Southwest regional CPA firm Weaver has merged with L.T. Hawthorne & Associates Inc., expanding the firm’s services for the petroleum and renewable fuel industries.

The Houston-based Hawthorne team will be joining Weaver’s Renewable and Energy Compliance Practice, which provides a variety of attestation and advisory services to the energy industry, including attestations required by the Environmental Protection Agency, compliance audits of independent and refinery laboratories and Marine Preservation Association dues attestations, which are required for MPA members.

“The merger of L.T. Hawthorne & Associates with Weaver will add strong industry knowledge and improved positioning in our Renewable and Energy Compliance Practice,” said Wade Watson, a partner in assurance services and leader of the Renewable and Energy Compliance Practice at Weaver. “With the growing regulatory burden facing the petroleum and renewable fuels industries, the addition of Hawthorne staff gives us the much-needed ability to expand the scope of our consulting services.”

The Hawthorne team brings refining and fuels expertise and regulatory compliance resources to Weaver and adds experience to the firm’s Renewable and Energy Compliance Practice. Hawthorne specializes in providing operational support, strategic advice and regulatory compliance consulting to the energy industry since 2001.

Tom Hawthorne, president of L.T. Hawthorne & Associates, will continue to work with Weaver, focusing on a smooth transition and continued growth within the Renewable and Energy Compliance Practice. Sandra Dunphy and Ron Chapman, previous directors of L.T. Hawthorne & Associates, will join Weaver as directors of Energy Compliance and will office in Weaver’s Houston location.

“When you combine the two best teams in the industry, the clients can only stand to benefit,” said Hawthorne. “We will now be able to offer more comprehensive services and even broader perspective. That’s increasingly important considering that our client base now numbers over 200, and when one considers the critical role that our expertise plays in optimizing many of their business strategies.”

Originally founded in 1950 as Weaver and Tidwell, L.L.P., the Fort Worth, Texas-based firm does business as Weaver and currently employs approximately 450 employees, including more than 350 accountants and professional staff. With offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Midland, Odessa and San Antonio, Weaver is ranked the largest independent CPA firm in the Southwest by Accounting Today magazine. The firm ranked 49th on Accounting Today’s 2010 list of the Top 100 Firms in the U.S., with $58.1 million. Financial terms of the deal with Hawthorne were not disclosed.

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