In a changing of the guard, John Goodgame is the new partner-in-charge of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld‘s Houston office, while Mary Koks took over as Houston managing shareholder for Munsch Hardt Kopf & Karr.
Goodgame succeeds Christine LaFollette, who had led the Akin Gump office since 2008, and Koks takes over Houston leadership from Mitch McFarland, who had been in that position for four years.
McFarland said he wears “other hats” in management at the firm and needed someone to move into the Houston office role, so he asked Koks to consider the job. McFarland is a member of the firm’s board of directors and serves on the compensation committee.
After practicing at the firm since 2005, Koks said it was her time to help manage the firm. “I really, really needed to step up. Plus, I thought it would be great to have a woman in this role,” the environmental lawyer said. She is also a member of the firm’s operations committee.
Her goals are to continue McFarland’s efforts to grow the firm’s Houston presence. She hopes to add intellectual property and health care lawyers, and expand the office’s corporate strength.
Under McFarland, the firm expanded its Houston litigation and real estate groups, and added a tax lawyer. Over those four years, the firm added 24 attorneys in Houston, and the office, with nearly 40 lawyers, is half the size of the headquarters office in Dallas.
“The long-term strategy for the firm is to get the Houston office as big as the Dallas office. We are halfway there,” he said.
Phil Appenzeller, CEO of Munsch Hardt, said Koks brings “fresh thinking” to the management role she assumed on Jan. 1. She is the first woman to manage the office.
Munsch Hardt also has an office in Austin.
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