Stephen Braga and Matthew Nielsen, partners at Bracewell. Stephen Braga and Matthew Nielsen, partners at Bracewell. Courtesy photos.

Under new practice leadership, Bracewell‘s white-collar defense group now has a presence in Dallas, after adding a partner from a local litigation firm.

Matthew Nielsen joined the firm as a partner Monday, coming from Dallas trial firm Stanton. Nielsen, who left Andrews Kurth Kenyon in 2017 to join Stanton, said he was looking to join a firm with “solid Texas roots” and a national network of offices.

Nielsen said Bracewell stood out for its commitment to growing its white-collar defense practice, under the leadership of new Washington, D.C., partner Stephen Braga. Braga joined the firm in January, and is practicing on a part-time basis until he finishes his teaching obligations at the University of Virginia School of Law in June.

“The plans for the section are to strategically add bench strength. It may be in Dallas, it may be in New York, it may be in Washington, D.C.,” Braga said in an interview Tuesday. In highlighting Nielsen’s leadership and lawyering background, Braga noted that Nielsen previously headed the white-collar and regulatory enforcement practice at Andrews Kurth.

In his practice, Nielsen defends corporations, executives, employees and securities industry professionals in civil and criminal investigations, and handles securities investigations and litigation. He practices before state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Nielsen declined to identify any clients.

Braga said Nielsen has also done some corporate monitoring work, a niche practice that fits well with New York partner Barbara Jones’ work. Jones was appointed special master in Michael Cohen’s criminal case in federal court, and she was hired to review policies and procedures surrounding child sex abuse cases within the Catholic Church in New York.

Bracewell has white-collar lawyers in Houston, Austin, Washington, D.C., New York and Seattle—and now in Dallas.

James Stanton, founder of Stanton, could not immediately be reached for comment on Nielsen’s departure.