Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

 

Dallas lawyer Kevin Crews, whose move to Kirkland & Ellis‘ Dallas office was delayed by a notice hold imposed by his former firm, said he’s been hard at work since he joined his new firm last week and “everything ended up just fine” despite his rocky departure from Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

“I’ve been very busy right off the bat,” said Crews, who reportedly transitioned clients to other Weil Gotshal lawyers well before he left. Crews represents private equity clients and does M&A work, primarily in the energy sector.

“We hit the ground running. We’ve been very busy in terms of business development, working with Kirkland clients from other offices,” Crews said.

Kevin Crews

Crews is now a partner based in Kirkland’s Dallas office. He was counsel at Weil, where he had practiced for about 10 years, and the firm chose to enforce a six-month notice period in its employment contract with him. That ended up lasting 84 days.

Crews declined to discuss his former firm, except to say he was happy there and has many close friends who are still there. But, he said, he could not pass up the opportunity to join Kirkland’s Dallas office, which opened this summer and has already grown to 30 lawyers. Crews said Kirkland, which also has an office in Houston, offers a big energy practice and a deep bench of lawyers.

“It was a chance to work on the most complicated deals with the best lawyers,” he said.

Crews put in his notice to Weil on June 12 but couldn’t move to Kirkland until nearly three months later because Weil enforced the hold. In a written statement, Weil said the firm enforced the notice period for Crews because it wanted confidence that “clients and firm property would be protected” with his departure. A Weil spokeswoman said that after the firm adequately addressed that concern, Crews was free to move to Kirkland. His last day at Weil was Sept. 3.

Crews’ experience is unusual but not unique, with other lawyers in Texas facing similar delays in making lateral moves.

“I’d rather not comment on the past and the separation issues,” Crews said.

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