Patrick Whalen, managing partner of Spencer Fane.

Spencer Fane, the Midwest firm that recently opened an office in Plano, has expanded its nearby 18-month-old Dallas office with a new office managing partner and another lateral hire.

Jason Cross, who will now lead the Dallas office, joined the office on Jan. 16 as a partner, and Alison Rowe joined Spencer Fane’s Dallas office as an attorney. They came from Frost Brown Todd’s Dallas office.

Cross said Spencer Fane has a “very bright future” in Texas, and he is excited to help the firm build the Dallas office. “It has a great leader and a proven track record,” and it offers quality and efficient representation to clients, Cross said.

“There should be no reason Spencer Fane isn’t competing for the same clients and the same work with the longer-standing Texas firms,” Cross said.

Cross and Rowe do business litigation and also cross-border disputes. He declined to identify clients.

Patrick Whalen, managing partner of Kansas City, Missouri-based Spencer Fane, said in a statement that Cross and Rowe strengthen the firm’s Texas presence with a practice clients want.

A spokeswoman for Frost Brown did not immediately provide comment on the departures.