Mark Stratton, Greenberg Traurig in Austin
Mark Stratton, Greenberg Traurig in Austin ()

Greenberg Traurig expanded its litigation strength in Austin this month with three lateral hires from dissolving firm Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller.

C. Mark Stratton and Craig Duewall joined Greenberg Traurig as shareholders in Austin, along with associate Erik Weber, on Jan. 1. They handle energy and commercial litigation matters.

Douglas Atnipp, one of the firm’s regional leaders in Texas, said in a press release that Greenberg Traurig’s clients and its energy practice would benefit from the trio’s oil and gas litigation experience.

Duewall and Stratton said they had been thinking of leaving Shannon Gracey for several months, even before groups of lawyers started departing for other firms during the fall of 2016. According to a number of former Shannon Gracey partners interviewed in November and since then, the firm was set to dissolve at the end of last year. Richard Lowe, managing partner of Fort Worth-based Shannon Gracey, has not returned telephone messages left at his office.

Stratton said that by mid-October 2016, “it was just pretty clear that the firm would not make it.” But months earlier, Duewall said, he and the others joining Greenberg Traurig had decided that their practice had outgrown Shannon Gracey and would fit better at a larger firm. He said they started in the summer to talk to firms about a potential lateral move, and Greenberg Traurig “distinguished itself early on.”

Stratton said Greenberg Traurig is a diverse firm, which gives the group an advantage in marketing to multinational companies. Also, because of Greenberg Traurig’s size, Duewall said they will be able to provide their clients with access to lawyers in many practice areas.

The firm has more than 2,000 lawyers in 38 offices.

Duewall and Stratton declined to identify their clients, but said they are oil and gas companies and energy-related companies.

Separately, associate Suchismita Pahi has joined the firm’s cybersecurity, privacy and crisis management practice in Dallas. Pahi previously worked at Baker & Hostetler in Houston, according to her LinkedIn page.

Joseph Coniglio, Dallas office managing shareholder, said Pahi expands the firm’s capabilities in Dallas in privacy and data security-related work, which is becoming more of a focus for clients.