HOUSTON – William “Willie” D. Wood, widely regarded as one of the top trial lawyers in Texas, has joined Pillsbury’s growing Houston office as a partner. Legal 500 recognizes Wood as one of only four leading lawyers in the United States for Oil & Gas litigation. He was recently named 2022 Oil & Gas “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers—having received the honor twice previously for Mass Tort Litigation and Class Actions Defense—and is also ranked by Chambers USA as one of the leading commercial litigators in Texas. Originally from Guatemala, he is a native Spanish speaker.

Wood concentrates his practice on commercial, business litigation and arbitration cases, with an emphasis on energy industry matters. He has extensive domestic and international litigation and arbitration experience involving activities throughout energy-producing regions, particularly in Latin America. He comes to Pillsbury after three years at McKool Smith, having spent the previous 35 years at Norton Rose Fulbright.

Wood is the third litigation partner to join Pillsbury in Houston in the past year.

“With the arrival of Willie, it’s an exciting time for Pillsbury in Houston,” said Amanda Halter, the managing partner of the Houston office. “Our momentum has been impressive, particularly as we continue to add to our already strong client offerings in energy, construction, environmental law and international arbitration.”

Charles Conrad, a Houston-based construction and energy litigation partner and the local recruiting partner, added: “Adding a high-profile lawyer like Willie stands out in the extraordinarily competitive Houston market.”

“Willie’s practice dovetails beautifully with Pillsbury’s strategic focus on energy and cross-border work, especially in Latin America,” said Deborah Baum, the leader of the firm’s global litigation section. “He is a go-to litigator in the energy industry with a peerless reputation in Texas, and with significant recognition nationally and internationally, and we’re thrilled to add such a highly regarded trial lawyer to our strong national and international litigation platform.”

Wood continues an impressive run of notable litigation hires made by the firm since the start of 2021. In the past 12 months, the firm has also added Ron Cheng (Los Angeles), a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and DOJ Resident Advisor in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing; Richard Donoghue (New York), who previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and Acting Deputy Attorney General; noted appellate lawyer Daniel Bromberg (San Francisco), the former Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary to California Governor Gavin Newsom; former federal prosecutor Kimberly Jaimez (Los Angeles); oil and gas litigators Tony Guerino and Liz Klingensmith (Houston); international arbitration practitioner Derek Soller (New York); complex commercial litigators William Bosch (DC) and retired Judge James Catterson (New York); and former Associate Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hovakimian (DC).

“Pillsbury’s platform is perfectly suited to meet the needs of energy industry clients, with an impressive bench of litigators and international arbitration practitioners that can support them in high-stakes disputes anywhere in the world, across the full spectrum of the energy industry,” Wood noted. “That depth of practice, as well as the firm’s highly collaborative culture and impressive growth, make Pillsbury the perfect place for my practice and my clients.”

Pillsbury’s award-winning team of more than 200 litigators works with clients around the world to help them successfully resolve disputes, in trial and out of court, at home and in jurisdictions around the globe. The firm has garnered dozens of top-tier recognitions as a result of its exceptional litigation prowess, and was most recently recognized as one of the 12 most feared law firms to come up against in litigation by BTI Consulting Group.