Paul Hastings appoints new Houston oil and gas boss

Paul Hastings announced Tuesday that Rick Burleson will head its oil and gas practice group out of its Houston office.

Rick Burleson joins Paul Hastings as oil and gas leader.
Burleson

Burleson’s move comes less than a month after he closed his own law firm, Burleson LLP. The firm closed on Dec. 31, a move that Burleson said was necessary after falling crude oil prices made it difficult to sustain the practice that focused on energy-related real estate transactions.

“It’s the perfect move for me,” said Burleson, who said he received several competing offers before opting to join Paul Hastings.

The position is a new one Paul Hastings, he said, which already has a robust oil and gas practice. Burleson said that he will be the 29th lawyer in Paul Hastings’ office in Houston.

“Rick is a major player in the energy industry, one of the most experienced oil and gas lawyers in this market and we could not be more pleased that he’s starting the next phase of his career at Paul Hastings,” said Greg Nelson, chair of the Houston office.

Burleson, who founded his firm a decade ago, announced in November that it would be closing its doors. It had as many as 140 lawyers about three years ago but by November, it was down to 60, including 17 in Houston. Besides its office in Houston, the firm had offices in San Antonio, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Midland.

Burleson said he was pleased to report that most of his former lawyers have found new legal homes. Some have gone on to launch their own firms while other groups joined existing practices, he said.

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