In another sign of the talent poaching taking place in the Houston law community, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC a Dallas-based law firm new to Houston, has lured away two attorneys from one of the market's most well-established firms to expand its energy and maritime practice.
Daniel Pipitone joins the firm with more than 25 years of maritime law experience. He had been chairman of the energy and maritime practice at Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams and Aughtry, Houston's 15th largest law firm with 69 of its 117 lawyers here in Houston.
Kenneth Wayne Bullock II, who also worked at Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, has also joined Munsch Hardt, which recently moved to new digs on the 27th floor of Pennzoil Place and hopes to double the number of lawyers in it has working in Houston. Bullock has experience working with upstream and midstream clients in commercial litigation and personal injury defense, including cases involving Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections and citations.
Both attorneys will be shareholders, Munsch Hardt said.
"Joining Munsch Hardt was the right decision for me," Pipitone told the Houston Business Journal. "In Houston, Munsch has the depth and local depth is an advantage."
Pipitone also said that while a slew of new law firms are moving here or expanding their offices to take advantage of the oil and gas boom, you need experience to succeed in that business.
"Most clients want someone who knows what a pipeline is," he said. "Someone who not only knows what it is, but has worked on a project, been onsite, really understands the business."
Munsch Hardt's new office in downtown Houston is about 21,000 square feet and has room for up to 45 lawyers and staff. The addition of Pipitone and Bullock brings the firm's Houston total to 22.
"We have 80 lawyers in our Dallas office," Munsch Hardt CEO Phil Appenzeller told the Houston Business Journal. "Houston could eventually be as big."
Another law firm making a big splash in the Bayou City is Washington, D.C.-based Arnold & Porter LLP, which opened its first Houston office last month.
Last year, seven new law firms moved into Houston, mostly lured by the ongoing energy boom.
By: Mark Yost