Winston & Strawn expands Houston office with corporate duo from Thompson & Knight

Capital markets and energy specialists James Brown and Douglas Lionberger join as partners

Houston Shutterstock

Winston & Strawn has made a double partner hire from Thompson & Knight to bolster the firm’s Houston office.

James Brown and Douglas Lionberger join the firm’s corporate and capital markets practices, bringing with them experience in both corporate finance and securities law, with a particular focus on the energy sector. They regularly advise on securities offerings, SPAC deals, private equity, M&A and corporate governance, working with both issuers and underwriters in debt and equity offerings.

Douglas Atnipp, managing partner of Winston’s Houston office, said: “More and more companies in the energy sector are looking for a path to transition their business model towards more renewable forms of production. Making this transition requires a great deal of capital, and James’ and Doug’s considerable experience at the intersection of corporate transactions and the energy sector will be a great asset to our clients as they navigate this process.”

Brown spent 13 years at Vinson & Elkins before leaving in September last year to join Thompson & Knight. Lionberger, meantime, spent a decade at Vinson & Elkins before following Brown to Thompson & Knight.

Brown said: “The volume and complexity of corporate transactions native to Houston continues to increase in line with the state’s growth in a post-Covid environment. As more companies make Texas their home, there is a corresponding demand for legal expertise that can help clients navigate complex deal structures with an informed understanding of the region’s critical place in the energy sector.”

The duo’s arrival adds to other recent corporate practice hires, including Rachel Gray in New York, Andrew Hutchinson in Chicago, Kathleen Blaszak in Washington and Stephen Kong in Los Angeles.

Winston chairman Tom Fitzgerald said: “James and Doug are outstanding additions to our Houston team and underscore Winston's ability to provide complex corporate transactional work across the global capital markets.”

Other firms have also been ramping up their Texas presence lately. Last month Kirkland & Ellis and Silicon Valley firm Gunderson Dettmer both opened in Austin, while in March litigation funder Burford Capital hired Reda Hicks from Texas firm Diamond McCarthy to become the firm’s first full-time Houston-based employee with a brief to develop its US business.

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