From Houston Business Journal
Burleson LLP, an energy-focused law firm with its headquarters in Houston and an office in San Antonio, plans to shut all five of its U.S. locations by the end of the year.
The firm, which was founded in 2005 by Richard Burleson, has seen significant growth in recent years due to its hefty practice in land and title work. However, since land and title law in the oil patch is tied to drilling activity, and drilling activity has declined significantly due to low oil prices, so has the law firm’s workload.
“When the rig count goes from 1,300 to 600, our business is impacted dramatically,” said Burleson.
The law firm is in the process of subleasing its office space in Houston at Pennzoil Place at 700 Milam St. The company is using Savills Studley as its Houston office broker. Besides San Antonio, its other offices are in New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Denver.
In the meantime, lawyers and support staff are charting their next move, Burleson said. “If there’s anything that’s gratifying out of this, it’s that our people are in demand. People have opportunities and they have good opportunities, and I’m encouraging them to follow up on those,” said Burleson. Some Burleson lawyers might spinoff into their own firm, go in-house, go to another law firm or any combination thereof, Burleson added.
As to his own plans, Burleson refrained from ruminating on his future, referring instead to his immediate obligation toward his clients and staff.
“We’re just trying to get through the end of the year, and then we’ll see what it looks like. Everything we’re doing seems to be happening faster than what we had anticipated, and so we’re just working through it,” he said. “There will be a next chapter. It’s just not written yet.”
The last time Burleson LLP was surveyed by Houston Business Journal was in June. They reported 50 full-time employees in Houston, including about 30 lawyers. They reported Houston revenue of $12.7 million for 2014. Firm-wide revenue was $46.9 million for 2014.