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Multinational Hunton & Williams Joins Forces with Texas-based Worsham Forsythe Wooldridge LLP; Firms Well Known for Energy, Finance, Regulatory Work.

Business & Legal Editors

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 13, 2001

Hunton & Williams today announced an expansion into the Southwest U.S. market through a combination with Texas-based Worsham Forsythe Wooldridge LLP.

Effective January 1, 2002, Hunton & Williams will grow to more than 850 attorneys with projected gross revenues in excess of $400 million.

The combination matches the complementary strengths of the two firms in the energy and capital markets arenas and expands the coverage and presence of each firm's representation in national and international markets. "We believe this combination offers us expanded client service, a sophisticated client base and a talented pool of lawyers who share our values," said Hunton & Williams' Managing Partner, Thurston Moore.

Bob Wooldridge, Worsham's Managing Partner, explained the deal from his perspective: "We offer-and gain-a distinctive depth and breadth of expertise. This partnership will enable us to accommodate the expansion of our clients nationally and throughout the world."

Hunton & Williams, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, was named one of the top 30 U.S. law firms in client service by BTI Consulting. Worsham, which was formed 64 years ago, has 86 lawyers in Dallas and Austin and has a significant practice in corporate and securities law, litigation, and labor and employment areas, with a particular focus on energy law. The firm represents a number of clients in the energy industry, including serving as lead counsel to TXU, one of the largest energy companies in the world.

"Worsham's strengths are well known to us," offered Thurston Moore. "Our close working relationship with Worsham lawyers over the past three decades has made evident the firms' common goals of excellent client service, integrity and collegiality. We welcome this opportunity to partner with a firm that shares our core values. Joining forces with Worsham strengthens our preeminence in serving the energy industry. In terms of stature, size and breadth of experience and capacity, the combined firm will be one of the leading energy law firms in the world." Moore commented on another benefit of the combination: "With offices in Atlanta, Austin, Northern Virginia and Raleigh, we see an even greater opportunity to serve a growing base of technology companies. This combination enhances the resources we bring to new-economy businesses."

Bob Wooldridge added, "Firms such as our two with a particularly distinctive and cohesive culture attract and retain top legal minds and talent, benefiting our clients."

Michael Barr of Hunton & Williams, who will head the combined firm's energy law team, noted, "For years we have known that the skills and experience of Worsham's attorneys complement the strengths of our own energy practice. This partnership will result in more than 120 lawyers with expertise in energy company finance, asset acquisitions, energy trading issues, utility regulation and U.S. and international energy project development and finance. It significantly enhances our existing team, and will help to secure the combined firm's position as a leader in worldwide legal services to participants in competitive energy markets."

Bob Fillmore of Worsham, who will lead the combined firm's regulated utilities team, agreed, "Our strong tradition of service to the energy industry is bolstered by our partnership with a global leader. Together, we are well equipped to support the growth and expansion of the two firm's existing regulated energy clients."

The two firms have collaborated on energy and utility matters for common clients for nearly 30 years. Their relationship began in the mid-1970s, when the two firms each represented plaintiffs in litigation involving nuclear fuel contracts. Lawyers for the two firms united again in the late 1980s and early 1990s in other significant litigation and regulatory proceedings. At one time, more than 25 lawyers from Hunton & Williams and Worsham worked side by side on these matters, successfully guiding the different phases to settlement or favorable decision.

Hunton & Williams provides legal services to corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals as well as a broad array of other entities. Founded in 1901, Hunton & Williams serves clients in more than 80 countries from 15 offices around the world. While Hunton & Williams' practice has a particular emphasis on capital markets transactions, corporate and structured finance, energy and environmental law, governmental relations and commercial litigation, the firm's expertise extends to more than 50 practice areas. Visit our Web site at www.hunton.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 13, 2001
Words:711
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