Charles Conrad

Litigator Charles Conrad and two associates joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s Houston office this week, dealing another blow to Houston-based Coats Rose, which lost a group of 13 construction lawyers earlier this month.

Conrad joined Pillsbury on Oct. 16, along with associates Bradley Reeves and Elizabeth Dye.

“I made the move for a greater opportunity and platform. Pillsbury is a fantastic firm with an international presence,” Conrad said, adding that the firm’s client list fits well with his.

Conrad, a commercial litigator with work in the energy and construction industries, said he brought along a number of clients, including New Tech Global of Houston and Plano-based Highland Homes.

Pillsbury chairman David Dekker said Conrad strengthens the firm’s litigation practice in Texas. “We have been keen to grow our Houston office, which is a critical hub for our energy and infrastructure clients,” Dekker said in statement.

Conrad said Coats Rose, where he practiced for six years, is a “fantastic firm” but he saw an opportunity at Pillsbury to join a firm with a global reach. Conrad said Coats Rose is “getting back to basics” with real estate, public finance and affordable housing practices, along with related litigation.

Richard Rose, president of Coats Rose, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the departures. But after the group of construction attorneys resigned to move to Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton earlier this month, Rose said those departures provide opportunity for the firm to “increase efficiencies” and refocus on core business transaction practices and related litigation areas.

Coats Rose’s construction law strength has taken some other hits lately. In late September, four construction lawyers moved to Munsch, Hardt, Kopf & Harr in Houston, and a year ago, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, a Birmingham, Alabama, firm, opened an office in Houston staffed in part by eight construction and energy lawyers from Coats Rose.

Coats Rose has offices in Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, New Orleans and Cincinnati. Pillsbury has 21 offices in the United States and internationally.