Derek Anchondo, partner, HFW, Houston. (Courtesy photo)

Holman Fenwick & Willan, the U.K. firm that moved into the U.S. market in January 2017 by merging with Houston trial firm Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown, has hired its first lateral U.S. partner—Derek Anchondo, an oil and gas transactions lawyer in Houston.

Anchondo, who came from Greenberg Traurig, joined HFW on Sept. 17.

With Anchondo, HFW now has eight partners in its 19-lawyer office in Houston.

Glenn Legge, a partner at HFW in Houston, said Anchondo brings a deep transactional practice to the firm that exceeds and complements its existing capability.

“We are very glad to have him, particularly on the energy side, where our onshore and offshore energy clients are requiring a fairly complex level of transactional ability in addition to litigation and the regulatory work we do,” Legge said. “Derek fills that out very nicely.”

The firm is looking to add more transactional lawyers in Houston, Legge added. Its global energy practice includes 32 partners and more than 100 lawyers in 19 offices.

Anchondo is HFW’s 11th lateral hire and the second within in a week. It also hired insurance partner Carol-Ann Burton in London. This year, laterals also joined HFW offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore,  and the firm has completed seven international mergers or associations since the beginning of 2016, including one in Brazil earlier this year.

Anchondo said he sees synergies between his practice and clients and HFW’s practice and clients.

“It just lined up very nicely,” he said.

He declined to identify his clients but said they are in the oil and gas sector, including exploration and production companies and oil field services companies.

He said he wasn’t looking to leave Greenberg Traurig, which he joined in 2015, but after a recruiter reached out to him and he learned about HFW’s plans to expand its energy practice in Texas, he decided to move. He said he was very familiar with the Legge Farrow firm and its merger with HFW less than two years ago and has known Legge for about a decade.

In a statement regarding Anchondo’s departure, Greenberg Traurig said, “We enjoyed working with Derek and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Houston is HFW’s only U.S. office.

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