Robin Russell, partner with Hunton Andrews Kurth

Robin Russell, managing partner of the Andrews Kurth Kenyon Houston office since 2011, is now deputy managing partner of Hunton Andrews Kurth, which officially launched on April 2 with a merger between Houston-based Andrews Kurth and the Virginia-based Hunton & Williams.

Russell said she will focus on the integration of the two firms.

“While we have very similar cultures and history, integration will be key to success, bringing together practice groups and client teams and marketing and the nuts and bolts of IT systems and all the operational things that will have to be grouped together,” she said. “This role was created so we can make this all happen.”

Russell said that the process will really begin next week at a quarterly partner meeting in Richmond, Virginia, to which all partners are invited. She said the quarterly partner meetings are a long tradition of Hunton & Williams.

“It’s a wonderful tradition and there is a lot of team building and collaborative work that happens and that will take place next week,” she said, noting that lawyers have already done some work on integration over the last few months.

Russell is a partner with the capital finance and real estate team at Hunton Andrews Kurth and formerly co-chaired Andrews Kurth Kenyon’s bankruptcy/financial restructuring section. She was one of Texas Lawyer’s 2016 Top Women in Energy Law.

Russell said she will work closely with Hunton Andrews Kurth managing partner Wally Martinez on integration. Martinez had been managing partner of Hunton & Williams before the merger. Robert Jewell, who had been managing partner of Andrews Kurth Kenyon, is managing partner emeritus.

Russell joins the combined firm’s expanded 14-lawyer executive committee, along with four other partners in Houston from legacy Andrews Kurth Kenyon. Nine legacy Hunton & Williams partners also serve on that board, she said.

In Houston, corporate finance partner Tammy Brennig succeeds Russell as office managing partner.

Martinez could not be reached for immediate comment.

Foley Gardere, another newly merged firm involving a legacy Texas firm, also on Wednesday announced the appointment of three partners to the new firm’s leadership team. Kimberly Yelkin is now managing partner of the Austin office, Michael Newman is managing partner of the Dallas office, and Michael Rogers is the managing partner of the Houston office.

On April 2, Dallas-based Gardere Wynne Sewell merged with Foley & Lardner. That firm is known as Foley Gardere in Texas and Foley & Lardner everywhere else.