Global law firm White & Case LLP has opened an office in Houston to further strengthen its leading Global Oil & Gas Industry Group, initially adding three new partners to the Firm and relocating a fourth. The Firm expects to announce a number of further lateral partners in the coming weeks.
James (Jay) Cuclis joins the Firm from Vinson & Elkins and will lead the Firm's Houston office as the Office Executive Partner. He is joined by partners Christopher Richardson and Charlie Ofner, who have joined from Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP. Saul Daniel, an English-qualified White & Case partner who has practiced in London and Abu Dhabi, has also joined the Firm's Houston office. All four partners are members of the Firm's Global Oil & Gas Industry Group.
"Houston is the global capital of the oil & gas industry, with more than 5,000 energy firms doing business in the metropolitan region," said White & Case partner Philip Stopford, co-head of the Firm's Global Oil & Gas Industry Group. "Jay, Chris and Charlie bring extensive energy experience both domestically and internationally, allowing us to take on more work in the energy sector globally, but with a particular focus on the Americas."
Jason Webber, partner and co-head of the Firm's Global Oil & Gas Industry Group, said: "We are tremendously excited to welcome Jay, Chris and Charlie to the Firm. Their addition in Houston adds new expertise to our offering in the domestic and global upstream sector — and also super-charges our existing practices in US oil & gas infrastructure, liquefied natural gas and downstream project development."
Cuclis, Richardson and Ofner each bring a unique skill set to the Firm's existing energy practice. Each lawyer has considerable expertise working on acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures and project development, including LNG, petrochemical and pipeline projects.
"An office in Houston furthers the Firm's strategy to grow in the United States while supporting the Firm's industry priority groups," says Executive Committee member Dave Koschik, who heads White & Case's US Growth Team. "The Houston office will be focused primarily on strengthening our Global Oil & Gas Industry Group by identifying and nurturing deep and enduring corporate client relationships within that industry. With offices in 30 countries, we are uniquely positioned to provide one-stop legal services to US-based energy clients on their investments around the world, as well as to represent international investors in the US energy sector.
"In the coming months and years, we plan to expand in Houston, serving clients across multiple practices and industries. Our goal is to have at least 15 partners and 50 total lawyers across the core transactional practices of corporate, finance and projects," Koschik concluded.
White & Case's Houston office is its seventh location in the US and its 43rd globally.
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