Jackson Walker has launched a miniraid on Andrews Kurth Kenyon in Texas, hiring a quartet of partners that includes a onetime federal prosecutor who will launch a white-collar criminal defense practice for the firm.
Michele Schwartz, an intellectual property lawyer, joined Jackson Walker in Dallas on Aug. 1. The other partners joined Jackson Walker in July, although the firm just announced the moves Wednesday. They are: energy lawyer Meghan Griffiths in Austin, white-collar criminal defense lawyer Jay Dewald in Dallas and real estate lawyer Michael Shaw in Houston.
Wade Cooper, managing partner of the 393-lawyer Jackson Walker, said the four are accomplished lawyers who bring “notable skills and knowledge” that will benefit the firm’s clients.
The firm has hired a number of laterals this summer, including a four-lawyer group in San Antonio in June.
Dewald, who formerly worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas and will start Jackson Walker’s white-collar criminal defense practice, said the firm’s Texas focus mirrors his practice, which has a regional orientation. He said he looks forward to working with some of the many prominent lawyers at Jackson Walker, such as litigation partner Chip Babcock of Houston and Dallas, and William Powers, the former president of the University of Texas at Austin who is of counsel in the firm’s Austin office.
Dewald said he couldn’t identify many of his clients because he conducts internal investigations and represents clients before grand juries, but he said he has done work in the past for Southwest Airlines. He said he expects the firm to expand the practice group with lateral partner and associate hiring.
Shaw also declined to identify his clients, but said he handles all kinds of commercial real estate work, including leasing, acquisitions and dispositions, development work and private equity.
Griffiths said she was looking to join a firm that would provide her an opportunity to expand her electric power industry practice, and Jackson Walker has electricity practitioners in Austin, Dallas and Houston. She said her clients include wind energy developers, transmissions companies and large industrial customers that either own their own generating capacity or acquire power to run their businesses. She said she does regulatory, litigation and deals for the power industry.
Schwartz did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.
“We wish them well,” Andrews Kurth managing partner Robert Jewell said.
Senior reporter Brenda Sapino Jeffreys covers the business of law in Texas. Contact her at email@example.com. On Twitter: @BrendaSJeffreys.