Reed Smith has opened an office in Houston with 17 lawyers, including 12 partners who came from seven firms in Texas.

The lawyers joined Reed Smith in Houston, beginning on Jan. 15, but the Pittsburgh-based firm announced the initial roster of lawyers Feb. 26. The Houston office is the firm’s 25th.

The partners who joined Reed Smith’s energy and natural resources group are E. Lee Haag and Chris Watt, both from Fulbright & Jaworski; Paul Turner, formerly of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan; Craig Enochs and Daniel Nossa, both from Jackson Walker; and Charles "Stan" Perry from Haynes and Boone.

Partners in the U.S. commercial litigation practice are Kenneth Broughton and Francisco Rivero, both from Haynes and Boone. Also, Stephen Scheve, formerly of Baker Botts, joined Reed Smith’s life sciences health industry group; Wanda Holloway joined the labor and employment practice from Seyfarth Shaw; Carol Burke joined the financial industry group from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, and Robert Riddle, also formerly of Baker Botts, joined Reed Smith’s intellectual property practice.

Others who joined Reed Smith are: counsel Paul Bishop, from Sutherland Asbill, who is in the corporate and securities practice; counsel Rhonda Caviedes in the energy and natural resources group from Andrews Myers; associate Kevin Page in the energy and natural resources group from Jackson Walker; and counsel Fazila Issa in the labor and employment group from Littler Mendelson.

Also, David Thompson, an energy and real estate partner, moved to Houston from Reed Smith’s San Francisco office, which he formerly managed.

Michael Pollack, a partner who is the 1,795-lawyer firm’s global head of strategy, says Reed Smith has been targeting Houston for about six or seven years but started looking seriously in January 2012 to find a group of lawyers in Texas to open the office.

In January 2011, Reed Smith and Thompson & Knight of Dallas announced they had ended merger talks.

Pollack says he spent much of the last year in Houston recruiting lawyers for the office, and he will continue to do so during 2013. He expects the Houston office to grow to 40 lawyers by the end of the year.

He says Reed Smith has a number of clients with operations in Houston, and the firm expects to get work from that client base. He says the goal is to build a full-service office in Houston. He declines to identify the clients, except to say the firm represents a number of major oil companies and large financial institutions.

Broughton, who spent 31 years at Haynes and Boone and joined Reed Smith on Feb. 13, says he is excited for the opportunity to help build an office. He says he brought clients including St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System of Houston and GTech Corp., which operates the Texas Lottery.

Holloway, who joined Reed Smith on Jan. 23, says the firm’s international network of offices and its roster of international clients was a big attraction for her, because she does a lot of global strategic employment projects. She declines to identify her clients, but says, "hopefully all of my clients will find opportunities to work with us here."

"This was one of those opportunities that felt once-in-a-lifetime," she says.

Reed Smith offices outside Texas are in New York City; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles, San Francisco; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Princeton, N. J..; Falls Church, Va.,; Wilmington; Palo Alto; Century City, Calif.; Richmond, London; Paris; Munich; Piraeus, Greece; Abu Dhabi; Dubai; Hong Kong, Beijing; Shanghai, Singapore and Kazakhstan.