Over the course of the past year, the Texas legal market changed dramatically. The change-makers were mergers, new offices and lateral hiring. Three of the state’s largest firms merged—Andrews Kurth Kenyon with Hunton & Williams, Gardere Wynne Sewell with Foley & Lardner, and Strasburger & Price with Clark Hill. A number of prominent out-of-state firms opened offices in Dallas, Houston and elsewhere, providing further competition and reaching into Texas firms for lawyers, particularly those with energy industry clients. The lateral market was exceedingly active throughout 2018, as lawyers were poached by the new firms in the market or established Texas firms. The level of lateral activity made other lawyers who may have been content at their firms to explore the market and eventually make a move as well.

Those factors resulted in a sort of paradigm change in Texas, with the competition for lawyers continuing apace and the prospects of further mergers and out-of-state offices in 2019 a reality.

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