In the 1960s, name partners Hank Chamberlain and George Hrdlicka, former members of the Justice Department's tax division, founded a Houston firm with a vision of creating a tax law boutique. Today, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry still have a core tax practice, but have expanded to other areas, both legally and geographically.
Death, Taxes and Chamberlain
Chamberlain's roots are in tax law, but with the addition of more partners, the Houston firm has expanded its expertise to include practice areas such as securities and finance, international and immigration law, energy and maritime law, real estate, and litigation. In recent years, Chamberlain added an admiralty and maritime group aiming to specialize in "offshore drilling and production, marine transportation, marine construction, dredging and other affairs involving the waterfront," according to the firm.
The firm has also expanded its geographic reach. In 1986, Chamberlain opened an Atlanta office, which now has over 40 attorneys and is strong in tax law. In 2007, the firm opened an office in Philadelphia (actually in Conshohocken, PA) where a small group of attorneys work in areas like domestic and international tax planning, tax controversy and litigation. More recently, the Philadelphia office has embraced practice areas like intellectual property, regulatory and trusts and estates planning. Chamberlain's San Antonio office opened in 2010, with a core practice in one of the firm’s founding strengths: tax law.
The Joys of the Mid-Sized
A share of Chamberlain's practice is serving as corporate counsel for companies which already have in-house legal departments, and the firm prides itself on the "flexibility and responsiveness" it can exhibit as a mid-sized firm working with in-house counsel. When larger firms resisted lowering billing rates for struggling clients, Chamberlain not only reeled in clients from their BigLaw competitors, but attracted attorneys too. According to the ABA Journal, "a willingness to be flexible about hourly billing rates and an eat-what-you-kill compensation structure has proven profitable for former BigLaw attorneys" who made the move to Chamberlain mid-recession.
Taxation with Client Representation
Tax remains Chamberlain's core focus and it has the accolades to prove it. In 2011, the Philadelphia office formed a State and Local Tax (SALT) group. The same year, Chambers named the firm the top tax law practice in Georgia, as well as ranked it third for tax controversy nationwide and number four in Texas tax law. The Legal 500, similarly, ranked the firm as one of the best tax controversy law firms in the U.S. U.S. News ranks Chamberlain as tier one in tax litigation nationally, as well as tier two in tax law nationwide. Holding true to their tax expertise, the firm held its first quarterly forum from its Atlanta office, which prepared young professionals for tax filing season.
1200 Smith Street
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 658-1818
Employer Type: Private
Managing Partner: Wayne A. Risoli
Hiring Partner: Wayne A. Risoli
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 125
1st year: $145,000
Houston, TX (HQ)
San Antonio, TX
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