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(AUSTIN and HOUSTON) October 7, 2019 – Texas Lawyer has selected Bill Swanstrom, Vice Chair of Locke Lord’s Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Energy Practice Group, and Robert Miller, Chair of Locke Lord’s Texas Public Law Section and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Public Law and Policy Practice Group, as 2019 Texas Trailblazers. They are featured in the magazine’s October/November issue, which showcases their pioneer spirits, trails blazed in energy and lobbying, respectively, and outlooks for the future.
Swanstrom and Miller have both spent their entire careers at Locke Lord, Swanstrom in Houston and Miller in the Houston and Austin offices, and built their respective practice groups from the ground up. They continue to make significant contributions to the Firm’s leadership and growth in Texas and beyond.
Swanstrom, as a young Houston Partner at the nexus of the energy boom, set out to formalize and build a collaborative and established energy practice. He is now at the helm of one of the strongest energy practice groups in the nation that consists of 80 lawyers in 12 offices. In hindsight, Swanstrom noted, “It seems almost inevitable that we were going to grow this practice. But back then, it was far from inevitable. It was definitely putting a team together one person at a time, struggling to persuade clients that we knew what we were doing.”
Swanstrom has 30 years of experience representing energy companies in significant acquisition, divestiture, project development and finance activities, as well as in energy private equity transactions, representing both investors and companies. He began his practice in the era of utility deregulation, and a pivotal deal for Dynegy — the sale of much of its midstream holdings to ONEOK — led to midstream work becoming a major part of his practice, often involving multi-billion-dollar deals. Swanstrom has also been pivotal to growing the Firm’s involvement in the renewable energy sector in recent years.
After making Partner in 1992 practicing real estate law, Miller harnessed his passion for politics to establish a first-of-its-kind lobbying practice in Texas. He has since built a nationwide team that works with clients to find a strategic edge on local, state and federal legislative issues. In his profile, Miller reflects, “I was determined to combine top-notch legal skills with a robust political aptitude, and that’s what I’ve done.”
Miller has been ranked one of the state’s Top 3 lobbyists and, since 2004, Locke Lord has been continually named the No. 1 Texas law firm by Capitol Inside’s Texas Lobby Power Rankings. One of Miller’s notable achievements was helping to keep the Houston Astros in Houston in the 1990s by contributing to the creation of a Sports Authority, which ultimately led to the construction of a retractable roof stadium. Miller also has held numerous leadership positions in civic organizations, including serving as Chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas.
Looking forward to the growth of his practice, Miller said, “The demand for lobbyists will only continue to increase. Government will continue to be a larger and larger factor in the business environment. Therefore, you’re going to have to have highly skilled lobbyists who can help businesses navigate it.”
About Locke Lord LLP
Locke Lord is a full-service law firm with global reach and 20 offices designed to meet clients’ needs in the United States and around the world. The Firm has a history that spans more than 130 years and is a leader in the middle market arena. Locke Lord focuses on providing the highest levels of commitment, quality and service to clients across its five Key Sectors: Energy and Infrastructure; Finance and Financial Services; Insurance and Reinsurance; Pharmaceutical; and Private Equity. In addition, the Firm advises clients across a broad spectrum of other industries, including fund formation, venture capital, health care, public finance, real estate, technology, cybersecurity and white collar, while providing a wealth of experience through its complex litigation, intellectual property, tax, regulatory and transactional teams.