Orrick Adds 20 New Public Finance Lawyers


Orrick is pleased to announce the expansion of our Texas public finance team with the addition of 20 lawyers from Andrews Kurth Kenyon.  The group joining Orrick consists of four partners in Houston, including Rick Witte (formerly head of public finance at Andrews Kurth Kenyon), Adrian Patterson, James Hernandez and Tanya Fischer, and two partners in a newly opened Orrick office in Austin, consisting of Jerry Kyle and Julia Houston.  Joining with them is Barbara League in Houston.  The group also includes well-known senior counsels Bob Collie and Gene Locke in Houston and Jerry Turner in Austin, as well as of counsel Eric Johnson, a Texas state legislator, in Dallas, plus three additional of counsel and six associates.

Orrick opened its first Texas office in Houston in early 2016 with 41 lawyers, including five public finance lawyers.  The addition of this new team triples the number of Orrick public finance partners and more than quadruples the number of Orrick public financing attorneys in Texas.

Orrick has been ranked number one as bond counsel and among the top five or so underwriter’s counsel nationally for the past 20 years (Thomson Reuters).  Texas is the second-largest public finance market, after California, and the group that is coming to Orrick was ranked number four as bond counsel and number one as underwriter’s counsel for Texas at Andrews Kurth (Thomson Reuters).

According to Orrick’s Public Finance Co-chairs Roger Davis and Justin Cooper: “The addition of this group will propel Orrick into the top ranks of Texas public finance firms, and establish Texas as one of three pillars of our Public Finance practice.  Being a top ranked public finance firm in the three most prolific markets – California, New York and Texas – which together account for about one third of the total national market by dollar amount, distinguishes us from any of our competitors and significantly expands our market presence, experience, knowledge base, capabilities and network of clients and relationships.  It is truly transformational.”

The team joining Orrick has acted for many of the top issuers in the state, including the City of Houston, the City of Austin, Harris County, the Harris County Tollway Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas State Comptroller’s Office, Texas A&M University, Houston Independent School District and Austin Independent School District, as well as the most active underwriters in the market.

“We are truly excited to combine our expertise and extensive public finance practice with the national Orrick platform and talent pool,” Rick Witte said, speaking on behalf of the group.

Added Jerry Kyle, also speaking for the group, “We are very much looking forward to being a major part of Orrick’s continued growth in Texas and throughout the country.”

“We have known and greatly admired this team for years.  They are practitioners of the absolute highest caliber, and we are thrilled to be combining forces.  We are also very excited to be on the ground in the state capital,” said Todd Brewer, vice chair of Public Finance for Orrick’s Houston office.