(L to R) Cliff Vrielink and Kevin Lewis.

Five capital markets and M&A partners who do work in the energy sector are leaving Andrews Kurth Kenyon to join Sidley Austin in Houston.

Sidley announced Wednesday that David Buck, Jon Daly, and George Vlahakos will join its Houston office Nov. 1, along with Bill Cooper, who splits his time between Houston and Washington, D.C.  Angela Richards will make the move to the Houston office in early December.

Cooper declined to comment on the move, and the other partners did not respond to requests for comment.

The news that Buck had given notice and planned to move to Sidley was reported earlier this month in an article published by Texas Lawyer sibling publication New York Law Journal. That story focused on merger talks between Andrews Kurth and Hunton & Williams. At the time, Buck declined comment.

But at Sidley, Kevin Lewis, co-managing partner of the Houston office, was not so reticent.

“It’s a big deal for the firm because these folks are a big deal,” he said. ”With this top-notch group, we’ve sort of solidified the capital markets practice in Houston to match the top-notch capital markets practice we have around the world.”

Lewis said bolstering the capital markets component in Houston has been a primary goal for Sidley since the firm opened the office in 2012.

Cliff Vrielink, who is also a co-managing partner of the Houston office, said the five are “incredible lawyers” and saw their addition as “a great fit.”

Vrielink said the firm is strong nationally in capital markets and the energy sector, and that lines up with what the five partners do. He said the Houston office has some other lawyers who do capital markets work, working with lenders and private equity companies, but the lateral group brings a lot of experience doing capital markets work for master limited partnerships.

Vrielink wouldn’t say whether any associates will join the new partners once they are settled at Sidley. But he added that the firm would like to expand its associate ranks in the capital markets area in Houston.

Andrews Kurth managing partner Bob Jewell said the firm wishes the former partners well in their new opportunity. He also said his firm will continue to do capital markets work.

“Our business continues to be strong and our energy capital markets team continues to be one of the deepest and highest quality groups of lawyers in the practice, he said in a statement.  “The most senior and biggest contributors to our success remain loyal and committed to our firm and our long-term success.”

Sidley has added several other energy partners in Houston recently, including David Asmus and Brian Bradshaw, who came from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and Brian Minyard, who was previously of counsel at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett.