Adding eight laterals, including prominent workplace safety and environmental lawyer Mark Farley, Katten Muchin Rosenman opened a Houston office, expanded in Austin and beefed up its environmental practice.

Farley, who formerly worked at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in Houston, will lead Katten’s new Houston office, which opened on April 29.

Farley, whose clients include Chevron Corp. and other large refining companies and chemical manufacturers, says his workplace safety practice fits well with Katten’s environmental practice.

Vince Sergi, Katten’s Chicago-based national managing partner, says the firm opened an office in Houston because it hired Farley.

"We wanted Mark Farley. He happened to be in Houston," Sergi says. He says Farley will lead the firm’s new workplace safety practice.

Also in Houston, Tom Kiehnhoff joined the firm as an environmental partner. New environmental associates are Scott Elliott, Benjamin Patton and Laura Schut.

Kiehnhoff, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Texas came from Reaud, Morgan & Quinn in Beaumont, and the three associates came from Pillsbury Winthrop like Farley.

In Austin, three new environmental partners joined Katten: Sara Marquis Burgin, Whit Swift and Kevin Collins. All three came from Baker Botts.

Sergi adds that there is a great deal of opportunity in Texas for environmental work of all sorts, including litigation, white-collar investigations and regulatory/permitting work.

Katten opened its Austin office in November 2012.