Robert Sheeder, a labor and employment litigator, joined Morgan Lewis on Wednesday as a partner in Dallas. Janice Davis, a corporate transactions lawyer, is expected to join Morgan Lewis Thursday as a partner in Dallas.
Sheeder and Davis will be joined by an of counsel and an associate, according to Morgan Lewis.
The news comes on the heels of reports that Reed Smith is planning to open a Dallas office later this month with two partners from Bracewell, along with four partners and three associates from Perkins Coie.
When asked about the departures to Morgan Lewis, a spokesman for Bracewell provided this statement: “We thank Bob and Janice for their contributions to the firm and wish them well.”
Sheeder, who was chair of the firmwide labor and employment practice, said he moved because Morgan Lewis has the “finest labor and employment group and practice in the nation.”
One lure, Sheeder said, was the fact that his friend Philip Miscimarra, the former chair of the National Labor Relations Board, rejoined the firm in 2018 as a partner in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
“That piqued my interest,” Sheeder said.
Sheeder said he had been contacted recently by a number of firms looking for lateral hires, but Morgan Lewis “caught his eye.”
“As a collaborator, leader and elite litigator, Bob is a natural fit for Morgan Lewis,” Grace Speights, the head of Morgan Lewis’ global labor and employment practice, said in a statement. “Our clients will benefit from his labor-management relations experience and his impressive record of success in trials and arbitrations.”
Sheeder handles labor and employment matters before federal and state agencies and courts, and has taken more than 50 lawsuits to verdict and has worked on nearly 100 arbitrations. He declined to identify his clients.
Davis practices in a different area, but Sheeder said they are friends and she in fact helped recruit him to Bracewell in 2007. In an email, Davis declined comment on Wednesday because she would not join Morgan Lewis until Thursday.
Steve Browne, leader of Morgan Lewis’ global corporate and business transactions practice, said in the press release that Davis’ arrival strengthens the growing corporate practice in Texas and “enhances our robust capabilities in M&A and private equity, especially in the healthcare and technology sectors.”
Davis represents clients in the healthcare and technology industries and was a co-head of Bracewell’s firmwide technology transactions practice. She does a variety of transactions including M&A, divestitures, joint ventures, software license agreements, alliance agreements, reorganizations, recapitalizations, management and leveraged buyouts, corporate financing, private placements, securities law compliance and venture capital investments.
In April, a trio of Bracewell partners who do utility industry transactions joined Morgan Lewis—co-head of Bracewell’s firmwide technology transactions practice.
Sheeder and Davis aren’t the only Bracewell lawyers to leave the Houston-based firm’s Dallas office this month. Partners Al Kyle and Brian Mitchell are moving to Reed Smith, which is opening an office in Dallas this month.