Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease has opened an office in Houston with the addition of David Oliver, a personal injury litigation partner from Porter & Hedges.

Oliver, who defends companies in toxic tort actions, will be joined by three associates: Paul B. Kerlin, Tiffany Bingham Briscoe and Sharon K. Wendell.

Russ Gertmenian, managing partner of Vorys Sater, said the decision to open an office in Houston was driven primarily by a single client Oliver shares with the firm. He declined to name that client.

“It’s about opening an office in what we think is a dynamic growth area,” he said, “but the primary impetus was we had an opportunity in an attractive area with somebody we know and do work with.”

Oliver specializes in defending companies in personal injury and toxic torts, particularly in cases involving exposure to asbestos, benzene, chromium and zinc, as well as involving cancer, cognitive impairment and pulmonary fibrosis.

The office is the first in Texas for Vorys, which has Ohio offices in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Akron, as well as offices in Washington and Alexandria, Va.

Gertmenian said he hopes to grow the Houston office with more litigators and corporate attorneys.