Willkie Farr launches in Dallas with Haynes and Boone private equity team

Partners Tom Tippetts, Brandon McCoy and Chase Proctor join from Texan firm as four Willkie private equity partners relocate

(l-r) Tom Tippetts, Brandon McCoy and Chase Proctor Images courtesy of WIllkie Farr & Gallagher

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has launched an office in Dallas with a group of seven private equity partners, including three it has hired from Texan firm Haynes and Boone. 

Tom Tippetts, Brandon McCoy and Chase Proctor have joined from Haynes and Boone to launch the office, the second for the 1,200-lawyer firm in Texas after the Houston office it opened in 2014. 

They have been joined by Willkie partners Tony Johnston, Jessica Sheridan, Sarah McLean and Archie Fallon, who is managing partner of the Houston office and will split his time between the two cities. Willkie said all of the partners supporting the launch have deep experience in the Dallas market, particularly in private equity and M&A. 

“Dallas clients have been encouraging us to open a Dallas office for some time,” said Fallon. “Tom, Brandon and Chase know the Dallas market well, and their stellar track record and experience will complement our M&A and private equity capabilities in Texas and across the firm.”

The new arrivals’ practice areas cover acting for companies and private equity firms on transactional matters including M&A, venture capital/private equity investments, joint ventures, distressed M&A, reorganisations, divestitures and securities transactions. Between them they have worked with clients including Trive Capital, Wingate Partners and Harland Clarke. 

Willkie is the latest in a string of Big Law firms to open in Dallas over the past few years. King & Spalding tapped the co-chair of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s global litigation practice to enter the market in February, with other incomers including Quinn Emanuel, Seyfarth Shaw, O’Melveny & Myers and Blank Rome. 

With the hires from Haynes and Boone, Willkie has added eight lateral partners in Texas since the start of 2023. Among them was private equity lawyer Sarah McLean, who joined the energy team in Houston in January having previously led the US energy industry group at Shearman & Sterling. 

Willkie chairman, Thomas Cerabino, said: “Texas is a dynamic and thriving market, and an important pillar of our global strategy. While we’ve been in Texas for more than a decade, the decision to open in Dallas reflects our commitment to the region, as well as the needs of our clients. Our Texas platform is focused on private equity, M&A and transactional work, in the energy sector and non-energy related sectors.”

The Houston launch brings Willkie’s total number of offices globally to 15 and follows it opening in Munich earlier this year. Since 2018 the firm has also launched in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles. 

A Haynes and Boone spokesperson thanked Tippetts, McCoy and Proctor for their contributions to the firm and wished them well for the future.

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]