Editor's note: In January 2016 Rudy
Giuliani left Bracewell & Giuliani and the firm re-branded
itself as Bracewell LLP.
Long known for its intricate (and
lucrative) relationships with Houston and Big Oil, Bracewell LLP
raised its national and global profile in 2005 when it added
America's most famous former mayor to its nameplate.
Bracewell started as a glimmer in the
eyes of four Houston attorneys (three of whom bore the surname
Bracewell) in 1945. J.S. Bracewell, his sons Searcy and Fentress,
and Bert H. Trunks established a practice that was quickly
associated with Texas movers and shakers-Searcy Bracewell himself
was elected to the Texas Senate in 1946. Harry Patterson joined in
1951 and ascended to name partner in 1966.
From the beginning, the firm focused on
six key practice areas: energy, environmental strategy, private
investment funds, banks and financial institutions, bankruptcy and
financial restructuring, and white collar criminal defense. It also
developed a strong labor and employment practice thanks to Fentress
Bracewell, a leading employment lawyer.
While Bracewell continues to embrace
those core groups, it has added niche practices in response to
Houston's growth as a regional business hub. That said, Houston's
sprawling growth has benefited Bracewell above all else by driving
the creation of one preeminent specialty: oil and gas work.
Bracewell represents such companies as Kinder Morgan, Inc., Apache
Corporation, ConocoPhillips and Noble Energy Inc.
Meanwhile, Bracewell has grown
strategically since the mid-1970s when it opened offices in
Washington, DC and Austin to advise clients on state and federal
regulatory matters. The firm's London office provides a vital
platform from which attorneys service energy clients in Europe,
Africa, and the Middle East, and the Dubai outpost serves as a base
for the firm's representation of U.S. and foreign clients seeking
to exploit the region's rich oil deposits. Further expansion stayed
close to home-with the opening of offices in Dallas and San
Antonio-and branched out to other U.S. locales like Seattle and
In 2005 the firm brought on a big name,
and in fact added it to the Masthead. Bracewell & Patterson
became Bracewell & Giuliani with the addition of former New
York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani gave the firm more national
recognition and a new Manhattan office, and helped to build the
firm's corporate, white collar, and bankruptcy practices in New
York. In January 2016 Giuliani left to head the cyber security
practice at Greenberg Traurig and the firm changed its moniker to
its current mononym.