Business of Law

Founder leaves 120-lawyer firm due to disagreement about its future direction

A co-founder is leaving a 120-attorney Texas law firm after 28 years, due to a disagreement about its future direction.

In a Tuesday internal memorandum, partner Donald Looper, who headed the firm’s corporate practice group, announced his resignation from Looper Reed & McGraw. He plans to share an office on a temporary basis with a friend who is a well-known Houston trial lawyer, Martin Beirne of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, while arranging to start a new transactional boutique, reports The Texas Lawbook in an article reprinted on the Fuel Fix page of the Houston Chronicle.

His new firm, Looper said in the memo, will be a workplace where “quality legal services and having fun, with clients and our colleagues, matter and where everyone shares in creating the vision for the future.”

Looper Reed will now be known as Gray Reed & McGraw.

Managing partner J. Cary Gray said in a written statement provided to the Texas Lawbook that a disagreement about whether to expand the firm’s corporate practice led to the split.

“While our litigation/family/employment practices and our industry-specific transactional practice areas, such as energy and healthcare, have grown and flourished, Don insisted on keeping our corporate practice relatively small, certainly as compared to the needs of our clients and other practice areas within LRM,” he wrote.

“While nobody is right or wrong, the firm’s board reluctantly concluded these differences of philosophy are irreconcilable.”

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