(Photo: j. albert diaz/ALM)

Holland & Knight has acquired a group of 11 energy lawyers in Washington and Austin, effectively splitting in two the Washington-based energy boutique Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts & Stone.

The lawyers—who represent energy cooperatives in and around Texas in regulatory and other matters of law—include partners William Burchette, his son Patrick Burchette and Fred Ritts, joining as senior counsel. Also joining Holland & Knight in Washington are partners Christine Ryan, Michael McCarty, Allen O’Neil and Emily Streett and senior counsel Alvin Taylor. In Austin, Mark Davis joins as a partner; John Wright and Russell Parish become senior counsel.

The acquisition falls in line with Holland & Knight’s aggressive plans to expand its legal services in North America and South America, especially in Washington. Holland & Knight has added 73 lawyers since Jan. 1.

And the energy lawyers are tapping into a broader network of attorneys with more financial law and lobbying capabilities, according to William Burchette.

“Everything today seems to evolve around politics,” Burchette said. “Our clients are growing, and we wanted to make sure we stay ahead of our clients.”

This was “not one of those typical breakups,” Burchette added.

This move isn’t Burchette’s first time removing his surname from the door. In 1993, he left Jorden Schulte & Burchette for Brickfield and prior to that worked at Heron, Burchette, Ruckert & Rothwell. Leaders at Brickfield had discussed the group seeking a new home for almost a year, and Burchette and his colleagues began talking with Holland & Knight more than six months ago.

Burchette will lose its Austin presence and continue to operate with about 15 lawyers who work with large industrial manufacturing clients, such as steel mills and fertilizer companies.

“The primary concern has been making the June 30 and July 1 transition seamless for everybody,” James Brew, Brickfield’s managing director, said. The partnership hopes to grow “organically,” he added, rather than backfill the practice area that it has lost or reposition into new ones.

The firm has yet to decide on a new moniker, though its name will likely change soon. For keepsakes, Burchette, a regular golfer, said he took with him a few sleeves of Brickfield Burchette-labeled golf balls.

Katelyn Polantz is a reporter for Texas Lawyer affiliate the National Law Journal in which this article was originally published.