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Houston-based Sheinfeld, Maley & Kay will close its doors by July 15 as lawyers from the firm’s three Texas offices move to other firms. While plans for the June 30 closing of the Houston office were announced in April, firm president George Tarpley says the shareholders in the Dallas and Austin offices decided recently to go their separate ways. They agreed in early May it would be better to move to other firms instead of staying together at Sheinfeld Maley or merging with another firm, he says. “The conclusion was the practices fit better in different firms,” he says. While a number of Sheinfeld Maley’s lawyers do litigation or corporate work, the firm, which numbered about 60 lawyers before the defections started, is known as a bankruptcy specialty firm. Tarpley says the beginning of the end of Sheinfeld Maley came after a number of lawyers from the firm’s Houston office decided to leave to join Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld earlier this year. That led to plans to close the Houston office and uncertainty for the other two offices, he says. At least two large groups of Sheinfeld Maley lawyers are making a move together. Tarpley and four others from the firm’s Dallas office planned on June 1 to form a new firm with the lawyers at Dallas bankruptcy boutique Neligan, Andrews & Foley. Meanwhile, in Austin, a group of nine lawyers is joining Strasburger & Price. While Akin Gump picked up seven lawyers, including Myron “Mickey” Sheinfeld, this spring, shareholder Joel Kay says many of the other lawyers in the Houston office are moving separately to other firms or corporate legal departments. The largest group, he says, is a team of four moving to Baker & Hostetler in Houston. “It’s not a big movement here or a big movement there,” says Kay, who adds he hasn’t decided where he will practice after Sheinfeld Maley closes. The new firm in Dallas will be known as Neligan, Tarpley, Stricklin, Andrews & Foley. Tarpley, Samuel Stricklin and David Ellerbe will be partners, and Jay Ray and Vicki Travis join as associates. Patrick Neligan says Neligan Tarpley will have 12 lawyers. He says Stricklin and Travis moved over in May, and the other three were to join on June 1. Strasburger & Price was due to pick up five partners on June 1, including administrative lawyers Thomas Anson and Michael Maloney, transactional lawyers James Cameron and Lee Polson, and litigator Francine Breckenridge. The four associates moving over from Sheinfeld Maley are Matthew Baab, Jennifer Klein, Kell Mercer and Heather Smith. With the group, the 227-lawyer, Dallas-based Strasburger will have 23 lawyers in Austin. At Baker & Hostetler, bankruptcy lawyer Edward Ripley and business lawyers Michael Pappert and Gary Alletag are expected to join the firm this month. Litigation associate Eric Kristianson joined in May. The additional four lawyers will boost Baker & Hostetler to 46 lawyers in Houston. And in Austin, Patricia Tomasco and Stephen Lemmon joined Brown McCarroll & Oaks Hartline as of counsel on May 31.

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