Jay Old, partner with Hicks Thomas in Austin, TX.
Jay Old, partner with Hicks Thomas in Austin, TX. (Courtesy photo)

Houston-based litigation firm Hicks Thomas started 2017 with a bang, welcoming six lateral hires led by trial lawyer Jay Old and opening new offices in Austin and Beaumont.

Old joined Hicks Thomas on Jan. 1 along with five others from his former firm, Jay Old & Associates. The others include senior attorneys Jim Henges and Jay Fancher, of counsel Junie Ledbetter Broyles, associate Maggie Parker Neusel and staff attorney Cindy Johnson.

Old, who lives in Austin but splits his time between Austin and Beaumont, said he looks forward to opportunities the larger firm will provide him and his team.

“It was time to take advantage of my contacts and my experience by joining forces with a larger, highly regarded, quality law firm. It gives me better access to employees, lawyers, staff and clients,” Old said.

Old said he’s known John Thomas, a founding partner in Hicks Thomas, for years because they formerly practiced together at Andrews Kurth. He said they talked for more than a year about the move, but it took a long time to complete negotiations because they were busy with trial work.

Old said his clients include the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, Travelers Insurance, Zachry Engineering, HealthSouth Corp. and Echo Maintenance.

Thomas said Old, a lawyer he’s known for nearly 30 years and a former president of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel, provides Hicks Thomas with a perfect opportunity to expand.

“It made sense,” Thomas said, because of the confidence and trust he developed in Old in the course of their long friendship, and because Old and his team are a cohesive group. The Beaumont office is an apt addition to the firm, he said, because Hicks Thomas has clients in the petrochemical industry.

Henges and Fancher are based in Beaumont; Broyles Neusel and Johnson are based in Austin. In addition to Houston, and the new Austin and Beaumont offices, Hicks Thomas has offices in Amarillo and Sacramento, California.