By Casey Sullivan
Jan 16 (Reuters) - Pittsburgh-based law firm Reed Smith is
opening a Houston office, according to a senior executive.
The outpost in downtown Houston is still under construction
and there is no official opening date, but Reed Smith has
already begun the process of lining up lateral hires, said David
Egan, the firm's chief marketing officer.
When the office is open, it will be the 1,700-lawyer firm's
25th location. It is slated to be a full-service outpost and the
practice strengths will hinge on the lawyers who agree to join
Reed Smith, Egan said.
A number of law firms have expanded to Houston recently, in
an effort to tap into the region's energy work. Last year,
Sidley Austin and Paul Hastings both opened Houston offices and
hired several partners from Texas-based law firms to bulk up
their energy practices.
"It's an amazing environment for growth," said Chris Batz, a
Kansas City recruiter with The Lion Group, who said he has
spoken with about 10 law firms looking to open in Houston. He
spends a third of his time recruiting energy lawyers in Houston
and Dallas, he said.
Reed Smith has already hired Lee Haag, a trial lawyer with
Fulbright & Jaworski, for the new Houston office, according to a
source with direct knowledge of the matter. It is unclear what
Haag's role will be.
An email asking comment from a Fulbright spokesman was not
returned. Egan declined to comment on the matter.
Egan said the firm doesn't have an official projection of
how many lawyers the office will eventually staff, but based on
a job posting by Reed Smith, the Pittsburgh Business Times
reported that the office "will eventually be 50 lawyers and 20
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