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Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s empire is expanding with a high-profile new venture. Giuliani is becoming a partner in a politically connected Texas law firm Bracewell & Patterson – to be renamed Bracewell & – you guess.

Rudolph W. Giuliani’s empire is expanding with a high-profile new venture: Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, is becoming a partner in a politically connected Texas law firm and will open its Manhattan office in May.

The Houston law firm, Bracewell & Patterson, employs several prominent Republicans and former members of the Bush administration and has a roster of oil, gas and banking clients that once included Enron. It will be renamed Bracewell & Giuliani this week and open a 25,000-square-foot Midtown office in May with an initial complement of 20 lawyers, said the firm’s managing partner, Patrick C. Oxford. The Midtown site has not been chosen, he said.
But even if a new shingle will soon bear his name, Mr. Giuliani, the former federal prosecutor, noted on Tuesday that he was not restarting his legal career at the expense of a future return to politics.

“At some point I’ll probably want to run again but I don’t know,” Mr. Giuliani said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where he was taping an appearance on the “Tonight Show” for NBC.

Asked if opening a law firm in 2005 would rule out a run for governor of New York in 2006, about which there has been some speculation, Mr. Giuliani said, “If it does, it does, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

Mr. Oxford said the firm planned to have Mr. Giuliani and two other partners – Michael D. Hess, the city’s corporation counsel under Mr. Giuliani, and Daniel S. Connolly, who was Mr. Hess’s special counsel – recruit more than 100 seasoned litigators and young associates “in the next few years” to the New York office, which will focus on high-end business and finance cases.

All three men are founding members of Giuliani Partners, the former mayor’s consulting firm; they will continue there, while also joining Bracewell as partners.

Mr. Giuliani said there could be some overlap in clients among the law firm, Giuliani Partners and another enterprise of his, Giuliani Capital Advisors, but that he was not re-entering the legal arena simply to expand his business interests.

“That may happen, but the purpose is to grow the law firm,” Mr. Giuliani said. He declined to disclose his financial stake in Bracewell & Giuliani, or discuss other compensation aspects of the arrangement.

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