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Lead Stories

American Midstream Names New GC: Regina Gregory

rgregory1l By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 25) – Regina Gregory has been the top lawyer at Houston-based American Midstream Partners for only six weeks, but she has already overseen a $2 billion acquisition. A 1996 graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Law, Gregory was named American Midstream’s new general counsel, corporate secretary and senior vice president in September.

Updated - AT&T’s David McAtee, John O’Connor & David Lawson Lead Time Warner Deal

dmcatee1 By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 24) – AT&T General Counsel David McAtee, Associate General Counsel John J. O’Connor, Assistant General Counsel David Lawson and teams of lawyers from Sullivan & Cromwell and Arnold & Porter are leading the communications giant’s efforts to acquire Time Warner for $85 billion.

Post-Spokeo, Standing Arguments Rise and Fall on Interpretation of 'Concreteness'

mhartmann1L By Michelle Hartmann and Christa Powers of Sidley Austin – (Oct. 24) – Before the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, courts frequently collapsed the element of “concrete and particularized,” requiring that a plaintiff merely demonstrate that the injury affected him or her in a personal and individual way.

But following the Supreme Court’s guidance in the Spokeo decision, courts are required to analyze the separate and independent element of “concreteness,” which the Court defined as “quite different from particularization.” This article examines that separate element and post-Spokeo decisions interpreting it.

Disability Law becomes Profit Center for Some

By L.M. Sixel of The Houston Chronicle – (Oct. 24) – A quarter-century ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act required businesses to provide access to patrons in wheelchairs, including accessible parking spaces, curb cuts and ramps. The law left it to individuals to enforce the law. That provision turned the ADA into a cottage industry for lawyers who recruit clients from independent living facilities or disability rights groups and file lawsuits by the thousands against businesses with bathroom mirrors too high or ramps too steep - ultimately settling for several thousand dollars per case. One Texas man alone, represented by an Austin law firm, has filed more than 300 suits over the past 18 months, according to court records.

SEC Refiles Securities Fraud Charges Against Texas AG Paxton

sshipchandler1l By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 21) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed new, amended charges Friday afternoon accusing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of securities fraud. The SEC filed a 41-page amended and redlined complaint in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas that it believes addresses the legal concerns raised earlier by a federal judge who dismissed the government’s original case.

“Paxton falsely characterized, omitted key information, or refused to disclose information about his receipt of Servergy stock on at least four separate occasions: (a) to his investment group; (b) in his tax filings; (c) in his mandated political disclosures; and (d) in testimony before the Commission,” the new SEC complaint states.

EFH & TCEH In-House Legal Departments Take Shape

szmorre1 By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 21) – Energy Future Holdings General Counsel Stacey Doré is out. Stephanie Zapata Moore and Andy Wright are in. When EFH officials announced two weeks ago that TXU Energy and Luminant had emerged from bankruptcy, it also meant a shake up in the power giant’s legal department. Cecily Gooch, Dan Kelly and Gabe Vazquez have been named top assistant general counsel at TCEH. The Texas Lawbook has the details.

Exclusive: Trinity Fights for Legal Principle, Dignity & Billions of Dollars

By Mark Curriden – (Oct. 20) – Two years ago today, an East Texas jury ruled that the Dallas-based Trinity Industries violated the False Claims Act when it failed to inform federal officials that it modified its highway guardrails but kept promoting the product as approved. The verdict was $663 million – the largest in the history of the FCA – and opened the door to a flood of lawsuits that seek billions of dollars in damages against the company.

Now, Trinity Industries is in a legal war for its financial life and its reputation. What happens next could impact whistleblower lawsuits for decades to come. The Texas Lawbook examines the case and Trinity's legal strategy.

V&E Advises QStar in $1.1B Sale of Midland Basin Assets

By Natalie Posgate – (Oct. 19) – Denver-based SM Energy said Tuesday that it is expanding its Midland Basin footprint by purchasing 35,700 acres in the area from EnCap Investments-backed QStar LLC for $1.1 billion.

Mergermarket: Texas Dealflow Flat in Q3 2016, but Law Firm Leader Board Changes

By Natalie Posgate – (Oct. 17) – New Mergermarket data for Texas-based M&A for the third quarter of 2016 is out. The Texas Lawbook has the exclusive. This article examines deal count, deal value and M&A trends. We also have the updated legal advisers rankings showing which law firms are doing the most corporate transactions.

More Stories
M&A Deal Count by Quarter – 2015 vs 2016

M&A Deal Count by Quarter – 2015 vs 2016

Two Energy IPO Filings Spring to Life on the Trading Floor

Two Energy IPO Filings Spring to Life on the Trading Floor

© 2016 The Texas Lawbook. By Natalie Posgate (Oct. 18) – Texas capital markets lawyers focused on the energy sector should bow down to a group of attorneys…

Another Day, Another Billion Dollars in the Oil Patch

Another Day, Another Billion Dollars in the Oil Patch

Lawyers from Baker Botts and Vinson & Elkins said today that they ended last week leading two separate deals worth a collective $1 billion for clients in the…

RSP Permian Buys Silver Hill for $2.4B

RSP Permian Buys Silver Hill for $2.4B

Dallas-based RSP Permian said Thursday that it is buying Silver Hill Energy Partners and Silver Hill E&P II through a cash and stock transaction that totals $2.4 billion.…

Half-Billion Divorce Case Blows Up in Galveston

Half-Billion Divorce Case Blows Up in Galveston

Did you hear about the half-billion dollar divorce in Galveston? Bet not. The divorce was done so quietly that two years ago, almost no one heard about the…

Updated: Phillips 66 Partners Sets Record for its Largest Dropdown Acquisition

Updated: Phillips 66 Partners Sets Record for its Largest Dropdown Acquisition

Houston-based Phillips 66 is selling 30 crude refined products and natural gas liquids assets to its master limited partnership, Phillips 66 Partners, for $1.3 billion, the companies said…

Supreme Court Revisits Pipeline Eminent Domain Issue

Supreme Court Revisits Pipeline Eminent Domain Issue

The Texas Supreme Court is revisiting the high-profile issue of when pipelines are common carriers allowed to condemn private property. Once again the dispute involves the Denbury Green…


Nuremberg Revisited 70 Years Later – And Many North Texas Connections Explored

By Kerry Curry – (Oct. 17) – The Nuremberg trials were 70 years ago, but Plano-based Center for American and International Law will host next week an extraordinary symposium highlighting the many connections between Dallas and the historic trials. The Oct. 24 event will explore key aspects of the trials and today’s implications. CAIL also will unveil rare artifacts collected by former SMU Law Dean Robert Storey during his time as chief counsel to Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson in the prosecution of high-ranking Nazi officials at the Nuremberg trials.


Bringing a Business-Minded Approach to Mediation: Q&A with Johnson Conflict Resolution’s L. J. Johnson

ljohnson1l By Brooks Igo – (Oct. 11) – L.J. Johnson, founder of Dallas-based Johnson Conflict Resolution, is one of a new generation of mediators using creative and business-minded approaches to resolving conflict. In this Q&A with The Texas Lawbook, Johnson discusses how his experience as a former general counsel of three private equity funds shapes his approach to dispute resolution and highlights trends in mediation.


Lawyers & Firms

Houston Trial Lawyer Tom Bayko Jumps to Porter Hedges

Houston Trial Lawyer Tom Bayko Jumps to Porter Hedges

Bayko has tried cases or arbitrations under the applicable laws of 34 countries around the…

Greenberg Traurig Signs International Energy Expert Alfredo Ramos

Ramos says Dec. 5, 2016 is a significant day for clients interested in doing business…

Porter Hedges Lures Real Estate Pro George Craft, Jr.

Craft, Jr. focuses his practice on representing institutional lenders on a variety of real estate…

Dykema Cox Smith Member Marty Truss Named St. Mary’s Distinguished Law Graduate

Truss and the Honorable Donna Rayes of the 81st Judicial District of Texas will be…

T&K Partner Wilson Jones Selected President of The Dallas Assembly

Jones will succeed current president Roger Gault of The Gault Company. …

Gardere Names Timothy Spear Co-Chair of Energy Industry Team

Spear focuses his practice on acquisitions, divestitures and financing of energy and infrastructure projects.…

Texas Tech Law Dean Dickerson Jumps to John Marshall Law in Chicago

Texas Tech Law Dean Dickerson Jumps to John Marshall Law in Chicago

Texas Tech University School of Law Dean Darby Dickerson, known for her successful diversity and…

Ten Things GCs Need to Know When Searching for the Perfect Arbitration Clause

Ten Things GCs Need to Know When Searching for the Perfect Arbitration Clause

In this edition of “Ten Things,” I search for the perfect arbitration clause. Alas, much…

Houston Corporate Law Partners Bank, Dallas Lawyers’ Pay Lags

Houston Corporate Law Partners Bank, Dallas Lawyers’ Pay Lags

Corporate partners in Houston have seen their annual compensation skyrocket during the past two years…

Kirkland & Ellis Promotes Four to Partner in Houston

Kfir Abutbul, Mark Ramzy, Bradford Rossi and Rahul Vashi are in the firm's M&A/Private Equity…

Bracewell Lures White Collar Practice Team in Dallas

The four-person group, led by Barrett Howell and Brandon McCarthy, lateraled from K&L Gates.…

Kelly Hart’s Ronak Patel Receives NASAA Award

Patel, a former deputy securities commissioner of Texas, focuses his practice on government investigations and…

Lloyd Gosselink Selects New Managing Principal

Lauren Kalisek will step in as the firm’s managing principal at the beginning of 2017…

Dykema Cox Smith Strengthens Litigation Team in Dallas

Craig Woods, who was previously at Greenberg Traurig, will also be a part of Dykema’s…

Godwin Bowman & Martinez Names Bruce Bowman President and Managing Shareholder

Bowman will also continue to serve as general counsel of the Dallas-based firm and co-chair…

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Lawyers in the News

Barry Barnett
Sam Boyd
Gabe Castro
Jeff Chapman
Stacey Doré
John Ely
Rodney Gilstrap
Cecily Gooch
Michelle Hartmann
James Ho
Dan Kelly
David Lawson
David McAtee
Tom Melsheimer
Stephanie Zapata Moore
John O’Connor
Yvette Ostolaza
Theis Rice
Brian Robison
Omar Rosales
Ronald Smeberg
Sarah Teachout
Gabe Vazquez
Andy Wright

Firms in the News

Ewing & Jones
Gibson Dunn
McKool Smith
Roach & Newton
Susman Godfrey
Trinity Industries
Ward & Smith

The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker reports M&A activity and securities offerings handled by lawyers based in Texas, even if those transactions involve non-Texas-based companies. The Corporate Deal Tracker ranks matters by deal/offering count primarily and value secondarily. The data includes the announcement date, the names of the companies involved and the lawyers and their law firms. These charts are up to date as of September 30, 2016.

Please contact us if you see any information that is inaccurate or missing.

Click on each Chart to see a full listing:


Corp. Deal Tracker Exclusive: Top Firms, Lawyers Vie for Work in Tight Deal Market

Total Deal Count by Law Firm Short
By Natalie Posgate – (Aug. 8) – The Corporate Deal Tracker rankings for the first half of 2016 are official. The usual law firms and individual lawyers rank in the top 20 for M&A and securities offerings, but there are a few surprises. The numbers show that, despite the oil and gas slow down, Houston transactional lawyers are still busier than their Dallas counterparts. The bottom line is that competition among M&A and capital markets lawyers is fiercer than ever, even as deal activity remains slow.


Corporate Deal Tracker: Door Cracks Open for Capital Markets

Securities-Offering-Count Short
By Natalie Posgate – (Aug. 3) – Texas lawyers found that the capital markets remained tight-fisted during the first six months of this year, but new data indicates that the door to the vault might be cracking open ever so slightly for the rest of 2016.

The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker shows that Texas-based lawyers worked on 115 securities offerings valued at $51.5 billion in the first half of the year. That marks a significant decline from the deal flow witnessed in H1 2015 – down 35 percent on count and 45 percent on value – but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the market conditions during the second half of last year, the data shows.


Corporate Deal Tracker: Texas Lawyers Stay Busy Despite Wacky M&A Climate

M&A Deal Count by Sector Short By Natalie Posgate - The value of M&A transactions in the energy sector plummeted 65 percent during in the first half of 2016. Overall corporate deals worth $500 million or more were down by 13 percent. Billion-dollar plus transactions were down 19 percent. Private deals are up. Deals involving bankruptcy assets are up. The Texas Lawbook's exclusive Corporate Deal Tracker has all the M&A data from H1 2016 and predictions for the rest of the year. shadowseprright1

Mergermarket: Texas M&A Dollar Declines Again in Q2

Texas-based M&A X2s Short By Natalie Posgate - M&A lawyers in Texas who thought the first quarter was bad should brace for even worse news. Deal count was pathetically low during the second quarter of 2016 and the value of the transactions that were announced plummeted to lows the market has not seen since 2009 and the Great Recession. In addition, an increasing number of large deals being considered fell apart before closing. shadowseprright1

Texas Financial Advisers: M&A Activity will Surge in Q4

By Kerry Curry - Merger-and-acquisition activity crawled along during the first half of 2016, but leading financial advisers in Texas predict an acceleration of deal flow and size before the end of year. Financial advisers from KPMG, Tudor Pickering Holt, Grant Thornton and Anderson King Energy say they expect private equity firms and traditional investors in the oil patch to return to the deal market later after sitting on the sidelines for the past 18 months.