Tablet Business

Kelly Hart law firm expands into the Permian Basin

Continuing to expand the energy portion of its practice, Kelly Hart & Hallman is opening an office in Midland to pick up work in West Texas’ booming Permian Basin.

While the Fort Worth law firm already has West Texas clients, it decided to hire nine more attorneys and open a branch office after seeing that it had “an opportunity to do more business out there,” said Dee Kelly Jr., the firm’s managing partner.

Setting up shop in Midland follows the opening of a storefront in New Orleans this year where another seven lawyers are on staff, many of them also involved in energy-related matters including environmental and real estate litigation, he said.

“This is a challenge to make it work. We are very excited,” Kelly said. “We have looked at many opportunities to expand our footprint in the Southwest because we knew it would enhance our service to our existing clients. We are convinced that this is the right time.”

Joining the firm are Harold Hensley, William Burford and C.D. Martin, all formerly with a firm in Roswell, N.M. They will become partners at Kelly Hart. Burford, the former chairman of the Oil, Gas and Energy Section of the State Bar of Texas, will be the partner in charge.

Max Wright, Mary Baker and Anna Brandl also are joining the firm as partners, and John Shelton, Taylor Spalla and Gareth Morton will work as associates.

Kelly Hart, with about 300 employees including 150 attorneys, is the largest law firm in Fort Worth and has several Fortune 500 companies as clients. It also has 15 attorneys in its Austin office.