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Cleveland firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue is opening an office in Houston, Texas to service its growing energy client base.
The firm is taking over 14-lawyer local firm Bayko Gibson Carnegie & Hagan and is sending a further four partners into the new office from elsewhere in the firm.
Four new lawyers are also joining Jones Day as partners - Tom Bayko, Mike Gibson, Jack Carnegie and Bob Leidich. Hugh Whiting, a senior Jones Day litigation partner, is moving in from Cleveland to head the new office.
Whiting says: "The thinking behind this is twofold: first we're extending what we think are the strengths of Jones Day - our energy practice capability and in particular our oil and gas work; second, Houston is increasingly becoming the centre of the domestic US energy industry, which is truly global, and we think we've got some things to offer that industry."
The firm's energy clients include British Petroleum, TotalFinaElf, Marathon Oil and Petrobras in South America. It has around 35 lawyers across the practice doing both core energy work and regulatory work for the industry.
The other three partners being drafted in are Bill Paddock, a senior corporate partner from Atlanta, Bill Burton, an energy regulation partner from Dallas, and David Miller, a litigation lawyer from the Washington DC office.
The Houston office marks the firm's 25th location worldwide, 11 of which are in the US, with the remainder in Europe and Asia. The firm boasts a total 1,400 lawyers.
Whiting says of the Houston launch: "It's something that we've considered over a period of time, but at this point we were able to strike an arrangement with the Bayko Gibson folks as well as get an indication from some of the clients that if we added a Houston presence, then they'd look at that as beneficial."