Everything’s bigger in Texas, including law firm takeovers.
Earlier this week, Washington, D.C.-based Steptoe — a firm that brought in $434,601,000 gross revenue in 2022, putting it at No. 101 in the most recent Am Law 200 ranking — announced that it would be opening an office in Houston, Texas, thanks to its recent combination with boutique trial firm Smyser Kaplan & Veselka. The firms’ partners voted in November to go forward with the tie-up. Not only has Steptoe acquired the firm’s office lease, but the Biglaw firm has managed to lasso all of SKV’s attorneys as well. The Texas Lawyer has additional details on the deal:
[Steptoe chair Gwen] Renigar said Smyser Kaplan includes lawyers and business service professionals with “the right skills, the right reputation, the right clients, the right people and … the right culture.”
Smyser said his former firm, which was nearing its 30th anniversary, has been approached by many national and international firms over the years, but those firms were largely intending to “cherry-pick” a few lawyers.
However, he said, the lawyers at Smyser Kaplan have from the start been a close-knit group, and to Steptoe’s credit, the firm wanted to interview everyone at his firm.
“We’ve been looking at Texas for some time, mostly because our clients have told us they would like to have a presence in Texas,” Renigar told Am Law. “We are taking the team, lock, stock and barrel.” Craig Smyster, a founding partner of SKV said, “We are now Steptoe’s Houston office.”
Congratulations to Steptoe and all of its new trial lawyers from Smyser Kaplan & Veselka!
Steptoe Launches Houston Office With 24-Lawyer Trial Team From Smyser, Kaplan & Veselka [Texas Lawyer]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.