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Updated – Lawyer: Breitling Energy CEO & ‘Frack Master’ Chris Faulkner ‘Denies Emphatically’ SEC Allegations of Fraud

sshipchandler By Mark Curriden – (June 24) – The SEC charged Dallas-based Breitling Energy Corp. and its CEO, “Frack Master” Chris Faulkner, of fraudulently spending tens-of-millions of dollars of investors money on lavish meals, expensive cars, strippers and escorts. The SEC claims that Faulkner masterminded an elaborate $80 million oil and gas fraud that included Breitling, Crude Energy and Patriot Energy and eight executives, including Breitling General Counsel Jeremy Wagers.

DWLA Denied Voting Rights on DBA Board… For Now

jalexander By Natalie Posgate – (June 24) – Dallas Bar Association leaders decided Thursday to give the Dallas Women Lawyers Association sister bar association status by granting the DWLA two ex officio seats on the DBA’s board of directors – but not the permanent director at-large position with full voting rights that the DWLA requested.

While the DBA described the meeting as a “very positive discussion,” other attendees implied it was as contentious as the months leading up to the vote have been.

The Texas Lawbook has the scoop.

Brexit – The Morning After the Night Before...

klgatesx By Andrew Peterson of K&L Gates – (June 24) – We now know what the eye of a storm feels like… Cameron resigns and will be gone in October; Sterling fell 10 % and is slowly picking itself up off the canvas; UK is still in Europe but may not be in the EU in due course. The UK may in the future no longer be the United Kingdom and there are calls for another Scottish independence referendum and a movement to unite Ireland and Northern Ireland under the Good Friday agreement. What does this all mean? What happens next?

V&E, Baker Botts Break IPO Dry Spell

dmcwilliams By Natalie Posgate – (June 23) – Since the capital markets dried up last July after the lingering low oil prices finally took their toll, equity and debt offerings became few and far between. Witnessing an initial public offering by an energy company in these times is even more rare – comparable to seeing a unicorn.

An IPO filing Wednesday just might indicate more unicorns are to be seen in a nearby pasture for Texas capital markets lawyers.

“Ban-the-Box” Laws Come to Austin – What Employers Need to Know

scassin1L By Shaun Cassin – (June 22) – “Ban-the-box” laws, which refer to legislation that prevents employers from asking about criminal history on employment applications, have seen a rapid increase in support across the U.S. over the last few years.

Texas companies that have not been paying close attention to this nationwide trend may need to adjust their hiring practices to comply with a new Austin ordinance passed earlier this year. Likewise, Texas companies with a national presence should be aware of ban-the-box laws that have passed in states or cities in which they operate.

Houston’s Oldest Law School Gets a New Name

dguter1L By Brooks Igo – (June 22) – South Texas College of Law announced Wednesday that it is changing its name in an effort to honor its birthplace and boost its regional and national profile. Founded in 1923, the school will now be called the Houston College of Law.

Seasoned Houston Trial Lawyer Opens New Firm to Have More ‘Fun’

jmaloney1L By Brooks Igo – (June 22) – Jim Maloney, who practiced for more than 40 years at Baker Botts and, most recently, Andrews Kurth, described a number of factors that led him to leave Big Law to set out on his own, including dealing with client conflicts. He says he has a lot of trials left in him.

“There is nothing in the world as fun as trying cases. There is nothing like the feeling when a jury comes back and says you are right.”

Dallas Judge Freezes Assets in Fraud Case Involving Sports Stars (Updated)

sshipchandler By Mark Curriden – (June 21) – SEC Fort Worth Regional Director Shamoil Shipchandler unveiled federal charges Tuesday against a former managing director of Dallas-based investment advisory firm RGT Capital Management for “secretly siphoning" $33 million from two Major League Baseball star pitchers and an NFL star quarterback, in order to fund an online ticket service. RGT also filed a federal securities lawsuit against its former partner and the online ticket operations.

SCOTX: Email Contacts Insufficient to Establish Jurisdiction in Foiled Deal

dwillett2 By Janet Elliott – AUSTIN (June 21) – Texas justices ruled that electronic communications between a Canadian company and a Houston firm negotiating the sale of Colombian mineral assets were insufficient to confer Texas jurisdiction over the Canadian company. A strongly worded dissent accused the majority of ignoring the realities of complex business negotiations in a time where e-mail communication is the norm.

Drillers Not Eligible for Multibillion-Dollar Sales Tax Refund

By Janet Elliott – AUSTIN (June 19) – The Texas Supreme Court dashed the hopes of drillers, concrete providers, business groups and limited government advocates in a ruling that turned on the role that pipes and tubes play in the physical changes of oil and gas moving from underground to the surface.

Houston Chronicle: Oil Prices are Down, but Law Firms Diversify Practices

chronlgo1t By L.M. Sixel of the Houston Chronicle – (June 19) – It wasn't that long ago when oil prices were riding high and Houston's law firms were expanding their practices in energy-related transactions, corporate law and mergers and acquisitions to keep up with boom. These days, demand is still there for energy expertise, but Houston's law firms are shifting some of their focus toward picking up the pieces of the energy bust by adding specialists in bankruptcy, finance and tax. Firms are keeping their eyes open on ways to diversify, including by industry and geography, to help them survive prolonged periods of low energy prices. Subscription required.

The Texas Lawbook Exceeds 8,000 Subscribers

By Mark Curriden – (June 17) – The Texas Lawbook team says "thank you" to our readers for supporting the publication. This month, we officially reached and passed 8,000 paid subscribers, including 1,800 corporate in-house counsel. Accomplishing this milestone is only the start. We have so much more to do. We truly appreciate your support.

Houston Chronicle Exclusive – Outhouse Trademark Dispute Hits the Fan

houchronlgo1 By L.M. Sixel of the Houston Chronicle – (June 16) – A federal court case could give new meaning to "Don't mess with Texas." Two portable toilet vendors are engaged in a trademark dispute over using the state's outline and Lone Star to adorn their outdoor loos. Texas Outhouse of Houston has sued rival Texas Waste, claiming the Alvin company's use of similar images has diluted Texas Outhouse's "iconic" brand, making it difficult for users to distinguish portable toilets and suggesting that the al fresco powder rooms are the same. It's an argument that legal specialists say may not pass the smell test. (Subscription may be required.)

Updated: V&E, Baker Botts Advise on Divestiture, Stock Offering Worth $1.7B

By Natalie Posgate – (June 17) – With oil prices remaining steady near $50, a pair of interconnected deals indicates a potential optimism in the energy sector. Devon Energy divested a pair of Midland Basin assets to Pioneer Natural Resources and an undisclosed buyer for $858 million. To fund its acquisition, Pioneer executed an $827 million stock offering through the capital markets, not private investors. Are things looking up?

More Stories
Updated: DBA to Vote on Women Lawyer’s Assoc. Item Mired in Controversy

Updated: DBA to Vote on Women Lawyer’s Assoc. Item Mired in Controversy

The Dallas Bar Association’s board of directors is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether the largest organization of women lawyers in North Texas should have an official voice…

Beck Redden, Lane Law Firm Win a Victory for Texas Homeowners

Beck Redden, Lane Law Firm Win a Victory for Texas Homeowners

This ruling provides a crucial shield for the roughly 15 percent of Texas homeowners who take out home equity loans.…

Former Bush Education Official: Improve Pipeline for Hispanics to be Lawyers

Former Bush Education Official: Improve Pipeline for Hispanics to be Lawyers

University of Texas Regent Sara Martinez Tucker said Wednesday that she is “stunned to find the legal profession among the least diverse” for people of color – notably…



After 50 Years, Mike Boone is still a Big Dealmaker

mbooneL1 By Mark Curriden – (June 14) – Michael Boone was 24 when his corporate securities professor at SMU asked him to stay after class. “I thought I was in trouble,” Boone says. Instead, Prof. Richard Haynes wanted Boone to join him in starting a law firm. Five decades later, Haynes and Boone now has 530 lawyers and $362 million in annual revenues. Boone has advised in some of North Texas's most important transactions.

“Mike is a lawyer-counselor in the true sense,” says AT&T General Counsel David McAtee.

The More Complex the Deal, the More Fun for Gil Friedlander

gfriedlander1L By Mark Curriden – (June 14) – When EDS split ways with GM in 1996, the CEOs took center stage to praise the deal. Just off camera was EDS General Counsel Gil Friedlander, who lawyers say was the true mastermind of the transaction. Friedlander navigated internal landmines between the IT firm and the Rustbelt manufacturer. EDS was a fully-owned subsidiary of GM, but it also had its own tracking stock and its own board of directors. He engineered an unprecedented "split-off" that was tax-free for GM, addressed the automakers huge unfunded employee pension liability and unlocked billions of dollars in value for EDS. And that may not have been Friedlander's most complicated transaction.

From Pregnant Sows to Corporate Giants, Harold Kleinman Put Clients First

hkleinman1L By Mark Curriden – (June 15) – Harold Kleinman pioneered the modern-day corporate law practice in Texas, representing Neiman Marcus, Centex, Lone Star Steel, Noble Energy and Lennox. He guided Thompson & Knight to become a powerhouse in the energy sector. And he was a founder of Texas Access to Justice. Now 85, Kleinman sees himself in a much simpler light.

“I was just a lawyer who represented clients and believed everyone deserved a fair shake under the law,” he says.

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

Lawyers & Firms

V&E Deepens IP Bench in Texas

V&E Deepens IP Bench in Texas

It is the latest in a series of moves to grow the firm’s IP expertise…

Deans & Lyons Expands to Houston

Deans & Lyons Expands to Houston

The Dallas-based litigation boutique lured five lawyers from Beirne Maynard and Serpe Jones.…

Energy Regulatory Expert John Arnold Returns to Locke Lord

Energy Regulatory Expert John Arnold Returns to Locke Lord

Arnold has significant experience handling electricity and midstream oil and gas matters. …

Norton Rose Fulbright Breaks into Northern California

Norton Rose Fulbright Breaks into Northern California

The firm recently launched a San Francisco office with seven public finance experts from Sidley…

T&K Strengthens Real Estate Banking Practice in DFW

Ashley Anderson joined T&K from Gardere.…

SMU Assc. Law Dean is New GC Forum CEO

GC Forum leaders say they selected Lynn Bozalis because of her deep contacts in the…

At 35, Porter Hedges is often asked to ‘Dance’

At 35, Porter Hedges is often asked to ‘Dance’

T. William Porter and the firm he created are celebrating 35 years in business. Porter…

Bankruptcy and Restructuring Pro Jumps to Greenberg Traurig

Lenard Parkins said Greenberg has a "tremendous domestic and international bankruptcy practice." He was previously…

K&L Gates Bolsters Energy Litigation Practice in Houston

K&L Gates Bolsters Energy Litigation Practice in Houston

Michael T. Murphy, previously at V&E, said he was attracted by the firm's platform and…

Munsch Hardt Boosts Corporate and Finance Capabilities in Houston

Munsch Hardt Boosts Corporate and Finance Capabilities in Houston

Prior to joining Munsch Hardt, David Sloan was a founding partner at SloanMoyer, a law…

Reed Smith Adds Antitrust Guru in Houston

Bruce Blefeld, who joins from K&L Gates, will practice in the firm's regulatory enforcement group.…

Dykema Cox Smith Adds Former State Judge to McAllen Office

Dykema Cox Smith Adds Former State Judge to McAllen Office

Ernest Aliseda returns to private practice after serving as general counsel and chief legal officer…

Gardere Strengthens Litigation Practice in Dallas

The firm has added Sean Whyte, who was DVAP's Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year…

Holland & Knight Adds International Disputes Partner Juan Alcalá to Austin Office

Holland & Knight Adds International Disputes Partner Juan Alcalá to Austin Office

Alcalá was most recently the co-chair of Gardere’s international dispute resolution practice. He said in…

Patent Litigator Wasif Qureshi Joins Jackson Walker

Patent Litigator Wasif Qureshi Joins Jackson Walker

Qureshi, who lateraled over from Fish & Richardson, is the second recent hire by Jackson…

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Lawyers in the News

Jerry Alexander
Van Beckwith
Shaun Cassin
Chris Davis
Lanny Davis
Donald Guter
Eva Guzman
Martin Hoffman
Phil Johnson
Zachary Jones
Joe Kendall
Barbara Lynn
Jessica Magee
Jim Maloney
Jamie Jean McKey
Harriet O’Neill
Yvette Ostolaza
Ken Paxton
Kevin Sadler
Shamoil Shipchandler
Eric Wade
Don Willett
Angela Zambrano

Firms in the News

Baker Botts
Baker & McKenzie
Houston College of Law
Kendall Law Group
Passman & Jones
Porter Hedges

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 April 15, 2016.

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

Click on each Chart to see a full listing:

M&A Deal Count by Law Firm (Q1 2016) L1
M&A Deal Count by Lead Lawyers (Q1 2016) L1
M&A Deal Count by Sector (Q1 2016) L1
Texas M&A 2016- The Lawyers, Firms and Deals L1
Securities Offerings by Law Firm (Q1 2016) L1
Total Deal Count by Law Firm (M&A + Securities) - Q1 2016 L1
Texas Securities Offerings 2016- The Lawyers, Firms and Issuers L1
Securities Offering Count by Lead Lawyer IC L1
Securities Offering Count by Lead Lawyer IU L1
Securities Offering Count by Lead Lawyer UU L1

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.


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

clafollette2 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.


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.