Editor's Note: Effective April 2, 2018, Hunton & Williams LLP and Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP combined to become Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. The follow refers to pre-merger Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP.
More than a century old, Houston-based firm Andrews Kurth has grown from a local powerhouse representative for the railroad industry to an international firm with branches in Washington, DC, New York, Dubai, London, and Beijing, making a name for itself along the way with its energy and bankruptcy practices. With a mantra of "straight talk," Andrews Kurth has national tier one practices in energy, trusts & estates, oil & gas law, project finance, and many other areas of law according to U.S. News.
Texas Railroading and the Aviator
In 1902, Frank Andrews—a former assistant attorney general for Texas—and Thomas Ball—a former U.S. representative from Texas—founded a firm in Houston. From its early years, the firm was heavily involved in Houston's development, helping secure funding to build the Port of Houston and representing railroad bigwigs like Houston Belt, Terminal Railroad and the Gulf Coast Lines. The firm did so much work for the railroad industry, in fact, that railroaders expressed their gratitude by naming a freight station north of Houston after Tom Ball. In the early 1900s, the Texan firm also worked with Standard Oil and the Houston Land Corporation.
Several years later, Melvin Kurth hopped aboard and headed the firm from 1936 for the next three decades. A portion of Andrews Kurth's mid-twentieth century work revolved around eccentric aviator and business tycoon Howard Hughes and his Hughes Tool Company. Around that time Andrews Kurth also ratcheted up its business in the energy field, counseling firms involved in natural gas pipeline construction and other energy initiatives and helping them negotiate the relatively new regulatory network coming out of DC.
In 1977, Andrews Kurth expanded beyond the Lone Star state when it opened an office in DC to help handle its growing energy regulatory practice. Following were office inaugurations in Los Angeles, New York, the Woodlands, across the pond in London, in the Middle East in Dubai, and in Asia in Beijing.
In 2016 Andrews Kurth brought on all 55 attorneys from IP powerhouse Kenyon & Kenyon, adding one of the Kenyons to the masthead, an office in Silicon Valley, and a Colbert. Late Night host Stephen Colbert’s brother Edward Colbert was the managing partner of Kenyon & Kenyon and twice appeared on his brother’s previous show, The Colbert Report, to discuss IP issues—to discuss the Shepard Fairey “Obama Hope” copyright case and, memorably, to advise Colbert on what he could say during his coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics without getting sued by NBC.
No Energy Shortages Here
A significant number of lawyers on board work in energy law—advising in regulatory work, project financing as well as counseling on construction contracts and litigation for energy companies. Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Scott Brister, who leads the firm's appellate division, headed BP's defense in state litigation following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The firm also dabbles in renewable energy sources. A strong wind power team, for example, advises companies on the ins and outs of financing and developing wind power and alternative energy projects.
Managing Your Money
Although the firm boasts top energy and regulatory practices, it also touts a high-profile bankruptcy group. The firm pioneered its bankruptcy practice in the 1960s and later benefited from former partner and Bush family friend Edith Jones' bankruptcy expertise before her appointment as chief judge for the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Andrews Kurth also represents Fortune 500 companies through its corporate securities practice. Also ranked by U.S. News as tier one is the firm's trusts and estates department, which had plenty of practice in its handling of the 17 year-long battle over Hughes' estate in the 1980s.
600 Travis Street
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 220-4200
Employer Type: Private
Chairman and Managing Partner: Thomas J. Perich
Recruiting Chair: Tammy Brennig
Total No. Attorneys 2017: 420
1st year: $180,000
Summer associate: $3,462/week
Houston, TX (HQ)
Research Triangle Park, NC
New York—Battery Park
Silicon Valley, CA
The Woodlands, TX
Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring
Intellectual Property and Technology
Labor and Employment
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Real Estate, and Tax