Photo Credit : Diego M. Radzinschi

 

K&L Gates boosted its energy practice in Houston with the hire of two lawyers from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. With the duo’s move, Curtis no longer has any lawyers working in Texas.

Robert George.

It is not yet clear whether Curtis Mallet-Prevost plans to permanently shutter its Houston office, which opened in 1992 and had a large energy focus. No one from the firm, which is based in New York, could immediately be reached for comment.

Robert George, who had been Curtis’ Houston managing partner, joined K&L Gates as a partner. Edmundo de la Fuente joined as counsel.

George and de la Fuente said they were both looking for a firm that has a larger network of offices that will help them expand their business—particularly in Latin America. George said he does work in Brazil, and he was especially attracted to K&L Gates because it has an office in Sao Paulo.

Edmundo de la Fuente.

“It’s a very energy-oriented practice, a very international platform,” he said. “Curtis’ platform is much smaller.”

The lawyers’ clients include ENGIE, a French power generation company, and subsidiaries of Itaú Unibanco, a Brazilian bank. Both lawyers have a U.S. and cross-border practice in the energy sector.

Michael Murphy, managing partner of K&L Gates’ Houston office, said the addition of George and de la Fuente gives the Houston office and the national and global energy practices “great steps forward.”

K&L Gates has added other energy laterals in Texas this year. In March, it added a group of oil and gas litigators.