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A month after helping ChevronTexaco with a $16 billion merger, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is back in the oil patch. The firm has acquired most of the lawyers and staff of Houston-based Campbell George & Strong, a small firm specializing in environment, land use and natural resources work for oil clients. Michael Barr, co-leader of Pillsbury’s environment, land use and natural resources section, said the additions broaden Pillsbury’s expertise in servicing energy clients. Pillsbury has had a close and enduring relationship with Chevron for decades, but has seen some work migrate to other firms in recent years. Five of the firm’s attorneys — including managing partner Andrew Strong and partner Thomas Campbell — are joining Pillsbury’s 35-lawyer office in Houston along with staffers and analysts. Gerald George, who worked out of Campbell’s Oakland, Calif., office, joins Pillsbury’s San Francisco office as of counsel. Elliott Laws, former president of safety, health and environment for Texaco Inc., will join Pillsbury’s Washington, D.C., office as of counsel. Barr said the Campbell firm would close its three offices. Campbell, one of the two lead partners joining the Houston office, was general counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “When he was with the government, he worked valuation for the Exxon Valdez oil spill and negotiated the $1 billion settlement for the U.S. government against Exxon,” said Barr. A number of Campbell firm alumni have gone on to join petrochemical companies. Pillsbury had suffered some setbacks in its relationship with ChevronTexaco in the past several years. Among them was the defection of litigator Robert Mittelstaedt, one of the firm’s Chevron handlers, who took some cases with him when he left to open a San Francisco office for Jones Day. Shortly afterward, in May 2003, the firm announced the return of Alfred Pepin Jr., a former firm chairman who had been Chevron’s top biller for years and had helped broker the 2001 Chevron-Texaco merger.

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