K&L Gates hires Fulbright partner for Houston launch

K&L Gates has launched in Houston with the hire of Fulbright & Jaworski securities head Charles Strauss ahead of the latter’s merger with Norton Rose.

Strauss, a longstanding partner at Fulbright’s existing Houston headquarters, joined K&L Gates yesterday (11 February) to establish its fourth Texan office and 47th global outpost.

He had been at Fulbright for 30 years, focusing on corporate and securities, covering areas including oil and gas, aerospace, trucking and financial services.

K&L Gates chairman and global managing partner Peter Kalis said in a statement: “We’re fortunate to have Charles Strauss join us as the founding partner of our Houston office. Charles’ inclusive approach to the practice of law is perfectly aligned with our integrated global platform. We look forward to working with Charles to grow a dynamic and client-focused Houston office.”

Strauss described K&L Gates as “a firm with a very strong platform throughout the United States as well as internationally”, adding: “I look forward to opening and building a strong office in Houston, the energy capital of the United States.”

The US firm already has offices in the Texan cities of Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth and recently added Seoul to its list of international bases (15 November 2012).

It also entered Australia through a merger with local firm Middletons on 1 January this year (4 December 2012).

Fulbright is set to combine with Norton Rose on 1 June, forming Norton Rose Fulbright (14 November 2012).

Reed Smith was the most recent major firm to target Houston, opening an office in the hub two years after it called off merger talks with local firm Thompson & Knight (23 January 2013).