The start of the year always brings a flurry of legal moves—particularly lateral partner hires—and this year is proving much of the same. But a year ago, big lateral moves were setting the stage for what would be one of the busiest years on record for mergers in Texas. Here, we reflect on some of the most noteworthy lateral moves that occurred throughout 2018. This slideshow is by no means exhaustive and reflects previous reporting done by reporters at Texas Lawyer and its affiliates.

Three lawyers, led by partner Marc Katz, left Andrews Kurth Kenyon to join DLA Piper‘s Dallas office in February of last year. Katz and Isabel Crosby joined as partners in the firm’s employment practice on Feb. 1, 2018, and Rob Hoffman joined as a partner in the litigation practice. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
In Feb. 5, 2018, seven Andrews Kurth Kenyon partners in Dallas, led by office managing partner Mark Solomon, left to open a Dallas office for Katten Muchin Rosenman. The large group departed Andrews Kurth as the Houston-based firm negotiated a merger with Virginia-based Hunton & Williams. The firms merged in April of last year to become Hunton Andrews Kurth. Solomon, who in addition to being managing partner of the Dallas office of Andrews Kurth, was also a member of the firm’s executive and policy committees. The other Andrews Kurth partners who moved to Katten Muchin were David Washburn, Victor Zanetti, Joseph Hoffman, Peter Bogdanow, William Rivers and William Moore. Moore is a litigator, and the others do corporate work. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
Three partners at Dallas-based Gruber Hail Johansen Shank left the firm to open a litigation boutique in February 2018. Trey Crawford, Dave Wishnew and Michael Lang, who have practiced law together since 2010, launched their new firm—Crawford, Wishnew & Lang—on Feb, 26, 2018. Associates Ali Ohlinger and TJ Jones also moved to Crawford Wishnew. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
Following weeks of legal market intrigue, Kirkland & Ellis in July of last year confirmed the opening of a Dallas office with the addition of six corporate lawyers from Jones Day; Vinson & Elkins; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; and Winston & Strawn. Joining as partners were Jones Day partner Michael Considine and associate Alex Rose; Weil counsel Kevin Crews; Vinson & Elkins senior associate Thomas Laughlin and associate Lanchi Huynh; and Winston & Strawn associate Dilen Kumar. In a separate move, Kirkland that week also hired Sean Wheeler, a rainmaking corporate partner from Latham & Watkins’ Houston office, where he served as the latter’s office managing partner and co-chair of its oil and gas industry team. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
Baker Botts and Vinson & Elkins, two venerable law firms founded in Texas more than a century ago, engaged in partner tug-of-war in New York and Washington, D.C., in February 2018 that ended with Baker Botts taking four of Vinson & Elkins’ corporate partners. Mike Rosenwasser, a leading lawyer specializing in master limited partnerships, and Adorys Velazquez, who does securities, capital markets, and M&A work, joined Baker Botts as partners in New York. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys

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On the heels of making several lateral hires in Dallas, DLA Piper picked up a team of six Jackson Walker institutional investor partners in Austin in March last year. The team, which includes David Parrish, Nicole Brennig, Elise Green, Philip Svahn, Sara Stinnett and Richard Cardillo, represents foreign and domestic pension plans, endowments, insurance companies, private market solutions providers, family office and other financial institutions. Their work involves helping the investors with alternative investments. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton launched a Dallas office in April of last year with 18 lawyers, including 10 partners from six firms, marking another new entry into the hot Texas legal market. Sheppard Mullin was one in a growing list of firms expanding in Texas. During the first four months of 2018, more than half a dozen firms expanded or opened new offices in the state, including Katten Muchin Rosenman; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Shearman & Sterling; and White & Case. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
Two months after Shearman & Sterling moved into the Texas market with an office in Austin last year, the New York-based firm launched an office in Houston in May with six partners from three firms, along with six associates and more to follow. Partners Hugh Tucker, Jeremy Kennedy and Coleson Bruce joined Shearman from Baker Botts, and Sarah McLean and Todd Lowther made a move from Thompson & Knight. Omar Samji will join soon from Jones Day. Tucker, former chair of the oil and gas and projects practices at Baker Botts, leads Shearman’s Texas practice, and McLean, who does private equity transactions, is deputy head. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
Katten Muchin Rosenman added a health care group in Dallas, making three lateral partner hires from three major firms. Lisa Atlas Genecov and Cheryl Camin Murray joined Katten in October of last year, coming from Norton Rose Fulbright and Winstead, respectively. Shortly after, Kenya Woodruff, formerly of Haynes and Boone, joined them at Katten. The three lawyers said they started talking months prior about joining forces at a single firm in Dallas, and considered a number of firms before deciding Katten was the best fit for their practice. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys
Seyfarth Shaw beefed up its intellectual property strength in Houston when it hired partners Lisa Meyerhoff and Myall Hawkins from Baker McKenzie in December last year. Meyerhoff led Baker McKenzie’s IP team in Houston, and previously was the managing partner of the Houston office. Meyerhoff and Hawkins work together, tackling IP litigation, handling licensing and counseling clients. Both are registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys

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As part of an expansion of its data privacy and cybersecurity practice, Michael Best & Friedrich has hired Greenberg Traurig partner Elizabeth Rogers, who previously was the first chief privacy officer in Texas state government, working for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Rogers, who officially joined Michael Best as a partner March 12, 2018, works in the firm’s Austin office. She was recruited by Adrienne Ehrhardt, the chair of the firm’s privacy and data security group, who has a mandate to expand the practice. — Brenda Sapino Jeffreys