Kirkland & Ellis is stepping up its litigation practice in Houston with the addition of lateral partner Anna Rotman from top trial boutique Yetter Coleman.
She joins litigation partners Brigham Cannon, who relocated from Kirkland’s Washington, D.C., office, and Patrick King in building the litigation capabilities of the 45-lawyer office, which launched in 2014.
A general commercial litigator with a particular focus on energy, technology, and aviation, Rotman said in an interview that she was drawn to Kirkland because the firm “does real trial work. … I can continue to have a real trial practice. Kirkland litigators aren’t afraid to try cases.”
The fourth-largest city in the U.S. and home to 26 companies on the Fortune 500 list, Houston is a law firm hot spot these days. Last week, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe announced it’s opening a Houston office with 20 (still unnamed) lateral partners, and in September, Holland & Knight set up shop in the city. According to The American Lawyer, since 2010 the number of Am Law 200 firms with offices in Houston or Dallas has increased from 59 to 77.
Kirkland is bullish on the market. “Houston is a major international economic center, and our clients have substantial legal needs here,” litigation partner Mark Filip, a member of the firm’s global management executive committee, said in an email.
He called Rotman “a dynamic lawyer with the energy, vision and skills to lead our civil litigation practice in Houston—with the depth and resources of Kirkland’s national litigation practice behind her.”
The office serves clients including The Blackstone Group, KKR, EIG Partners, GSO, BP plc, Talen Energy, GeoSouthern Energy Group, Energy Future Holdings, Samson Energy Co., Sabine Oil, Sandridge Energy, Penn Virginia Corp. and Magnum Hunter Resources Corp.
Andrew Calder, a fellow executive committee member added, “Since opening the Houston office in April 2014, we have established Kirkland as a major player in Texas. … The eventual goal would be to have all four of Kirkland’s groups—transactional, restructuring, litigation and intellectual property—here in Houston, just like we do in all of our other offices.”
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