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Lead Stories

Three Firms Advise in $910 Million Piceance Basin Deal

By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 12) – Houston-based Terra Energy Partners said it will purchase Tulsa-based WPX Energy’s Colorado subsidiary, WPX Energy Rocky Mountain, for $910 million in cash. Financing for Terra's acquisition includes a debt offering and equity commitments from private investors. Texas lawyers were involved in all facets.

Jury Awards $53 Million to Irving Man in A&M Stadium Wrongful Death Case


By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 11) – Houston attorney Jason A. Gibson secured a $53 million award on Wednesday from a Harris County jury that found the construction company in charge of A&M's recent Kyle Field renovations largely responsible for a Irving construction worker's 2013 death. Gibson turned down a $150,000 settlement offer by the defense the day before jurors returned the eight-figure verdict.

V&E: Still the King of the Oil Patch


By Natalie Posgate – HOUSTON (Feb. 11) –The Houston-based law firm has dominated M&A league tables for law firms representing Texas-based businesses for as long as such accounting has taken place, thanks to its strength in advising clients in the energy sector. As a result, V&E reported record revenues and profits in 2014, as the lawyers in its Texas offices generated more than $1 million in revenues each. But many legal industry observers and competitors privately predicted V&E’s legacy of supremacy in Texas M&A would end in 2015. V&E certainly seemed vulnerable. But the firm still remained at the top.

Find out why in this article.

Chris LaFollette: The No. 1 Texas M&A Dealmaker in 2015

By Natalie Posgate – HOUSTON (Feb. 11) – The Houston Akin Gump partner led more M&A deals than any other lawyer in the Lone Star State this past year. The Texas Lawbook sat down with LaFollette and heard her insights on M&A activity in 2015 and what’s in store for 2016.

Low Oil Prices Sink 2015 Texas M&A Activity

By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 9) – M&A deals involving Texas-based companies declined 23 percent last year, according to Mergermarket. The downturn was significantly more pronounced in the energy sector, which saw a near 40 percent decline in deal-making in 2015 from the year before. As a result, 16 of the top 25 corporate law firms representing companies saw a decline in their Texas-based M&A work – some by as much as 45 percent.

There is good news, however, from The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker, which shows many of the law firms that lost deal work from Texas oil and gas companies generated a sizeable amount of work – as much as 53 percent – from clients outside of Texas.

Chris May: The Biggest Moneymaker in 2015 M&A

cmay By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 9) – The relatively new Texan and young partner at Simpson Thacher ranks No. 1 across the state in deal value by individual lawyer – and by a lot. New data from The Texas Lawbook's Corporate Deal Tracker reveals that May led $91.7 billion worth of deals in 2015.

Financial Advisers take Hit in Texas M&A in 2015

By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 8) – Investment banks focused on oil and gas in Texas saw their M&A deal count plummet in 2015. Mergermarket shows that some financial advisers – Tudor Pickering Holt, RBC Capital, JPMorgan, Citi and Barclays – were hit harder than others. A handful of investment banks – Lazard, Credit Suisse, Piper Jaffray, BMO Capital and Lincoln International – increased the number of Texas-based deals they handled. Deloitte restructuring expert William Snyder says a few financial advisory groups are well positioned for the wave headed our way.

Kelly Hart and Underwood Law Advise in $725 Million Waggoner Ranch Sale

By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 9) – A state district judge this week approved the L.A. Rams owner Stan Kroenke as the buyer of the long-fought-after W.T. Waggoner Ranch in North Texas. Kroenke is buying the property for $725 million.

Hurst and Brown Leave Gruber for Lynn

hurst-brownL By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 8) – Prominent Dallas trial lawyers Michael K. Hurst and Shonn Brown, who represent Ray Hunt and Highland Capital in multimillion-dollar litigation, are leaving Gruber Hurst for crosstown rival Lynn Pinker Cox. Hurst and Brown are taking five lawyers with them. The Texas Lawbook interviewed all parties.

Dallas Lawyer Chosen to Leadership Post in Airline Antitrust Litigation

wburns1L By Mark Curriden – (Feb. 4) – A federal judge in Washington, D.C. overseeing a series of antitrust class action lawsuits against American, Southwest and other airlines has appointed Dallas trial lawyer Warren Burns of Burns Charest to a co-leadership role in the litigation. Southwest GC Mark Shaw hired Vinson & Elkins to defend the airline. American hired O'Melveny and Myers.

Houston Natural Gas Storage Company Files for Bankruptcy

prergrine1t By Natalie Posgate – (Feb. 4) – Ryckman Creek Resources and its parent, Peregrine Midstream Partners filed for Chapter 11 reorganization earlier this week, following experts’ projection of an uptick in bankruptcy filings by energy companies this year as oil prices remain low.

Top Stories
SCOTX Denies Chesapeake’s Request for Rehearing in <em>Hyder</em> Case

SCOTX Denies Chesapeake’s Request for Rehearing in Hyder Case

The Supreme Court of Texas upheld its ruling from last year when the majority interpreted a drilling lease as clearly excluding post-production costs from royalties.…

FCPA Blog: Low Oil Prices Hurt FCPA Compliance Efforts

Energy and natural resource executives highlight specific areas of concern in a KPMG International survey.…

Simpson Thacher’s Chris May Advises in Historic Chinese Acquisition

Simpson Thacher’s Chris May Advises in Historic Chinese Acquisition

The deal marks the largest foreign acquisition ever by a Chinese company. …


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Bill Dawson – One of Jimmy’s Boys

bdawsonL1 By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 28) – Celebrating four decades as a trial lawyer, Bill Dawson has been involved in some of the biggest environmental lawsuits, patent infringement cases, oil and gas disputes, defamation allegations and securities and fraud cases. He’s defended Energy Future Holdings, Monitronics International and Dr. Phil McGraw. He’s sued Google and represented Delta Airlines in its case against Southwest Airlines and the City of Dallas. He successfully sued big accounting firms only to have the accounting firms hire him later for future trials.

“Trials are a lot like life itself,” he says.

Judge Royal Furgeson – A Great American Lawyer

jrfurgesonL1 By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 25) – For four decades, Royal Furgeson has been one of the most dynamic cheerleaders for the bench and bar. The Vietnam veteran spent a quarter century as a trial lawyer in West Texas defending businesses in antitrust cases and suing other companies for breach of contract. That was followed by two decades as a federal judge. Now, he is a rookie again but this time in legal education where he serves as the first dean of the UNT College of Law.

“I’m as excited about the law today as I was 45 years ago,” he says.

Rod Phelan: A Lawyer for Lawyers

rphelanL1 By Mark Curriden – (Jan. 25) – Rod Phelan remembers his early days practicing law. His billable rate was $35 an hour. Carrington Coleman paid him $1,200 a month, which meant he brought his lunch to work to save money. He was "one of Jimmy's boys" - meaning Jim Coleman, who encouraged him to take cases to trial, which he did often.

Four decades later, Phelan – now a senior litigation partner in the Dallas office of Baker Botts – has not lost his passion for trials. “I would rather watch a closing argument than a Cowboys game or Duke basketball,” Phelan says.

Use your Texas Lawbook user-name and password to access articles on the Lions of the Texas Bar website.

Lawyers & Firms

Former Fortune 500 General Counsel Lands at Carrington Coleman

David Black, former GC of BearingPoint and ACS, has led more than 150 acquisitions in…

Munsch Hardt Snags Labor and Employment Expert in Austin

Peyton Smith, who joins as a shareholder, previously chaired Austin law firm Reed & Scardino’s…

Two Texas Lawyers Named “HNBA Top Lawyer Under 40”

Rich Rosalez, senior director of litigation at Samsung Electronics America in Dallas, and Emma Mata,…

DMN: Debbie Branson to Receive Award for Role in Parkland Hospital’s Transformation

The Linz Award is considered Dallas’ oldest and most prestigious civic honor.…

Jackson Walker Grows IP Practice in Houston

Brit Nelson lateraled over from Locke Lord.…

Sutherland Expands Energy Capabilities in Texas

Mark Sherrill is moving his energy bankruptcy practice from Washington, D.C. to the firm’s Houston…

SMU Dedman School of Law Recognizes Winners of Alumni Awards

SMU Dedman School of Law Recognizes Winners of Alumni Awards

Jim Baldwin, Shonn Brown, Cece Cox, Windle Turley and Judge Catharina Haynes were honored at…

WFAA Features Harold Kleinman’s Commitment to Serving Others

Kleinman, 85, founded the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.…

Alston & Bird Makes Splash in Dallas, Adds Another Corporate Group

The five-lawyer team from Bracewell is the second significant corporate lateral team hire Alston &…

Dykema Cox Smith Adds Dallas Litigation Member

Gavin Hill joins Dykema Cox Smith from Bracewell.…

DMN: Strasburger Honored for Helping Veterans get Education

<em>DMN</em>: Strasburger Honored for Helping Veterans get Education

Retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff,…

HBA President Jumps to Dentons

HBA President Jumps to Dentons

Laura Gibson will lead the Houston office's labor and employment practice.…

Gardere Expands in Dallas, Opens for Business in Denver

Gardere Expands in Dallas, Opens for Business in Denver

Firm Chair Holland O’Neil says the firm has been considering a Denver office in its…

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Lawyers in the News

Charles Ainsworth
Alden Atkins
R. Christopher Bunt
Warren Burns
Bradley Caldwell
Jason Cassady
Austin Curry
Claire Abernathy Henry
Jeffrey Kubin
Chris May
Justin Nemunaitis
Harriet O’Neill
Robert Parker
Mark Shaw
Johnny Ward
Bruce Wark

Firms in the News

American Airlines
Burns Charest
Caldwell Cassady
Gibbs & Bruns
Parker Bunt
Simpson Thacher
Southwest Airlines
Ward, Smith & Hill

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 were last updated on January 4. This most recent update completes the data for 2015 deal activity, and does not include any 2016 data.

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

Click on each Chart to see a full listing:

Texas M&A 2015 The Lawyers, Firms and Deals L1
Securities Offerings by Law Firms L1
M&A Deal Count by Law Firm L2
M&A Deal Count by Lawyers L1
M&A Deal Count by Sector L2
Total Deal Count by Law Firm (Securities + M&A) L2
Texas Securities Offerings 2015 - The Lawyers, Firms and Issuers L1
Securities Offerings by Lawyers Issuers Counsel Underwriters Initial Purchasers Counsel L1
Click here to view capital markets lawyers' rankings by lead issuer's counsel, and here to view capital markets lawyers' rankings by lead underwriters' counsel.

The Securities Offerings Rush of 2015 Goes Bust

By Mark Curriden and Natalie Posgate – (Nov. 16) – Oil and gas companies - many of them financially distressed - rushed to the capital markets during the first six months of this year. New data compiled by The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker and Bloomberg News shows that Texas and Oklahoma companies raised an astounding $127 billion through 179 securities and debt offerings.

Then suddenly, it all stopped. The number of debt offerings since July 1 plummeted. This artcle explains why and the impact it will have.


Texas Corporate Lawyers Reach Beyond State's Borders for Business

By Natalie Posgate and Mark Curriden – (Nov. 10) – New data compiled by Mergermarket and The Texas Lawbook’s Corporate Deal Tracker shows continued shifts in the legal marketplace. Premier M&A legal practices continue to get more of the top dollar transactional work. A smaller group of full service firms are capturing the mid-market deal activity. Wall Street law firms continue to steal away the largest Texas M&A.

But the newest trend is that Texas-based lawyers are increasingly being hired by non-Texas companies to advise them on mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.

The Texas Lawbook has the exclusive report on the law firms that are doing the most M&A work so far in Texas.


Texas M&A Deal Count Plunges, Value Skyrockets

By Natalie Posgate and Mark Curriden – (Nov. 9) – New data shows that M&A activity in Texas in has declined four consecutive quarters, but the deals that are getting done are twice as big and significantly more complex. Corporate lawyers and investment bankers now predict energy M&A could remain stagnant or plunge even more over the next year.

“This market is just brutal,” says Deloitte's William Snyder. “There’s going to be prolonged pain.”

The Texas Lawbook's Corporate Deal Tracker has every merger, acquisition and JV handled by Texas lawyers in 2015.


Mike O’Leary: The Busiest Transactional Lawyer in Texas

moleary1L By Natalie Posgate and Mark Curriden – (Nov. 9) – The Houston-based partner at Andrews Kurth was the lead legal adviser in more securities offerings than any other lawyer in Texas during the first nine months of 2015. And he was busy representing clients in the M&A market, too. The Texas Lawbook highlights O'Leary's work this year and his insights on the current state of the market.