Holland & Knight completes merger with Dallas-based energy specialists Thompson & Knight

Combined firm boosts headcount to 1,600 and will operate under the Holland & Knight brand
Portrait photographs of Mark Sloan and Steven Songberg

Mark Sloan (left) and Steven Sonberg

Top 40 US national firm Holland & Knight has completed its merger with Texas energy specialists Thompson & Knight, having first announced talks back in April.

The combined firm will operate under the Holland & Knight name and be led by Holland & Knight’s current managing partner Steven Sonberg. Thompson & Knight’s managing partner Mark Sloan will become vice chair of the combined firm’s senior management group – the practice and operations committee.

The deal boosts the combined firm’s headcount to 1,600 lawyers and other professionals across 30 offices. The merger also grows Holland & Knight’s presence in Texas, now sporting 300 lawyers spread across offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, helping to strengthen its energy sector coverage.

Miami-based Holland & Knight recorded a 1.7% increase in gross revenue, reaching $1.04bn in 2020, according to Law.com, with PEP up by 11% to $1.73m. That put revenue and PEP increases below the average for the Am Law 100 of 6.6% and 13% respectively. Thompson & Knight, meanwhile, blamed a slowdown in its core market on a 10% decline in revenue to $200m against a 16% fall in profit-per-equity partner.

Sonberg said: “The expanded industry and practice resources represent meaningful additions that will benefit our clients. Both firms also focus on what will make us more competitive in the marketplace, including fostering a team-oriented culture and prioritising responsiveness, innovation and agility when providing client counsel.”

In addition to energy, the merger also expands the firm’s litigation, corporate M&A and private equity, real estate, finance and tax practice areas. The deal will allow the combined firm to set aside more capital to target key growth markets and industries.

Sloan said: “With this strategic combination, Thompson & Knight gains a larger geographical footprint, deeper resources and a broader network that will enable us to expand services provided to our clients. Our firms’ complementary practice and industry strengths, shared collaborative culture and focus on providing exceptional service will help us to deliver even greater value to our clients in the US, Latin America and around the world.”

A number of Thompson & Knight lawyers have left the firm since the merger talks were first announced. Last month, Winstead hired a trio of intellectual property partners from Thompson in Dallas – Phillip Philbin, Jamie McDole and Michael Karson.

That followed the departure of a team of four energy lawyers to O’Melveny & Myers in June to launch an Austin office for their new firm, including Thompson’s former Austin office managing partner Phillip Oldham and head of its government and regulatory practice Katie Coleman. A duo of Houston-based corporate lawyers, James Brown and Douglas Lionberger, also departed the firm in May to join Winston & Strawn. 

In March, Crowell & Moring acquired New York financial services boutique Kibbe & Orbe before unveiling a merger with Chicago-based tech and IP firm Brinks Gilson & Lione in June.

In January national firm Dinsmore & Shohl merged with 47-attorney Indiana law firm Wooden McLaughlin, while the last US merger involving a target with more than 100 lawyers came last July when Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton merged to create Troutman Pepper.

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