Immigration Firm Nabs Competitors' Partners to Expand in Texas

, Texas Lawyer

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With four lateral partner hires announced today, immigration firm Fragomen Worldwide is expanding in Dallas and opening a new office in Houston.

The new hires include partners Steve Ladik, Kristi Taylor and Paige Taylor, who join Fragomen's Dallas office from Berry Appleman & Leiden, and Kelly Cobb, who is leaving FosterQuan in Houston to open the Houston office.

"It's two different moves of two different groups but united under a single purpose of Fragomen expanding its footprint in Texas," Ladik said.

Ladik, who had been managing partner of Berry Appleman's Dallas office, said he and his group joined Fragomen on Jan. 6 because the 425-lawyer firm has offices around the world.

"More and more of our corporate clients are becoming more and more globally oriented," Ladik said.

Cobb, who has resigned from FosterQuan but has not set a firm date to join Fragomen, also said her clients have international immigration needs.

"Immigration has really changed since I first started practicing in '97. Clients are looking for immigration providers that can provide excellent U.S. immigration, as well as global," Cobb said. "They [Fragomen] have a presence all over the world to help facilitate travel to the U.S. but also travel around the world. I've seen that need grow and grow."

In a written statement, Austin Fragomen, the New York City-based chairman of Fragomen's executive committee, said Texas is a "unique economic powerhouse and a major center of the global energy industry" so the Texas expansion will benefit clients in Texas and elsewhere.

In 2007, Ladik, Paige Taylor and Kristi Taylor and others left the former Jenkens & Gilchrist to open Berry Appleman's Dallas office. At that time, Ladik said it made sense to move to an immigration specialty firm because a general practice firm such as Jenkens wasn't a good fit for the immigration practice.

Berry Appleman is a "very good firm" with excellent attorneys, he said, but the geographic reach of Fragomen will allow him and his group to better meet client needs.

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