Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has quickly established itself as a dominant force in the energy deals market, surpassing all other law firms by working on more than $90 billion worth of energy deals this year alone. While primarily known for its litigation practice, Gibson Dunn has steadily climbed the ranks since opening a Houston office over six years ago.
The firm’s success can be attributed to its strategic move in 2017 to expand its oil and gas practice by investing in Houston. By recruiting high-caliber attorneys with established reputations and relationships, Gibson Dunn was able to secure a strong foundation for its energy deals practice. Their approach of starting with smaller deals and gradually working their way up to higher profile transactions has paid off.
Unlike many other firms that have attempted to capture a share of the energy M&A market in Texas, Gibson Dunn’s patient and calculated approach has been a key factor in their success. According to Tim Regan, a legal recruiter in Texas, the firm entered the market with a solid group of lateral hires from other firms, which set them apart from their competitors.
The energy deals landscape in Texas is known to be heavily relationship-based, and Gibson Dunn capitalized on this by prioritizing attorneys who could bring in business and had existing networks. This focus on building strong relationships and providing exceptional service has propelled Gibson Dunn to the top of the leaderboard.
As the energy market continues to evolve, Gibson Dunn is actively seeking to expand its energy practice. With offices in London and Singapore, as well as recent expansion into the UAE, the firm is well-positioned to take advantage of global energy opportunities. However, they will face new competition in Texas, as international firms like Clifford Chance have recently entered the market.
In a down year for M&A, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, energy deals have been a rare bright spot. The surge in deals can be attributed to stable commodity prices and a period of relative price and equity stability. While many firms have struggled in this challenging environment, Gibson Dunn has managed to thrive and establish itself as a powerhouse in the energy deals market.