Porter Hedges expands energy practice to Oklahoma

By Mark Curriden, The Texas Lawbook

Most law firms have a simple business strategy: Go where the clients are.

On Monday, Houston-based Porter Hedges did just that, announcing that it has opened an office in Oklahoma City and added four energy lawyers in the law firm’s first expansion outside of Texas in its 33-year history.

Two of Porter Hedges’ largest clients – Chesapeake Energy and American Energy Partners – are based in Oklahoma.

A 116-lawyer firm that specializes in representing oil and gas companies in corporate transactional and litigation matters, Porter Hedges is one of the few Texas law firms to open an outpost in Oklahoma, which is also the home of Devon Energy and Continental Resources.

To open the office, Porter Hedges convinced prominent Oklahoma lawyer C. Ray Lees and three other lawyers to leave their oil and gas practices at the Commercial Law Group and join it. Lees has handled more than $80 billion in oil and gas mergers and acquisitions during the past decade.

“Our strategy is to be one of the best energy law firms in the country and having these lawyers with us in Oklahoma City is a key part of implementing the strategy,” Porter Hedges managing partner Robert Reedy said.  “Our lawyers have worked with Ray and his team on various matters and we understand why he is one of the most highly regarded oil and gas transactional attorneys in the country.”

Reedy noted that Lees and Porter Hedges partner Jeremy Mouton currently represent Chesapeake in its sale of $5.4 billion in assets in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co. That deal was announced Tuesday.

The others lawyers joining Porter Hedges with Lees are Kendra D. Streeter, John H. Edwards and David K. Gannaway.

The Texas Lawbook is an online publication covering business law in Texas.