Recruiting From Multiple Firms, Frost Brown Todd Opens in Houston

Houston, Texas.

Frost Brown Todd is expanding its presence in the Lone Star State.

The Am Law 200 firm, with its roots in Cincinnati and Louisville, launched a Houston office in recent weeks, absorbing a team of attorneys from boutique McFall, Breitbeil & Eidman. The firm also picked up lawyers from Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith; Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr; and others. In total, the office is opening with eight members, seven of whom are new hires, and one associate. The firm launched a Dallas office in 2015.

In an interview, Zenobia Bivens, the Houston office’s member-in-charge who joined the firm in January, said the new outpost was client-driven, noting the city has strong ties to health care, manufacturing, oil and gas industries.

“The Houston office is really the result of our clients asking for an office in Houston,” she said, adding clients “across the firm’s footprint have business here.”

The new Frost Brown members in Houston include Kenneth Breitbeil, Greg Eidman and Courtney Gahm-Oldham, who focus on oil and gas litigation and arrive from McFall Breitbeil; Cleve Glenn and Patrick LaRue, who joined from Lewis Brisbois and who focus on energy and private equity and M&A, respectively; Ken Bullock, who joined from Munsch Hardt and focuses on energy and maritime litigation; and Michael Cooper, formerly president of the XFL Houston Roughnecks.

“It was challenging not just quickly building a new office, but filling it with attorneys who have deep industry knowledge in energy, manufacturing and finance,” Bivens said. “Our firm values industry knowledge, and finding folks in Houston with that knowledge is how this all came together.”

Including the Houston office and its new additions, Frost Brown now has 484 lawyers spread out over 14 locations in the Southeast and Midwest. The firm ranked No. 130 in the Am Law 200 rankings this year, with $241.8 million in gross revenue in 2019.

In a statement, Frost Brown chairman Robert Sartin said the firm has been able to resist austerity measures and continue to expand despite the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the economy and a slowdown in lateral hiring.

“The business community and legal community and the legal profession are facing unprecedented challenges,” he said. “Though many law firms have found it necessary to retract, [Frost Brown] has created a solid foundation that makes this a pivotal time to expand. We want to support our clients and help them succeed in all circumstances.”

A representative for Munsch Hardt said the firm wishes Bullock well.  “We wish Ken the best in this new chapter of his career.” A Lewis Brisbois representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Janelle B. Smith

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