Dickinson Wright has opened an office in El Paso with four lawyers from the recently shuttered El Paso office of Dykema Cox Smith.
Dykema Cox Smith, based in Detroit, closed its El Paso office June 30. The El Paso office of Dickinson Wright, also a Detroit-based firm, is in Dykema Cox’s former space, and is its second Texas office.
Kathleen Walker, an immigration lawyer, said Dickinson Wright wants to expand in Texas and add to its immigration group.
“It turned out … really well for all concerned,” she said. “I’m very pleased that we figured out a way to stay home and still be part of a large firm. I’m grateful to be here.”
Dykema Cox Smith said in a statement that it had maintained a very small presence in the El Paso market for the past two years, but determined that the office was no longer necessary.
“As part of our regular review of our capabilities, offerings and client needs, the firm determined there was no strong strategic imperative to maintaining a presence in the El Paso market and consequently chose not to renew the lease of our office space there. We continue to serve Texas clients locally out of our four significant and growing offices across the state,” the statement said.
Walker said she cannot discuss reasons behind Dykema’s decision to close its El Paso office other than to say the firm “did decide not to continue their presence in El Paso.”
In 2015, San Antonio-based Cox Smith Matthews merged with Dykema Gossett. The firm is known as Dykema Cox Smith in Texas.
Walker, a former national president and general counsel of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and a Texas Lawyer Go-To Immigration Lawyer, focuses on business and family-based immigration work, and Frayre also does immigration work. Mark Walker is a trial and appellate lawyer, and Franke is a litigator.
Kathleen Walker declined to identify clients they brought with them to their new firm, but she said they represent global manufacturing clients and health care companies, among others.
Dickinson Wright CEO William Burgess said Kathleen and Mark Walker are highly qualified lawyers who strengthen the firm’s immigration, commercial litigation and international trade practices. “We’re also excited to join the El Paso business community, to expand our presence in Texas, and to continue to expand service offerings to our clients in key practice areas,” Burgess said in a statement. He did not immediately return a telephone message seeking a comment.
The firm has six offices in Michigan and 11 other domestic offices located in Texas, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Nevada, Arizona and Washington, D.C. It also has an office in Toronto.