Thad Thano Dameris, partner, Arnold & Porter, Houston
Thad Thano Dameris, partner, Arnold & Porter, Houston (Handout photo)

Arnold & Porter has hired four laterals from Hogan Lovells and moved into the energy-booming Texas market with an office in Houston.

Partner Thad Dameris, a litigator, will head the Arnold & Porter office. He joined the firm Jan. 22. Dameris had been managing partner for Hogan Lovells in Houston up until his departure on Jan. 21.

On Jan. 18, partner Christopher Odell and counsel Trevor Jefferies joined the firm in Houston, and partner David Weiner made the move in Washington, D.C.

Dameris said his team is national counsel for aerospace manufacturer Airbus, and they handle all of the company’s tort litigation in the United States. In that role, they also do some commercial and intellectual property litigation for Airbus. He said the group’s other clients include Carnival Corp., Glassell Producing Co., Vector Aerospace Corp. and Millennium Laboratories.

Dameris said he’s familiar with Arnold & Porter because the firm also does work for Airbus, and he and his group have been working on a project in Europe with Arnold & Porter lawyers.

Dameris said Arnold & Porter is an extremely good fit for his group because the Washington, D.C.-based firm has “recognized expertise” in mass tort litigation, class actions and IP litigation. The firm also does a lot of regulatory work on issues that affect the oil and gas industry, he said.

“Our practice fits here very nicely,” said Dameris, who is managing partner of the new Arnold & Porter office.

Thomas Milch, Arnold & Porter’s chairman, said the firm has considered a Texas office for a long time.

“Our firm has done a lot of work within and around the energy industry, so one reason is we want to continue to grow a practice in the energy world,” Milch said. “Another reason is we were very fortunate to … have found a really good match with Thad Dameris and his team.”

Milch said he personally has spent some time in Houston recently because his firm is among firms representing BP in litigation filed over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He said he’s a “big fan” of Houston.

Milch said the office will add lawyers in Houston, and potential growth areas, in addition to litigation, are IP, project finance, corporate, energy and environmental regulatory.

Dameris said some associates, not necessarily former Hogan Lovells lawyers, will join the office over the next few weeks.

Dameris opened the Hogan Lovells office in Houston in August 2006.

Bruce Oakley, the new managing partner in Houston for Hogan Lovells, said, “Hogan Lovells wishes Trevor, Thad and Chris all the best in their future endeavors with respect to their move.”

The firm has 12 lawyers in Houston, Oakley said, and remains committed to the market.