(Clockwise from top left) Roxanne Almaraz, David Runnels, Stuart Zisman, Cindy Lin, Jason Peters, and Darren Inoff.
(Clockwise from top left) Roxanne Almaraz, David Runnels, Stuart Zisman, Cindy Lin, Jason Peters, and Darren Inoff. (Courtesy photos)

King & Spalding has expanded its energy prowess in Houston by hiring six laterals partners, with four coming from Andrews Kurth Kenyon and two from Bracewell.

David Runnels, Darren Inoff, Jason Peters and Cindy Lin joined King & Spalding on Feb. 20 from Andrews Kurth, and Stuart Zisman and Roxanne Almaraz joined one week earlier from Bracewell. The partners handle M&A and other transactional matters in the energy, real estate, health care and projects sectors.

“There were five primary reasons I came … platform, fit, commitment, quality and the team,” said Zisman, who started his career at Bracewell and held various in-house and corporate jobs before returning to Bracewell six years ago.

He said Atlanta-based King & Spalding has “amazing firm leadership” and opportunities all over the world, a big commitment to the energy practice and Houston, and its lawyers provide quality service to clients. Additionally, he said, the group of six lateral partners make a great team.

Runnels, who practiced at Andrews Kurth for 30 years, said, “It’s a unique opportunity to bring some of the finest lawyers from some of Houston’s finest firms over to King & Spalding.” He said King & Spalding has a “world-class” energy practice, but the firm needed more domestic energy and real estate expertise in Houston.

“There really was a confluence of what we needed and what they needed that make this a fit,” Runnels said.

Runnels and Zisman expect a number of associates to join them at King & Spalding, which has now grown to 83 lawyers in Houston with the lateral hires.

Zisman said he’s been friends for many years with Runnels, Inoff and Peters, and he is excited about the opportunity to work with them. Runnels said he and Zisman have been interested for years in practicing together.

Neither lawyer would identify their clients.

Robert Meadows, former managing partner in Houston for King & Spalding, said the firm has been interested for a while in expanding its capacity to serve energy and health care clients. The lateral hires fill that need, and also add depth to the real estate and private equity practices, he said.

Tracie Renfroe, managing partner of the Houston office, said in a statement that the addition of team in Houston “is an exciting development.”

Bracewell, when asked about the departures, said, “We wish them all well.” A comment was not immediately available from Andrews Kurth.

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