Clay A. Cossé , Jeffrey J. Cox, Deron L. Wade, and Prescott W. Smith of Dykema Gossett.

Dykema Gossett has hired a four-lawyer group of products liability defense attorneys in Dallas, who came from Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer in a client-driven move.

Jeffrey Cox and Deron Wade joined Dykema as partners in the firm’s products, class actions and professional liability practice group Feb. 1, and Prescott Smith and Clay Cosse came on board as senior counsel.

Wade said the move was prompted by a client’s decision to place some work at Dykema.

“It was a situation where a client made decisions on their outside counsel and an opportunity arose for us to continue to do work with that client. That was part of that aspect of it,” he said, adding that he and the group have a “long-held regard for Dykema and its attorneys.”

Wade declined to identify the client, but said, “We needed to move to Dykema.”

In an email, Larry Grayson, the Dallas-based managing partner of Hartline Dacus, did not respond to a question about the client matter. However, he wrote that the firm wishes former partners Cox and Wade much success as they continue their practice at Dykema.

“Their departure was an amicable one and we will miss them. At the same time, we are preparing to celebrate our 25th anniversary, with 75 lawyers (20 partners) and offices in Dallas, Houston, Corpus Christi and Waco,” Grayson wrote.

Chris Kratovil, managing partner of Dykema’s Dallas office, said the firm has a national products liability and tort defense practice, but the new team brings that service offering to the Dallas office, which as grown to 46 lawyers.

“These guys are absolutely world-class trial lawyers who focus on products liability and high-exposure tort matters, which not coincidentally are historical areas of strength at Dykema,” Kratovil said.

Cox said the transition has been seamless because his group knows the firm well. He said he previously worked with lawyers in at least four of Dykema’s offices.

Over the last two decades, Cox has served as regional counsel for several large automakers. He said his clients include GM, Nissan and Huawei Technologies.

Wade serves as lead trial counsel in complex product liability, commercial, and automotive and energy industry litigation. He said his clients include GM, Oncor Electric Delivery and Enlink Midstream.

Wade said Dykema’s larger network of offices—it has 13 including three in Texas—and broad range of practices will help him serve his clients.

Dykema opened an office in Dallas in 2007 and another in Austin in 2013, but the firm expanded its Texas presence in a big way in 2015 when it merged with San Antonio-based Cox Smith Matthews.

Further Reading:

Cox Smith Merging With Dykema

Darrell Jordan Helps Establish New Dallas Digs for Dykema