Two Longtime Texas Law Firms Join Forces – Jackson Walker and Small, Craig & Werkenthin, P.C. Unite

October 15, 1998 | Press Releases

Texas, USA (October 15, 1998)—Two of Texas’ oldest law firms, Jackson Walker and Small, Craig & Werkenthin, P.C., have voted to join forces, thereby becoming a single law firm: the first law firm with six Texas offices. The two firms will officially become one on January 1, 1999, and the combined firms will retain the name of Jackson Walker. The consolidation is described by T. Michael Wilson, managing partner of Jackson Walker, as “an alliance between two firms whose philosophies of operation and histories of success closely mirror one another.” The new firm will have more than 230 attorneys and offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Angelo, and San Antonio.

“The move is a strategic one, the end result of which is a firm with a greater number of practice areas, strengthened core services, and expanded regional and national service,” states Jim Alsup, Chairman of Small, Craig & Werkenthin. Fred Werkenthin, name partner in Small, Craig & Werkenthin, believes that “the talents in various practice areas, particularly governmental affairs and administrative law, which Small, Craig & Werkenthin attorneys bring to the table match up well with Jackson Walker’s clients.” He further comments, “Jackson Walker provides the attorneys of Small, Craig & Werkenthin a greatly enhanced geographic presence.”

“Our Houston-based clients should benefit from access to the significant expertise and contacts of Small, Craig & Werkenthin in legislative and administrative law,” says David Dunlap, partner-in-charge of Jackson Walker’s Houston office.

Albon O. Head, Jr., partner-in-charge of Jackson Walker’s Fort Worth office, states, “We are pleased with what this means for clients of Jackson Walker. The high caliber attorneys from Small, Craig & Werkenthin joining us throughout Texas will mean greater statewide services for the firm’s Tarrant County-based clients, many of whom require assistance with business transactions and litigation throughout the state.”

Patrick Tobin, partner-in-charge of Jackson Walker’s San Antonio office commented that, “We are looking forward to the addition of the Small, Craig & Werkenthin attorneys. They are a highly respected group who will increase the depth of both the litigation and transactional expertise available to clients through the San Antonio office.”

Larry Waks, partner-in-charge of Jackson Walker’s Austin office, comments on the new alliance, “The benefits are clear. Jackson Walker has a presence in Austin, but the six decades of good will Small, Craig & Werkenthin has built up is priceless in terms of greater recognition and a higher profile in the city’s business and legal communities.”

Rob Junell and Don Griffis, attorneys in the San Angelo office of Small, Craig & Werkenthin, comment on the new alliance: “We are very enthusiastic about the depth of experience and variety of services that this consolidation brings to our clients. While the consolidation will not change the nature of our practice in San Angelo, it adds significantly to the areas of legal services now available to our clients. We believe that we will be able to better serve the agricultural and business needs in West Texas.”

Jackson Walker and Small, Craig & Werkenthin each have significant practices in the areas of banking, corporate and securities, employment, environmental, health care, insurance, litigation, probate and estate, and real estate law. Clients of both firms will benefit from the increased depth of expertise available in those practice areas.

Clients of Jackson Walker will benefit from the full-service capabilities of expanded Austin and San Antonio offices and the addition of an office in San Angelo. The San Angelo office represents a west Texas presence that few of the large Texas firms have. In addition, Jackson Walker’s clients will be able to capitalize on the administrative, agricultural, and governmental expertise of Small, Craig & Werkenthin’s attorneys.

Small, Craig & Werkenthin’s clients will gain access to deeper and broader statewide legal assistance with added offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston. Jackson Walker’s expertise in bankruptcy, energy, intellectual property, international, media, technology, tax, and transportation law will also enhance the legal services available to Small, Craig & Werkenthin’s clients.

Jackson Walker is a founding member of Globalaw, the International Law Group, which is a world wide network of law firms throughout the U.S. and in over 60 foreign countries.

History and Background

Jackson Walker is one of the oldest and largest Texas-based law firms, with more than 110 years of experience providing legal counsel to clients in Texas, throughout the United States, and internationally. The origin of Small, Craig & Werkenthin can be traced back over 60 years when the firm’s founders began practicing law in Austin. Even in those days, Austin played a central role in the judicial, governmental and political life of Texas.

Historical threads bind the firms. The late A. W. Walker, name partner in Jackson Walker, and C. C. Small, Jr. first crossed paths at the University of Texas School of Law, where both began the development of their respective expertise in oil and gas and land title law. Their association would continue in the middle of the century when they would argue cases together, helping to define and develop the laws which govern the Texas energy industry. Walker’s first career was that of a professor at the UT School of Law, where he taught oil and gas law; he later joined the firm which still retains his name. Small elected to make a career out of private practice directly following law school and focused on serving the burgeoning oil and gas industry. The two are counted among those who helped to mold much of the oil and gas law on which the Texas energy industry continues to rely. Mr. Small also served for years as General Counsel to the Texas Savings and Loan League, influencing and defining the laws which continue to play a role in Texas’ finance industry.

Donald S. Akins, President of Hildebrandt, the consulting firm which assisted the firms throughout the consolidation discussions, notes that, “Given these two Texas firms’ histories, philosophies, practice areas, and long-term goals, the alliance is a perfect match. They are naturally compatible.”

Each firm has served the business community of the Southwest for decades: Small, Craig & Werkenthin for over 60 years and Jackson Walker for over 110 years. Each has played an important part in the economic growth of Texas: Small, Craig & Werkenthin through its role in the development of some of the most important legislation and regulations affecting industries throughout the state, and Jackson Walker through its involvement in the creation of thriving corporate entities such as Dallas County Gas Company, known today as Lone Star Gas. Each has a long-standing reputation for providing high quality legal services with a focus on the needs and goals of their clients, and each also maintains the philosophy that it is just as important to provide that same level of service to civic and community organizations.

Facts About the New Firm

The Big Date
Small, Craig & Werkenthin’s attorneys officially join Jackson Walker on January 1, 1999.

The Firm’s Name
The combined firms will be known as Jackson Walker.

Brief History
Small, Craig & Werkenthin is an Austin-based firm founded over 60 years ago Jackson Walker is a Dallas-based firm which traces its founding back over 110 years.

Current Offices
Jackson Walker—Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
Small, Craig & Werkenthin—Austin, San Angelo, San Antonio

Benefits Resulting From Consolidation

  • Strategic growth
  • Strengthened competitive base
  • Increased variety of practice areas
  • Greater depth within practice areas
  • Broader statewide presence
  • Enhanced national capabilities

Current Offices Contact Info

Jackson Walker

816 Congress Avenue
Suite 1600
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 494-2440
Fax: (512) 494-2442

901 Main Street
Suite 6000
Dallas, Texas 75202
(214) 953-6000
Fax: (214) 953-5822

301 Commerce Street
Suite 2400
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
(817) 334-7200
Fax: (817) 334-7290

1100 Louisiana Street
Suite 4200
Houston, Texas 77002
(713) 752-4200
Fax: (713) 752-4221

112 E. Pecan Street
Suite 2100
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 978-7700
Fax: (210) 978-7790

Small, Craig & Werkenthin, P.C.

100 Congress Avenue
Suite 1100
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 472-8355
Fax: (512) 320-9734

225 West Beauregard Avenue
P.O. Box 3288
San Angelo, Texas 76902
(915) 658-9111
Fax: (915) 658-5446

300 Convent Street
Suite 1950
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 226-2080
Fax: (210) 226-2646

In This Story

Jim Alsup
Partner, Austin

David G. Dunlap
Partner, Houston

Albon O. Head, Jr.
Partner, Fort Worth

Patrick B. Tobin
Partner, San Antonio

T. Michael Wilson
Partner, Dallas