Munsch Hardt Kof & Harr PC has announced the addition of a former senior tax adviser from Shell who is also a mayor in Texas and two energy litigation attorneys as shareholders in its Houston office.
According to a Munsch Hardt statement, Susan Sample, Richard Schwartz and Todd Frank joined the firm Friday. Sample worked for Shell Oil Co. as a senior tax adviser for five years, and Schwartz spent four years as a partner at Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP. Frank joined the firm after almost a decade as a partner at Watt Thompson Frank & Carver LLP.
Sample, who is also the mayor of the city of West University Place, represents corporations, partnerships, high-wealth individuals and estates in tax audits, Internal Revenue Service appeals and state tax audits Sample will also represent individuals in tax controversies as the only attorney at the firm to do so.
“My plan is to let everyone know here in the firm that we offer this new service, but I’ll also be reaching out to the greater Houston business community to let them know Munsch Hardt is now offering tax controversy services as well,” Sample said.
Sample earned her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her master’s of law in taxation from the University of Houston. She is on the board of directors of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Meanwhile, Schwartz, who has tried more than 65 cases in his career, will represent energy clients in complex matters arising from refinery and well-site operations, including explosions, fires, well control events and investigations. Schwartz is currently representing clients within the energy, construction, insurance and steel industries.
Schwartz earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center, and he has completed two Harvard Law School programs on negotiation and leadership.
Schwartz has served as president, treasurer, secretary and national delegate for the Federal Bar Association’s South Texas Chapter and is an adjunct professor at University of Houston Law School.
Also joining the energy team is Frank, who spent eight years at Watt Thompson before coming to Munsch Hardt. He will handle complex commercial litigation in both state and federal courts, with an emphasis on upstream oil and gas litigation. Additionally, he’ll work on litigation involving catastrophic accidents, including massive property damage from refinery explosions, personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Frank said he joined Munsch Hardt to offer his clients better services and advice.
“I wanted to help broaden [the energy] base here, especially because the oil and gas business a real benefit to my clients — just having the breadth and depth of services and talent to offer them.”
Frank received his bachelor’s degree from Trinity University and his law degree from the South Texas College of Law in Houston.
D. Mitchell McFarland, the managing shareholder of the firm’s Houston office, said all three attorneys have the experience necessary to take the firm to another level.
“Munsch Hardt’s energy litigation practice has continued to diversify and expand over the past several years, and both Dick and Todd add invaluable trial experience and depth to our already strong practice,” McFarland said. “Additionally, Susan is a smart tax attorney with an outstanding reputation, and her recent in-house experience will serve our firm and clients well.”
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