Norton Rose Fulbright is closing its Pittsburgh office in the near future, the firm confirmed Thursday.
In a statement, the firm confirmed that the Pittsburgh-Southpointe office is expected to close. The two remaining partners in that office, Amy L. Barrette and Jeremy A. Mercer, will relocate to the Washington, D.C., location, the firm said.
“With more than 50 locations worldwide, we continually evaluate where we have physical offices,” the firm’s statement said. “We plan to close the Pittsburgh-Southpointe office in the near future, as we can serve our clients’ needs in that area from our other offices.”
The firm also confirmed that one senior paralegal and one secretary were laid off in anticipation of the closing. The exact date of the planned closure is not clear.
Janet McQuaid, who had been listed as an attorney in Houston and Pittsburgh, is now in Houston as her primary office. Michael Gaetani, who was counsel at Norton Rose in Pittsburgh, was laid off, according to the firm, as his role will be eliminated with the office closure. He did not return a call seeking comment.
In its statement, Norton Rose noted markets where it recently expanded—San Francisco; Vancouver; and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
The Pittsburgh office opened in 2011 when the firm, then Fulbright & Jaworski, added six energy lawyers from K&L Gates. That group included Barrette and Mercer, as well as Kenneth Komoroski, who was made partner in charge of the Southpointe location. The office opened with an eye on the Marcellus Shale market in Pennsylvania.
Komoroski left Norton Rose in 2013 for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Around the same time another member of that original group of six, attorney Matthew Sepp, also went to Morgan Lewis.
Norton Rose Fulbright has more than 3,500 lawyers based in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. United Kingdom-based Norton Rose and Houston-based Fulbright & Jaworski merged in June 2013.
A down oil and gas market has created problems for some western Pennsylvania energy law firms and practices. Burleson LLP, which had a sizable office in Pittsburgh, closed its doors at the end of 2015, pointing to a sharp decline in title work and a too-late attempt to diversify the business. Earlier in 2015, in light of the low gas prices, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC made “limited layoffs” in several locations including Pennsylvania, affecting 32 people, 14 of whom were attorneys.
Zack Needles contributed to this report.
Lizzy McLellan can be contacted at 215-557-2493 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @LizzyMcLellTLI.