28 Apr 2022

O’Melveny adds capital markets partner in Austin from Locke Lord

Michelle Earley to reunite with five-partner corporate team that moved over from Locke Lord in January

Headshot of Michelle Earley

Michelle Earley Image courtesy of O'Melveny & Myers

Capital markets partner Michelle Earley has joined O’Melveny & Myers in its Austin, Texas office from Locke Lord.

The move sees her reunite with a five-partner corporate group that moved over from Locke Lord in January to bolster the ranks of O’Melveny’s Austin office, the firm having opened there and in Dallas last summer. 

Earley, who was co-chair of Locke Lord’s capital markets practice and a member of its executive committee, handles corporate and securities matters for public and private companies, with a focus on securities offerings, public disclosures, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. She was also co-chair of Locke Lords diversity and inclusion committee.

Commenting on the move, Earley said: “O’Melveny is a law firm with top-notch talent, a commitment to clients and a distinctive inclusive culture. I am thrilled to help strengthen the firm’s Texas presence and to reunite with my former colleagues who joined O’Melveny earlier this year.” 

She rejoins former Locke Lord partners Whit Roberts, Jack Jacobsen, Jason Schumacher, Will Becker and Chrissy Metcalf. Following Earley’s arrival O’Melveny has 44 lawyers in its Dallas and Austin offices and 50 lawyers worldwide in its capital markets practice.

The firm added a quartet of energy-focused lawyers from Thompson & Knight last June to launch the office in Austin. The group included Thompson’s former Austin office head Phillip Oldham.

Less than a month later it hired four partners, this time from Norton Rose Fulbright, to launch in Dallas. The quartet was made up of the former head of Norton Rose Fulbright’s global and US restructuring and insolvency practice Louis Strubeck, its former regional head of litigation Scott Drake, trial lawyer Douglas Wabner and restructuring and litigation lawyer Gregory Wilkes.

Bradley Butwin, O’Melveny’s chair, said at the time the firm was committed to expanding its platform in Texas to better serve its clients’ needs. 

Texas has been a hotbed of activity for law firms lately. Last week Katten Muchin Rosenman announced it had hired the managing partner of Withers' Houston office, Kevin Keen, to establish a private wealth practice in its Dallas shop, Keen having joined Withers last year from Winstead PC to launch the office.

In February Detroit-based law firm Dykema Gossett hired two business litigators from McCathern Shokouhi Evans Grinke to launch an office in Houston, its fifth in Texas, while last year firms including Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis and Silicon Valley firm Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigan set up shop in Austin.  

Last September UK law firm Withers also moved to take a slice of the lucrative Texas legal market with the launch of an office in Houston focused on US and cross-border tax, estate and trust and mobility matters. The office is led by private client and tax partner Kevin Keen, who had joined the firm earlier in the year from Winstead PC.