"Dallas is a talent-rich legal market with a substantial amount of mobility," Portnoy said. "It coincided with our aggressive growth target as a firm."
Now is also a good time to make the move because two of Dallas' biggest firms, Jenkens & Gilchrist and Vial Hamilton Koch & Knox, recently went out of business. In addition, Thad Heartfield, Chief U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District, thinks the move is great because of the fact that the new federal courthouse is scheduled to be stationed in Plano, TX, a mere 20 miles from Dallas.
Orwig, who will be managing partner of the Texas office, has two years left in his role as U.S. Attorney, but he told Texas Lawyer that he's leaving diplomatically.
"Last year I had started entertaining leaving sometime before the end of the term. I wanted to go to a national firm coming to Dallas. That might sound like a ridiculously narrow possibility. But it came out of the blue," he said. "Texas is now the second busiest judicial district in the country in patent litigation. And from a client standpoint, being sued in East Texas can be a tricky proposition and we'll be able to handle that real easy. It's a briar patch, but the comfort is it's my briar patch."