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Fifth Circuit Affirms $3M Win for Gray Reed in Franchise Dispute

By Natalie Posgate – (Sept. 19) – Houston and Dallas lawyers from Gray Reed & McGraw have secured a $3.15 million appellate win for a cleaning franchisor that had a contract dispute with its partner in the United Kingdom. In a one-sentence unpublished opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed three previous orders by U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle and retired U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis of the Northern District of Texas that ruled in favor of Gray Reed’s client, Addison-based Jani-King Franchising, the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchise company.

V&E, Bracewell counsel on Enbridge’s $3.5B purchase of affiliates

By Claire Poole – (Sept. 19) – Consolidation continued in the midstream oil and gas industry, with Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. announcing Tuesday it was buying what it didn’t own of Enbridge Energy Partners and Enbridge Energy Management for $3.5 billion in stock. Texas lawyers from two firms were involved. More details in The Texas Lawbook.

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A Cost-Effective Strategy for Buying Cyber Insurance: Raise Response-Cost Limits to Equal Aggregate Policy Limits

(Sept. 19) – You know your business needs cyber insurance. You even know what aggregate limit you need to buy. But how do you get the most bang for your buck? David White of Thompson & Knight explains why you should max out the sublimit for the cost of your initial response to a cyberattack.

Latest Deepwater Horizon Case Brings Question of Insurance Limits for Defense Expense

By Janet Elliott – AUSTIN (Sept. 18) – The Texas Supreme Court heard Anadarko argue against strict limits on insurance reimbursements for defense costs, the latest Deepwater Horizon case to reach the state’s highest court. The dispute involves high-risk surplus lines insurance commonly purchased by drillers, and is being closely watched for its impact on that market. Janet Elliott covered the oral arguments for The Texas Lawbook.

CDT Weekly Roundup: Seven Firms, 44 Lawyers, 9 Transactions Worth $3.57B

By Claire Poole – (Sept. 18) – The transactions of the past week were generated in more varied sectors than the usual oil and gas industry. Rental, healthcare, tradeshow, food and real estate deals all made a showing – evidence that Texas is no one-trick pony; but get ready for more fundraising by oil and gas-focused private equity funds as the sector recovers on the back of higher commodity prices.

Woodlands-based Nexeo Solutions Agrees to $2 Billion Sale

By Claire Poole – (Sept. 18) – The Woodlands-based chemicals and plastics distributor Nexeo Solutions announced Monday it had agreed to be purchased by Univar of Illinois for $2 billion, including debt. TPG-backed Nexeo was purchased for $1.58 billion in 2016 by blank-check company WL Ross Holding Corp. – run by now-U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Jr. TPG is still a shareholder. Find more on the deal in The Lawbook.

SEC Charges Colleyville Broker-Dealer with Fraud

By Mark Curriden – (Sept. 17) – Thomas Caufield was not a character in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, but the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says he has been up to no good nonetheless. The SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office charged Caufield, a 30-year veteran of the securities industry, with offering fraud Monday related to his Texas-based investment education franchise.

Jury: Crossroads Church Owes Ex-Pastor $3.7M

By Mark Curriden – (Sept. 17) – After a heated three-day trial in a Tarrant County District Court, an 11-person jury slapped Crossroads Christian Church in Grand Prairie with a $3.7 million judgment. The jury found that church leaders violated a legally binding commitment it made to its former executive pastor of 20 years, Mel Dietz, and his wife, Vicki Dietz. The Lawbook has details.

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West Texas Celebrates Investiture of Judge David Counts

By Natalie Posgate – (Sept. 17) – U.S. District Judge David Counts may have taken the gavel with scant fanfare in January, but there was a lot of work to do. Last week the Texas legal community made up for that. Friends, family and colleagues converged on West Texas for a ceremonial do-over at Judge Counts’ judicial investiture in Midland. They were there to celebrate the remarkable career of a lawyer who has done it all: from convicting a famous serial killer to winning confirmation from a highly partisan U.S. Senate, 96-0. Litigation writer Natalie Posgate was there and describes the scene for The Texas Lawbook.

Lynn Pinker Files Trade Secrets Lawsuit Against Boeing

By Natalie Posgate – (Sept. 13) – The Boeing Company and its subsidiary Boeing Capital Corp. were served Wednesday afternoon with a lawsuit that alleges the aircraft manufacturing giant stole trade secrets from an insurance company that had proposed creating a private alternative to the Export-Import Bank, the U.S. government’s official credit agency.

Gardner Haas Wins Major Fraud Sanctions in Delaware Chancery Court

By Natalie Posgate – (Sept. 13) – Lying may have become fashionable in some corners of the social and political climate, but this week a Delaware Chancery Court judge said the fabrications of an executive seeking employment at Trascent Management Consulting amounted to both perjury and fraud. Lawbook Litigation Writer Natalie Posgate has the story of a defendant who couldn’t stop fibbing, even under oath.

More Stories

CDT Weekly Roundup: 10 Firms, 131 Lawyers, 13 Transactions Worth Nearly $5.9B

All the transactions were M&A or private-equity related, with nary a single capital markets transaction involving a Texas lawyer.…

DBJ: Feds charge Addison marijuana investment firm with fraud, seize $1.4M in cash

Addison marijuana investor Greenview Investment Partners has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly making false promises about its returns to those wanting to put…

2nd Circuit Affirms Debtors’ Ability to Reject Gathering Agreements in Bankruptcy Cases

In this article, lawyers from King & Spalding say that although the recent wave of oil and gas bankruptcies has crested and prices have somewhat rebounded, the Second…

CDT Weekly Roundup: 15 Firms, 86 Lawyers, 14 Transactions Worth $5B

According to recent data released by PitchBook, there were 1,358 middle market deals involving private equity in the first half of 2018, up 16 percent over the same…

Features

Is Texas Civil Jury System Facing a Crisis? – Q&A with Trial Lawyer & New Author Tom Melsheimer

(Sept. 19) – The number of civil jury trials in Texas has declined for the past two decades, and that is bad for the law and bad for business. Winston & Strawn partner Tom Melsheimer and Dallas Judge Craig Smith recently published a book, On the Jury Trial, discussing the importance and effectiveness of juries in deciding disputes. The book is the focus of a CLE program next Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the SMU Dedman School of Law. The Texas Lawbook interviewed Melsheimer about the book and attacks on the jury system.

Closing Is A Big Deal, But It Isn’t Everything

(Sept. 18) – With civil jury trials on the decline everywhere, genuine courtroom experience is hard to come by. With that in mind, The Texas Lawbook is pleased to provide our readers with this exclusive excerpt from On The Jury Trial: Principles and Practices For Effective Advocacy, a recently-released book on trial strategies from two extraordinary courtroom veterans, Tom Melsheimer and Judge Craig Smith. In this chapter, the authors argue that closing arguments, while important and dramatic, aren’t necessarily the most important phase of a trial.

CLE Opportunity: Be a part of the conversation on the Future of the American Jury Trial

 

RSVP today for a Texas Lawbook CLE Ethics program at SMU Dedman School of Law.

Date: Sept. 26
Time: 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Reception and book signing to follow.

General admission: $60
Premium subscribers/SMU Dedman alumni: $30
ACC-DFW members: Free

V&E, Latham and Baker Botts Dominate Capital Markets Work in H1 2018

 

(Sept. 17) – Three law firms operating in Texas dominated capital markets activity by advising on 70.5 percent of all securities offerings during the first half of 2018, according to data collected exclusively by The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker.
But Deal Tracker data also shows that the legal industry in Texas for the CapM practice is quickly evolving as the result of the heated lateral market, and that the rankings could be be vastly different during the second half of 2018.

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Corporate Deal Tracker Exclusive: Texas CapM Practice Disappointing in H1 2018

 

By Claire Poole – (Sept. 6) – The number of securities offerings handled by Texas lawyers who specialize in capital markets remained disappointingly low during the first six months of 2018, while the amount of money raised jumped to the second highest level in three years, according to exclusive new data collected by The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker. The Lawbook provides in-depth analysis of the data from capital markets experts, who also look at the year ahead.

 

The Biggest Securities Offerings of H1 2018

By Claire Poole – (Sept. 6) – What was the largest securities offering so far this year? Hint: A Dallas-based midstream company was involved. This article looks at the five largest capital markets transactions involving Texas lawyers during the first six months of 2018.

GCs, Lawyers & Firms

Blank Rome Adds Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Expert in Houston

James Grogan was most recently at Paul Hastings.…

Dallas Litigation and IP Shop Relocates to Comerica Bank Tower

Seven-lawyer Harper Bates & Champion has moved its offices from Mockingbird Station to Comerica Bank…

Kasowitz Picks Up Houston Restructuring Partner

Kyung Lee previously led the restructuring and reorganization group at Diamond McCarthy, where he practiced…

Jones Walker Adds Another Former Energy Executive to Houston Office

The Louisiana-based law firm announced on Wednesday that Jim Noe, one of the original members…

Thompson Coe Announces Largest New Partner Class in Firm History

The Dallas firm minted 14 attorneys firmwide, including 13 in Texas.…

Dallas Corporate Immigration Law Boutique Adds Cindy Kang Ansbach

Ansbach, the former head of Norton Rose Fulbright’s global immigration practice, was most recently running…

Corporate Deal Tracker

New to Corporate Deal Tracker, or need a refresher on its criteria? You can also find that below.

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Lawyers in the News

Will Anderson
David Buck
Michael Byrd
J. Michael Chambers
Emery Choi
Keith Clouse
Chris Collins
David Counts
Susan Cox
Jon Daly
Josh Davidson
Christopher Davis
Alain Dermarkar
Jeffrey Dunlop
Matt Falcone
Michael Farnell Jr.
Chris Ferazzi
Alex Frutos
Royal Furgeson
Orlando Garcia
Brad Gathright
John Gilluly
John Goodgame
John Greer
Phil Haines
J. Clifton Hall III
Robert Hannan
William Heller
Brett Johnson
Ramey Layne
Benton Lewis
Ryan Maierson
Louis Matthews
Doug McWilliams
Tom Melsheimer
Seth Molay
Bill Nelson
Mike O’Leary
David Oelman
Matthew Pacey
Robert Pitman
John Pitts
David Prichard
Doug Rayburn
Shamoil Shipchandler
Craig Smith
Jerry Smith
Charles Still
Michael Stockham
David Stone
Andrew Stubblefield
David Sweeney
Christina Tate
Mike Telle
George Vlahakos
Melvin Warren
Kyle Watson
Sean Wheeler
Blake Winburne
Marie Yeates
Mingda Zhao

Firms in the News

Akin Gump
Baker Botts
BlueLine
Bracewell
Bradley
Clouse Brown
DLA Piper
Gibson Dunn
Hall Maines
Haynes and Boone
Hunton AK
Jackson Walker
Jones Day
Kirkland
Latham
Mayer Brown
Nexeo
Orrick
Sidley
T&K
V&E
Weil
Winston & Strawn

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Mergermarket: Top 30 M&A Texas-based Deals of H1 2018

(Aug. 3) – In the first half of 2018, the top 30 M&A transactions involving Texas-headquartered companies were pretty big deals. That’s not a big surprise. The surprise is how much the value of those deals were dominated by the top two.

As gathered by Mergermarket exclusively for The Texas Lawbook, the top 30 transactions were valued at $124.9 billion. But the top two deals accounted for more than $54 billion, or nearly 44 percent of the top 30 total.


M&A H1 Legal Advisor Rankings: Shake Outs At The Top

By Claire Poole – (July 27) – Even for a 2018 characterized by shake-ups – firm mergers, office openings, lateral raids – the changes at the top of the first-half M&A legal advisor charts are remarkable. V&E dropped. Kirkland ascended. And two national firms with no presence in Texas took the top deal value spots.

According to Mergermarket M&A data involving Texas-based companies provided exclusively to The Texas Lawbook, Houston-based Vinson & Elkins lost its top-ranked spots in both deal volume and deal value.

‘Who Run the World?’ Beyoncé Notwithstanding, An Austin M&A Lawyer Do

By Claire Poole – (April 20) – The Texas Lawbook Corporate Deal Tracker results for 2017 are in, and the top spot is held by a woman. In a corner of the profession long dominated by white guys from Houston, this is a big deal. Claire Poole has details about the winner. One more thing: she recently moved.


Law Firm Competition Intense for M&A Deals in Texas

By Claire Poole and Mark Curriden – (April 16) – The Texas Lawbook’s 2017 Corporate Deal Tracker results for M&A dealmaking are final and there are some major surprises. V&E still reigns No. 1, but a handful of national law firms that have moved into Texas are threatening to take its crown. The Texas Lawbook has all the numbers on M&A by Texas law firms.


Corporate Deal Tracker 2017: A Year of Market Contrasts

By Claire Poole – (March 26) – Dealmaking in 2017 was confounding: deals were up, but values were down. The deal count hit 735, but total reported value dropped below $400 billion. There are lots of reasons, of course. But maybe the best explanation is the market itself. Claire Poole sums up the year based on the 2017 annual Corporate Deal Tracker tallies exclusively in The Texas Lawbook.

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EFH, Oncor, Vistra – A Corporate Restructuring for the Decades

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 19) – In some ways, it was more saga than bankruptcy: A four-year-long, $45 billion corporate restructuring that included the elimination of more than $20 billion in debt, four corporate M&A divestitures valued at $18 billion each, heated battles with state regulators that caused two of those deals to collapse, and the $20 billion spin-off of two subsidiaries. And now the deal is a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Mark Curriden describes the EFH journey through the courts in The Texas Lawbook.

Dena Stroh & NTTA’s Law Firms Finalists for Biz Litigation and M&A Deal of Year

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 18) – Dena Stroh says she had no idea that government law could be fascinating. But in 2017, she guided the North Texas Tollway Authority through one of the largest government bond issues in the U.S., as well as a potentially major class-action lawsuit. For that, and more, she and what she calls her “excellent lawyers” are nominated in two categories of the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read the details in The Texas Lawbook.

Michael Sukenik is ‘Adept at Operating Across Diverse Markets’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 18) – Michael “Misha” Sukenik travels a lot. He’s the legal officer behind two of the best known franchise names in the Yum! Brands inventory in 120 countries. He’s also a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about him in The Texas Lawbook.

Trinity Industries: Their Hard-Fought Fifth Circuit Win Yields Three Outstanding Corporate Counsel Finalists

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – A 2014 East Texas jury verdict that Trinity Industries violated the False Claims Act resulted in a $663 million judgment against the Irving-based manufacturer of highway guardrails. Instead of cratering, Trinity launched a counter-offensive led by the company’s top legal officers, Theis Rice and Sarah Teachout. In 2017, the duo and their outside counsel scored an historic reversal—earning them nominations as finalists in three categories of the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. The Texas Lawbook explains.

Chasity Henry is a ‘Recognized Problem-Solver’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – Chasity Wilson Henry had just graduated from law school in 2006 when she found herself handling nine-figure M&A deals with some of the savviest corporate lawyers in North Texas. Now Assistant General Counsel at Kimberly-Clark—and a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards—Henry is leading the legal department in strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. The Texas Lawbook lays out the reasons Henry is a fast-rising legal star.

Blake Rice’s Job is ‘Problem-solving with Really High Stakes’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 17) – For Blake Rice, the work day starts early. Though he is based in Dallas, the lifelines of Neuberger Berman, the fast-rising investment services company he represents, stretch across time zones from London to Hong Kong and beyond. His grasp of complicated global transactions has earned him both respect and a nomination for a 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award. Learn about him in The Texas Lawbook.

David Hernandez Serves as Trusted Counselor & Adviser to Hunt Family

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – Baltimore-born David Hernandez made his reputation in Texas as a tax lawyer and a strategic thinker. After years in the law firm trenches, he has emerged as a masterful in-house counsel at Hunt Consolidated and a trusted Hunt family advisor in a time of delicate transition. For this, and more, Hernandez is a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Learn more about him in The Texas Lawbook.

Janie Perelman: ‘People Just Want to be Treated with Respect’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – A massive data breach in 2014 could have been catastrophic for Michaels Stores. The arts and crafts company had to explain what happened to regulators, notify 2.6 million customers and fend off no less than five massive lawsuits. But Michaels has recovered, and many credit the rapid and transparent response by Janie Perelman, the company’s assistant general counsel. And now she’s a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read how she did it in The Texas Lawbook.

Lennie Nicholson Wanted to be Radar O’Reilly, but Became a Great Banking Lawyer

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 16) – Lennie Nicholson has helped guide a tiny credit union into a publicly-traded company. For that, the vice president and associate general counsel of LegacyTexas Bank has been named as a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Not bad for an Upstate New Yorker who got hoodwinked by Uncle Sam. Read more in The Texas Lawbook.

Chris Luna Uses ‘Carrots and Sticks’ to Push for Law Firm Diversity

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 15) – Chris Luna, chief counsel at MetroPCS, has been a fixture in Dallas business and public life. He is an outspoken proponent of diversity in both the legal profession and the businesses they serve. His legal department is a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Find out why in The Texas Lawbook.

Liberty Mutual Corporate Counsel Kimberly Houston “Sees the Bigger Picture”

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 15) – Kimberly Houston’s fascination with the law may have begun with “Matlock,” but it’s grown into an expertise on such weighty subjects as employment misclassification and regulatory compliance. As Corporate Counsel for Liberty Mutual, the insurance giant, Houston has wrestled with large-scale undertakings, from a class action defense to the development of the company’s new corporate campus in North Texas. And now she’s a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about her in The Texas Lawbook.

Stacie McNulty ‘Embodies the Spirit’ of the Public Service & Pro Bono Award

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 12) – Stacie McNulty is a highly-respected authority on intellectual property. Her observations on the subject have been cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. But her long-standing commitment to programs dealing with HIV and other public health issues commands something close to awe. As a result, she’s a finalist in the upcoming Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Details in The Texas Lawbook.

Award Finalist: Oncor’s Complex Asset Swap with Sharyland

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 12) – When Oncor Electric Delivery Company and Dallas-based Sharyland Utilities swapped assets in 2017, it was more than another $400 energy distribution deal. It was a solution to a problem that had plagued and perplexed 60,000 rate payers. That’s one of the reasons the deal is a finalist in the 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about what made it unusual and who made it happen in The Texas Lawbook.

Nicola Hobeiche Has a ‘Personal Sense of Obligation to Help Others’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 11) – Nicola Hobeiche is assistant general counsel at ORIX USA, but her office is often a minefield: of books or clothes or toys headed for a homeless shelter. Sure, she’s an experienced and respected trial lawyer, but she’s also a first-rate community servant and a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. Read about her in The Texas Lawbook.

Brittany Perez ‘Crafts Unique & Custom Solutions to Complex Legal Issues Around the Globe’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 11) – Brittany Perez jumps horses in competition. As vice president and associate general counsel of Match.com, she’s also involved in issues as diverse as consumer class actions and cybersecurity. She’s a finalist in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards and her profile in The Texas Lawbook spells out why. Spoiler alert: She didn’t meet her husband on Match.

Keitha Wright ‘Rolls Up her Sleeves’ on Diversity

 


By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 10) – Keitha Wright was the first person in her family to graduate from college. Now the Howard University Law School grad is senior counsel at G2 Secure Staff. Because of her work inside and outside, she’s a finalist in the diversity category of the Outstanding Corporate Counsel awards. More in The Texas Lawbook.

Baron Oursler Offers ‘Legal Answers that Provide Business Solutions’

 

By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 10) – Baron T. Oursler decided to become a lawyer as an 11-year-old boy. Now he’s general counsel of a $1 billion trucking company. He’s also among finalists in the Outstanding Corporate Counsel awards for 2017. Read more in The Texas Lawbook.

Cross-Border Dealmaking for TX Companies Plunges in 2017

 

By Claire Poole and Mark Curriden – (Dec. 6) – Cross-border deals in Texas are down dramatically in 2017. Aside from the usual suspects – a strong dollar and undependable oil prices – is a new one: the uncertain parameters of the Trump administration’s “America First” policies. Some transactional lawyers think a lack of policy structure breeds uncertainty among foreign investors. Others think it has no effect at all. This exclusive in The Texas Lawbook has the numbers and the story behind them.