When Kate David joined Husch Blackwell‘s Houston office in April as part of a 14-lawyer lateral group from Gardere Wynne Sewell, she wasn’t expecting to become its new local leader. But now the firm has picked her as the first-ever managing partner of its office in the city.

“She is a rising star in the Houston legal community and will be an outstanding leader for our firm as we grow our presence in Houston,” said a written statement from Paul Eberle, who earlier this year became CEO of Husch Blackwell.

David, a litigator who is a partner in the firm’s real estate, development and construction group, said Husch Blackwell is committed to growing in Houston and that she is excited to be involved in its effort to expand locally.

The office now has 10 lawyers, and David said she would like to double that within a year by building on some strong Husch Blackwell practices such as higher education and health care, as well as bolstering its expertise in bankruptcy, finance, litigation, public law and real estate.

David is part of a group of lawyers that joined Husch Blackwell right before Gardere Wynne merged with Foley & Lardner on April 1, creating Foley Gardere.

Husch Blackwell moved into the Texas market in 2013 when the firm absorbed Austin-based Brown McCarroll.