Reed Smith appoints two new leaders for its Houston and Dallas office in Texas Global law firm Reed Smith announced changes in the leadership of its two Texas offices. Chris Watt was named office managing partner (OMP) in Houston, and Omar Alaniz was made OMP of the Dallas office. Watt, a seasoned trial lawyer, has taken over as the office managing partner (OMP) in Houston from...
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Reed Smith appoints two new leaders for its Houston and Dallas office in Texas
Global law firm Reed Smith announced changes in the leadership of its two Texas offices. Chris Watt was named office managing partner (OMP) in Houston, and Omar Alaniz was made OMP of the Dallas office.
Watt, a seasoned trial lawyer, has taken over as the office managing partner (OMP) in Houston from Ken Broughton, who held the position since 2015. Watt is an original founding member of the Houston office, which was the first of three offices in Texas opened by Reed Smith. The other offices in Austin and Dallas were opened in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Watt was also the first hiring partner in Houston and served as co-chair of the Houston office's diversity, equity, and inclusion committee.
Alaniz, a well-regarded Chapter 11 and restructuring lawyer, joined the firm in July 2020. He replaces Brian Mitchell, who led the Dallas office since its opening four years ago. Alaniz previously served as the office's hiring partner and is dedicated to mentorship and fostering the growth of new lawyers. He is also the US chair of the firm's LGBTQ+ business inclusion group, PRISM.
"We have achieved great success since our Texas opening a decade ago, and I know the future of our Houston and Dallas offices are in great hands with Chris and Omar," said Doug Cameron, Managing Partner - Americas. "We are grateful to have such brilliant, experienced, client-focused partners at the helm as we continue to build and expand in Texas."
Watt is a founding partner of Reed Smith's Houston office and has established a reputation as a leading trial lawyer in commercial litigation and arbitration. He has experience in handling complex cases in industries such as construction, energy, professional services, and healthcare.
"Our clients greatly value Chris's practical value-driven, client-focused approach," said Ken Broughton, himself a renowned Texas litigator and mentor. "From the outset, Chris seeks to understand the client's ultimate objectives, and craft a strategy that best serves those goals. And for any that find themselves before a jury or tribunal, Chris's clients know they can rely on his more than two decades of experience to present their best, most persuasive case."
"I am eternally grateful for Ken's steadfast commitment and leadership these past eight years," said Watt. "Ken has been a tremendous ambassador for our Houston office, both within the firm and throughout the greater Houston legal community, and I look forward to building on his success with the same enthusiasm and openness that he brought to the role."
Aside from his legal practice, Watt is involved in the Houston community. He has served on the board of directors for Children at Risk for over nine years, including a two-year term as board chair. He is also a member of the Houston Leadership Council for Lambda Legal, a pro-bono legal services organization focused on protecting the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community, and was the first LGBTQ+ ally asked to serve on the council. He is also a member of the alumni steering committee for the University of Texas School of Law and a senior fellow of the American Leadership Foundation, Class LI.
Alaniz has built a reputation as a highly creative and resourceful lawyer for distressed companies. He has appeared in bankruptcy and appellate courts throughout the country, including Texas and US Supreme Courts. His restructuring work has garnered national attention, including invitations to membership to the National Bankruptcy Conference and American College of Bankruptcy.