Eight new partners in less than a year is going some for any individual practicegroup, but when a firm starts opening offices off the back of that group you know it really means business.
So watch out this year for Hunton & Williams spreading its wings. To be fair to its rivals, the ’practice group’ is energy and natural resources, an area that can account for up to a third of Hunton’s partners, and north of $200m in fee income.
Research for this summer’s Transatlantic Elite - which will focus on the strategic moves firms are making to tap the booming energy markets - suggests that the Virginia firm’s current hiring spree (the most recent big name to join was Paul Hastings’ European projects head Jonathan Simpson, see story) may soon be matched by a spurt of office openings.
Certainly Latham & Watkins’ Houston opening last year appears to be thriving, if the hire this week of Baker Botts corporate partner Ryan Maierson is anything to judge by (see story). Which geographical region is in Hunton’s sights? Asia.
Which is more surprising than it might seem at first glance, seeing as Hunton was one of the firms to pull out of the region during the Asian crisis after launching in Hong Kong in 1994. Later this year, it might just be back.