(L-to-R) Michelle Scheffler and Courtney Ervin.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon, which is shedding lawyers in Texas as the firm gets close to a merger with Virginia firm Hunton & Williams, has lost two more lawyers to firms in Houston.

Trial lawyer Courtney Ervin joined commercial litigation firm Hicks Thomas, a firm founded in 1997 by a group of Andrews Kurth lawyers. And litigator Michelle Scheffler moved over to Haynes and Boone. Both started work at their new firms on Feb. 1.

Scheffler isn’t the only Andrews Kurth lawyer to move to Haynes and Boone this month. Corporate lawyer Bill McDonald joined Haynes and Boone’s Houston office as a partner in the capital markets and securities practice on Feb. 1.

Andrews Kurth declined to comment on the departures.

Ervin said she was attracted to Hicks Thomas because of lawyers like firm co-founder John Thomas, who is “strategically growing his firm to increase his bench and it has a great energy practice and a growing insurance practice.” She also said the move to a boutique will enable her to be more flexible with her rates.

“My decision to leave Andrews Kurth was really a decision to leave Big Law and move to a litigation boutique,” she said. “I have nothing but great things to say about the firm.”

Ervin does commercial litigation, including contract disputes, business torts and insurance coverage work.

Thomas said in a statement that Ervin is an “exceptional advocate and has great instincts.”

Scheffler said she moved to Haynes and Boone because of the firm’s impressive strength in oil and gas on both the dispute side and the transactions side. “That’s a really good fit for my practice,” she said.

Scheffler does oil and gas litigation and other trial and appellate matters, including contract disputes, property rights and business torts. She said her clients include major integrated oil and gas companies, privately owned independents and private equity companies.

She declined to discuss Andrews Kurth.

Tim Powers, Haynes and Boone managing partner, said in a statement that Scheffler adds to the strength of the firm’s litigation and energy practices and will provide value to clients.

Andrews Kurth and Hunton have signed off on a merger agreement, but partners in the firms have not yet voted on the combination. In the meantime, the firm has in recent days lost several groups of lawyers in Texas.

Seven partners in Dallas departed to open a Dallas office for Katten Muchin Rosenman and another three partners left the Dallas office to join DLA Piper’s Dallas office. Also, the firm is expected to lose a number of public finance lawyers in Texas to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and to New York firms Shearman & Sterling and White & Case, which reportedly will open offices in Texas with Andrews Kurth lawyers.