(L to R) Bill Ogden, Gary Alfred, Judith Meyer, Jim Hall, Linda Broocks

The Louisiana-based firm Kean Miller has expanded into Texas, combining with the Houston firm Ogden Broocks & Hall.

Ogden Broocks litigators Bill Ogden, Linda Broocks, Jim Hall, Judith Meyer and Gary Alfred will work out of the new Kean Miller office, which opened Dec. 1 in Ogden Broocks’ previous location. Ogden, Broocks, Hall, and Meyer joined Kean Miller as partners, and Alfred joined as special counsel.

Vance Gibbs, a partner at the Kean Miller Baton Rouge office, said a Houston office makes sense for the firm because the majority of its clients are based in Houston or have offices there, and the firm’s lawyers often travel to Houston. He said Kean Miller has considered opening a Houston office for a while.

“It’s a natural progression for us,” Gibbs said, adding that the lateral hires are a “good group to start with.”

Ogden said Ogden Broocks & Hall, which was founded in 1993, has been approached many times over the years by firms wanting help opening a Texas office, but the partners never seriously entertained any of those offers. But Kean Miller was different, he said.

“There really is a common culture there. They are just really straightforward, down-to-earth people, easy to work with,” he said.

Ogden said the move to Kean Miller gives the lawyers in his group and their clients access to more resources, and also provides a better opportunity to retain young lawyers who might otherwise be lured away by larger firms. He declined to identify clients they brought with them to Kean Miller.

Odgen said his partners Broocks and Hall have worked with lawyers from Kean Miller for many years on litigation, and they know the firm well.

Kean Miller serves upstream, downstream and midstream clients in Louisiana, with significantly more than half of the firm’s revenues coming from Texas clients. With the lateral hires, the firm has 152 lawyers in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport, Lake Charles, and Houston.