2020 Vault Rankings
“My coworkers are talented and unpretentious”
“Partners value associate development”
“Autonomy in my work”
“The compensation is below market”
“Unpredictability of the hours”
“No transparency in bonuses and increases”
Editor’s Note: The merger of Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth Kenyon occurred after Vault’s survey period. Associate quotes and most of the statistics in this profile are from legacy Hunton & Williams.
The result of 2018’s largest merger, Hunton Andrews Kurth, pairs two firms—each with over a century of history—that had been growing by leaps and bounds in the past few years. Mid-Atlantic based Hunton & Williams brought with it leading global practices in privacy and cybersecurity, energy, financial services, and real estate. Houston’s Andrews Kurth Kenyon had recently grown from a Lonestar State stalwart to an international firm renowned for its energy, IP, and bankruptcy practices.
A Tale of Two Firms
Though founded more than 1,000 miles away, Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth Kenyon were in many ways mirror images of one another. Eppa Hunton, Randolph Williams, and two others founded their firm in Richmond, Virginia in 1901 and quickly attracted banks, railroads, energy companies, and utilities as clients. Just a year later, Frank Andrews and Thomas Ball founded a firm in Houston representing railroad bigwigs like Houston Belt, Terminal Railroad, and the Gulf Coast Lines. In its early days, Andrew’s firm was heavily involved in the city’s development, helping secure funding to build the Port of Houston and working with the Houston Land Corporation. John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil—which controlled some 90 percent of the country’s oil production—was a client of both firms until the Supreme Court ordered the company to be broken up in 1911.
Virginia is for Lawyers
Hunton & Williams’s tenth partner—Lewis Powell Jr.—became its most famous. He practiced at the firm for more than a quarter century (starting at a salary of $50 a month), served as the president of the American Bar Association, and was named to the Supreme Court in 1971. His son, Lewis Powell III, followed in his father’s footsteps and has been a longtime partner at the firm.
Hunton began expanding beyond Richmond in 1967, opening up shop in DC, and moved into the Big Apple in 1984. In the 1990s, the firm ramped up its expansion, with nearly 700 attorneys in 15 offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia by the end of the decade. Even before its merger with Andrews Kurth, Hunton moved into Texas through a merger with Worsham Forsythe Wooldridge in 2002 and by taking on nearly 200 former employees from collapsing Dallas firm Jenkens & Gilchrist. In 2006, Hunton made some big moves, opening an LA office, naming Walfrido Martinez as its first Latino managing partner, and luring metals manufacturer Alcoa away from longtime counsel LeBoeuf Lamb.
Melvin Kurth joined Andrews in practice and headed the firm for three decades, beginning in the mid-1930s. A portion of Andrews Kurth's mid-century work revolved around eccentric aviator and business tycoon Howard Hughes and his Hughes Tool Company—the work stretched into the latter part of the century, and the firm fought a 17-year long fight over Hughes’ estate after his death in 1976. 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, and internationally in London, in Dubai, and 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.
Hunton Andrews Kurth at a Glance
Hunton Andrews Kurth is a preeminent international law firm formed when Hunton & Williams LLP and Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP combined in April 2018. Our nearly 1,000 lawyers serve clients from 19 offices across the United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. We work as “one firm” across all of our offices and offer exceptional work opportunities on a broad array of sophisticated legal matters. Our commitment to diversity is strong, and we recruit a variety of lawyers and staff from many cultures and backgrounds, appreciating the differences they bring to the firm. We are also committed to helping all of our lawyers achieve their potential while supporting each in integrating their work and personal lives.
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 955-1500
Managing Partner: Walfrido J. “Wally” Martinez
Hiring Partners: Alexis J. Gomez, Rudene Mercer Haynes, and Alan J. Marcuis
1st year: $160,000 to $180,000 (depending upon location)
Summer associate: $3,100 to $3,500/week (depending upon location)
Summer Associate Offers:
26 out of 26 (2Ls) (2017)
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Tysons Client Center
The Woodlands, TX
Antitrust & Competition
Banking and Finance
Capital Markets & Securities
Energy and Infrastructure
Labor & Employment
Mergers & Acquisitions
Privacy & Data Security
Real Estate Capital Markets and REITs