Our Team

Specializing in mergers, acquisitions, and consulting for law firms.


We believe that successful growth follows a successful strategy. At Compass Law Group we have over a hundred years of combined experience working with law firms to expand in existing markets or to take on new ones. We are trusted consultants on recruiting, retention, diversity, profitability, and legacy planning.

Our approach is to work directly with your executive committee to craft a strategic growth plan. This may include the acquisition of one or more smaller firms, adding strategic groups, or an office opening built around a new team of attorneys pulled from other firms.


Rusty Branch

Founding Partner

Rusty Branch is the founder of Compass Law Group. Rusty specializes in helping AM Law firms enter new markets as well as strategically expand across the country. He has been in the legal industry for 20+ years, has helped structure and close 500+ Am Law Partner acquisitions, and has been part of 20+ Am Law Office openings. He is a seasoned veteran who understands the benefits and pitfalls of lateral acquisitions and is a useful ally in the boardroom while clients are mapping out strategic growth opportunities.

Rusty grew up in Allen, TX where he has lived for nearly 50 years. He and his wife of 25 years, Kari, have four boys – Cooper, Carson, Kyle, and Kolby. They enjoy watching their boys play sports, traveling and following college football.


Hayden Flowers

Houston Managing Partner

Hayden Flowers is a veteran legal recruiter based in Houston, TX. Hayden is a trusted advisor to managing partners and Am Law firms across the nation. In his career he has placed partners, groups, expanded existing offices, opened new markets, and facilitated law firm mergers. 

Hayden was born in Oklahoma City, which accounts for his lifelong attachment to the OU Sooners. After college Hayden started recruiting IT, sales, and medical professionals, before switching to the legal industry where he has been for 20+ years. Hayden is married and has three grown children. He enjoys watching football, skiing, working in the yard, and playing with his grandchildren.


John Thomas

Atlanta Managing Partner

John Thomas is a veteran legal recruiter based in Atlanta, Georgia specializing in moving partners, groups, and facilitating new office openings. John has been in legal recruiting for 17 years.  John is from Angleton, TX, the gulf coast, south of Houston. He is married and has three girls and a dog.

John graduated from Sam Houston State university, and before recruiting he was a sales manager at Southwestern. John enjoys playing golf, being outdoors, being involved at his local church, and traveling the world to fish in new locations.


MacKenzie Alexander


MacKenzie Alexander is a successful legal recruiter based in Dallas, TX. Being the daughter of two litigators, she feels right at home working with partners. MacKenzie has moved partners, groups, and has put together a new office opening for an Am Law 50 firm. She has been with Compass Law Group for four years. 

After graduating from Rhodes College, MacKenzie moved to NYC and worked for Victoria’s Secret Corporate for two years. She then moved to TEKsystems, where she focused on Tech Recruiting. After 3.5 years in NYC, she decided it was time to move back home to Texas and joined Compass Law Group.


Sonny Howard


Sonny Howard is an experienced legal recruiter based in the Houston area. Sonny specializes in placing partners, groups, and in putting together new office openings. In his seven years of legal recruiting, he has done everything from placing associates at boutique IP firms to helping open an office for a global Am Law 50 firm.

After graduating college, he spent some time in student ministry, and then in commercial real estate before making the shift to legal recruiting.  Sonny grew up in Houston, and lives with his wife, three kids, a dog, and a cat. He loves hiking in the mountains and gets to Colorado as often as possible.


Lawson Flowers


Lawson Flowers is a legal recruiter based in the Houston area. Lawson is a trusted advisor to firms looking to grow existing offices or open new markets. From top AM Law 200 firms to smaller regional firms to in-house positions, Lawson enjoys helping attorneys take the next right step in building their career.

Lawson is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin. In his free time he enjoys the outdoors, working out, reading, and spending time with his wife and five children. He is involved in his local community and serves as a pastor at his church.


Jesse McDonald

Chief Operating Officer

Jesse McDonald is the Chief Operating Officer at Compass Law Group. He has been with CLG since January 2015. Jesse was born and raised in Southern California, and moved to Texas in 2014. Jesse is married and has 2 young children.

He enjoys watching his kids play sports, playing golf and building furniture.


Ben Kessler

Legal Recruiter

Ben Kessler is a seasoned legal recruiter based in Nashville, Tennessee. He specializes in moving partners, groups and assisting Am Law firms in opening new offices across the country. He has been in legal recruiting for 11 years.

Ben grew up in Denver, Colorado and graduated from Baylor University. Before recruiting he was a sales manager at Southwestern, where he met his wife. Ben enjoys the outdoors, traveling, skiing, and following Denver sports.