In The News

Munsch Hardt Doubles IP Litigation Practice through Acquisition

Jul 17, 2018
The Texas Lawbook

Munsch Hardt announced on Tuesday that it will acquire the four-lawyer Dallas intellectual property litigation boutique McDole Williams on August 1.

The combination doubles the headcount of Munsch Hardt’s IP litigation practice to four lawyers and adds a layer of expertise in handling patent cases.

McDole Williams’ roster includes shareholders Keith McDole and Steven Williams and senior attorneys Zac Duffy and Winston Huff. McDole, who was senior vice president and general counsel of Occidental Chemical Company from 1996 to 2001, linked up with Williams at the end of 2011 after practicing at Jones Day for 10 years.

Munsch Hardt CEO Phil Appenzeller worked with Williams at McKool Smith when they were both associates there in the late 1990s.

“McDole Williams is an example of what we think we are a perfect platform for – a firm that wants to move to a larger platform, but not go national, and be focused on Texas,” Appenzeller said.

With its office lease coming up for renewal, McDole Williams was being courted by several national firms that were looking to open an office in Dallas, according to Appenzeller. He said Munsch Hardt began conversations with the boutique in January.

The acquisition is almost identical to when Munsch Hardt expanded in Houston a few years ago by joining forces with the eight-attorney law firm Harrison Bettis McFarland. Appenzeller says Harrison Bettis was at a similar crossroads as McDole Williams was – facing an expiring office lease and a decision as to whether to stay small or try and find a bigger platform.

Appenzeller says the firm is strategically looking at other firms that fit this profile and can add expertise to the firm’s corporate transactional, corporate finance and real estate finance practices.

By: Brooks Igo