Robert M. Schick and Morgan L. Copeland Jr., partners in Schick & Copeland in Houston
Robert M. Schick and Morgan L. Copeland Jr., partners in Schick & Copeland in Houston (Gittings)

Vinson & Elkins partners Robert Schick and Morgan Copeland Jr. of Houston left V&E on Feb. 3 to open litigation boutique Schick & Copeland on Feb. 4.

“Bob and I have talked about building our own litigation boutique since we were associates many years ago. It’s been a longstanding dream of ours, and we have finally decided to pull the trigger and do it,” Copeland said.

Schick said they leave many good friends behind at V&E, including Mark Kelly, the firm’s chairman.

Kelly said he, Schick and Copeland started at the firm together 32 years ago, and he will miss them on both a personal and professional level. He expects Schick and Copeland to “continue to have close relationships” with V&E.

“They are great friends, great colleagues, incredible firm citizens,” Kelly said. “They were valued, and this isn’t anything I wanted to see, but I understand it.”

Sabrina Little DiMichele, a former V&E associate who was a staff attorney for Houston’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals, has joined Schick & Copeland as an associate.

Schick and Copeland each joined V&E after law school. Schick, a co-head of V&E’s litigation and regulatory department since 2011, said he and Copeland have worked together on litigation over the years and jointly represented some clients. He declined to identify their clients, but Copeland said they do complex business litigation, energy and oil and gas litigation, high-end tort litigation, and intellectual property and construction cases.

The boutique model will allow them to have more flexibility in a number of areas, such as billing, and avoid the potential of client conflicts inherent with a large firm, Schick said.

Copeland said the firm will hire a couple more associates this year and will use contract lawyers to handle document review in large litigation.