussed leaving the
firm this summer.

Some say that as many as 30 lawyers considered the move- that’s almost half of the firm’s members.

Sources who asked not to be named say that the deal fell through because Gibson, Dunn and representatives from a
group of attorneys at Jackson. Walker could not agree on the number of attorneys coming from each firm to open the
office.

Reportedly, the Jackson, Walker attorneys proposed that as many as 30 leave the firm.

Gibson, Dunn usually opens branch offices with 10 or 12 attorneys, combined from their L.A. office and the new
city.

This branching out of large firms across the country isn’t too uncommon. A local example is Jones, Day. Reavis &
Pogue of Cleveland, which merged with the local firm Meyers, Miller, Middleton, Weiner & Warren to establish a
beachhead in Dallas.

More recently, Lee Simpson left Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld to expand a local office for Wald,
Harkrader & Ross, a Wasnington firm. Another example is Houston’s Fulbright & Jaworski, which merged with a local
firm to open an office here but later had unsuccessful talks with Coke & Coke.

Dan Frost, chairman of the management committee for Gibson, Dunn, says the firm is still “seriously
considering” opening a Dallas branch, and there’s a “good possibility” they will make a decision before the end of
the year.

In the meantime, things are bound to be somewhat tense at Jackson, Walker. But according to Truitt, all talks
with Gibson, Dunn are over. “There are no present discussions or plans that I know of,” he says.

Newsletter

Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.

Comments