Andrews & Kurth Losing 10

Andrews & Kurth is losing 14 percent of its litigation manpower with the departure of four partners and six associates to a new firm.

Andrews & Kurth partners Taylor Hicks Jr., O. Clayton Lilienstern, John Thomas and Marcus Thompson left Andrews & Kurth to form Hicks Thomas & Lilienstern, set to open its doors May 23 in Houston. The trio expect six associates to join them at the new firm by mid-June, including Stephen Loftin, who’ll move over to Hicks Thomas as a partner. Hicks, Lilienstern and Thomas say they decided to leave for a variety of reasons, including a desire for more flexibility in fee structures, lower overhead, avoidance of client conflicts and a plan to use more technology in trying cases.

Hicks and Lilienstern say compensation didn’t factor into their decision, although they expect to make more money at the new boutique. The lawyers, who worked closely together while at Andrews & Kurth, expect to bring several clients with them, including Seagull Energy Corp., Oryx Energy Co., Union Pacific Railroad, Texas Commerce Bank, Deloitte & Touche and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. These and other recent departures leave Andrews & Kurth with 230 lawyers, including 60 in the litigation section. Managing partner Rush Moody says the firm has other lawyers who handle the same work, but those leaving will be missed.