Ex-Baker Botts Partners Launch Houston Litigation Boutique

Law360, Houston (April 25, 2017, 4:44 PM EDT) — Three partners at Baker Botts LLP who practiced together there for nearly a decade have left the firm to launch their own civil litigation boutique in Houston that will represent plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of commercial litigation, the new firm announced Tuesday.

Kevin Jordan, Walter Lynch and Michael Cancienne have been operating Jordan, Lynch & Cancienne PLLC since March 1. Jordan told Law360 on Tuesday they’ve been busy, as most clients made the move with them, and that they plan to hire more associates soon.

“We’re already in need of additional associates and we’re working to correct that need as soon as possible,” he said, explaining the firm also has two of counsel attorneys, Amir Halevy and Susan Thomas, who’d also come from Baker Botts.

“As for partners, I think there’s the possibility of adding additional people in the short term and in the long term,” Jordan said.

The firm plans to focus on catastrophic personal injury cases, commercial litigation involving construction and plaintiff commercial litigation for major corporate clients, among them Dow Chemical Co., Marathon Petroleum and Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Co. The partners also have experience handling products liability and trade secrets cases.

Many things about launching a litigation boutique were appealing to Jordan, Lynch and Cancienne, but Jordan said the lack of conflict issues, which can make it difficult to practice commercial plaintiff litigation, was a big draw.

“I think that the market as it currently is, especially in Texas, it’s more driven to the small boutiques who can act nimbly to meet the litigation needs of large clients,” he said.

Jordan received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 1984 and received his law degree from Tulane University Law School in 1988. He served a stint at Baker Botts as an associate from 1988 to1994 and again as a senior partner from 2005 to 2017, launching his own firm as a plaintiff’s lawyer in between.

Lynch finished his bachelor’s degree at Baylor University in 1993 and went on to get a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998. In 2004 he graduated from the University of Houston Law Center.

Before starting his law career, Lynch was a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and helped companies like Sprint and Compaq Computers Corp. improve customer relationship management systems. He also coaches a Bellaire Little League baseball team and serves as a member of its board.

Cancienne received a bachelor’s degree in international trade and finance from Louisiana State University in 2002, and finished his master’s degree there in 2005. In 2006 he graduated from the Louisiana State University Hebert Law Center.

Cancienne also dedicates his time to pro-bono work and has handled more than two dozen cases. Previously he has served on the board of the nonprofit Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program that offers free legal services to low-income Houston-area residents.