By Jess Davis
Law360, Dallas (July 09, 2013, 8:43 PM ET) — A pair of former Baker & McKenzie LLP attorneys have opened a trial and appellate boutique in Dallas focused on complex commercial litigation and agricultural business, known as Bailey Brauer PLLC, the firm said Tuesday.
Clayton Bailey, the former head of Baker & McKenzie’s Dallas litigation group, and Alex Brauer opened shop in mid-May with just one associate but plan to grow the boutique into a litigation and appeals powerhouse. They said working in a smaller firm allowed them to provide the same quality of legal expertise at a more cost-effective price for clients and gave them more freedom to provide alternative fee arrangements.
A smaller firm also helps the attorneys avoid the complicated conflicts that sometimes forced them to turn down business at Baker & McKenzie, which now refers them some cases it cannot take, Brauer said.
“The freedom and flexibility to work with clients on payment options or how to handle a case, and to be nimble and quick without a lot of big global politics to go through or conflicts checks before taking a case has made it a lot more fun and enjoyable,” Brauer told Law360.
The two worked often together at Baker & McKenzie and racked up a string of wins at trials and in the appellate courts, including more than a dozen published opinions. Their clients include Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Durez Corp., Harrell Nut Co., Sage Western Investments and Lone Star Investment Advisors, among others.
“Together, we proved our mettle at one of the world’s largest law firms,” Bailey said in a statement. “And we will continue to deliver that kind of sophisticated, aggressive and creative work at Bailey Brauer.”
The firm is expecting a decision shortly from the Fifth Circuit in an antitrust suit that accuses Pilgrim’s Pride of shutting down processing plants to raise chicken prices. Brauer said the ruling will likely pave the way for a number of trials in cases currently stayed while awaiting the appellate ruling.
Despite the more limited staff available at the upstart firm, outsourcing jobs like e-discovery production, copying and trial presentations makes it easy for the three attorneys to manage their caseload, he said.
As business at the firm grows, its ranks will too, and Brauer said that within five years, they would like to have between 10 and 15 attorneys. The end goal is to become a litigation boutique not unlike Lynn Tillotson Pinker & Cox LLP or Figari Davenport, he said.
“It’s exciting to build something with your name on the door,” Brauer said.
Bailey rose in the ranks at Baker & McKenzie after he joined the firm in 2000, leading the Dallas litigation group in 2012. Brauer joined Baker & McKenzie in 2005 after a two-year stint at Winstead PC and was a senior associate when he left the firm in 2012.
–Editing by Melissa Tinklepaugh.
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